Fascinating book.looked at Mumbai's attacks how the megacity allowed the terrorists to easily infiltrate partly due to seafront location.how local forces police/army reactions were hindered by local politics lack, of ammunition,time to activate units equipped.in Jamaica looked at local gangs who at times for filled the role of local government and police and had some local people's support not just because of force but the gangs offered a measure of stability and welfare.one example as American forces rotated in Afghanistan the local sheikh forces began to mortar the base as the last base commander promised a new road but left without building the show of force was the sheikh way of showing power to keep power the problem resolved by the American forces building the road .a fascinating look at the ecology and dynamics of megacities and conflict areas a knowledge which was lacking in Iraq and Afghanistan
Kilcullen, author of The Accidental Guerrilla and Counterinsurgency, has written another key book . He is a former soldier and diplomat. He also served as an advisor to General Petraeus and Condoleeza Rice during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan He identifies four tectonic forces that are affecting the world: population, urbanisation, coastal settlements and connectedness. The author believes tomorrow's conflicts will mostly occur in coastal, highly urbanised and heavily populated cities. More and more people will compete for scarce resources in badly governed areas.
The combatants, he argues, will be nonstate armed groups of which Isis is only one. They may also be gangs, pirates, drug traffickers, warlord armies or paramilitary forces. Essentially, these groups will comprise those who have ' lost all hope of a better future' and/or hate those who have been dealt a better hand. He fears that many cities in very poor countries will become no-go areas where government presence is very limited. Kilcullen says these areas are the major feral cities of the future.
Possible feral cities include Karachi, Mumbai and Rio de Janeiro. His analysis and predictions are a sombre warning , he has been right before. Almost H.G. Wellsian in the picture he paints this is a very important book. We are currently witnessing several non-state forces causing mayhem across the Middle East. It would be fool as Kilcullen says to think they will not spread elsewhere.
Excellent follow on to Blood Year. More of a textbook for the military and academics than for the lay reader. Nevertheless full of information not found in the media. DK illustrates his theories with fascinating real life examples. A must read for anyone interested in the hows and whys of the current state of turbulence.
Finally had time to read 'Out of the Mountains'. It is a good easy read, with examples given for each point, some from his most recent consultancy work with Caerus Associates, his own experiences and a host of footnotes - alas at the back.
Given his thesis that the future is urban guerilla warfare in the megacities I was surprised he had so little support from those who already face the problems now - such as Mumbai.
From my armchair I am unconvinced that suffiecent Western understanding will come from the collection and analysis of 'big data' from such places. How much data do megacities produce and is it reliable? Given the current NATO (mainly US) experience, doctrine and equipment - could they adapt and intervene without local 'big data'?
I was particularly interested in the section on the Mumbai attack by LeT in November 2008, as this supports my viewpoint. Nariman House, the Jewish cultural centre's actual presence was unknown to the local police and intelligence bodies; it had been purchased in 2006.
Very intelligent book. And this is not only about military issues, as one may believe. There's much to discover about urban planning, etc. I would like to thank David Kilcullen personally, and hope that even our so called "governors" will have a look at it. Or at least some of their advisers.
But they won't... they're busy preparing the next mandate.
This is an excellent piece of work, thought provoking and very current. It's easy to read and so relevant to future combat that i think anybody with an interest in the future of warfare should read tis urgently.