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Out of the Mountains: The Coming Age of the Urban Guerrilla [Englisch] [Gebundene Ausgabe]

David Kilcullen
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Oktober 2013
When Americans think of modern warfare, what comes to mind is the US army skirmishing with terrorists and insurgents in the mountains of Afghanistan. But the face of global conflict is ever-changing. In Out of the Mountains, David Kilcullen, one of the world's leading experts on current and future conflict, offers a groundbreaking look at what may happen after today's wars end. This is a book about future conflicts and future cities, and about the challenges and opportunities that four powerful megatrends--population, urbanization, coastal settlement, and connectedness--are creating across the planet. And it is about what cities, communities and businesses can do to prepare for a future in which all aspects of human society--including, but not limited to, conflict, crime and violence--are changing at an unprecedented pace.

Kilcullen argues that conflict is increasingly likely to occur in sprawling coastal cities, in peri-urban slum settlements that are enveloping many regions of the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and Asia, and in highly connected, electronically networked settings. He suggests that cities, rather than countries, are the critical unit of analysis for future conflict and that resiliency, not stability, will be the key objective. Ranging across the globe--from Kingston to Mogadishu to Lagos to Benghazi to Mumbai--he offers a unified theory of "competitive control" that explains how non-state armed groups such as drug cartels, street gangs, and warlords draw their strength from local populations, providing useful ideas for dealing with these groups and with diffuse social conflicts in general. His extensive fieldwork on the ground in a series of urban conflicts suggests that there will be no military solution for many of the struggles we will face in the future. We will need to involve local people deeply to address problems that neither outsiders nor locals alone can solve, drawing on the insight only locals can bring, together with outsider knowledge from fields like urban planning, systems engineering, renewable energy, conflict resolution and mediation.

This deeply researched and compellingly argued book provides an invaluable roadmap to a future that will increasingly be crowded, urban, coastal, connected--and dangerous.

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Out of the Mountains: The Coming Age of the Urban Guerrilla + Counterinsurgency Warfare: Theory and Practice (Psi Classics of the Counterinsurgency Era)
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  • Gebundene Ausgabe: 352 Seiten
  • Verlag: Oxford Univ Pr (Oktober 2013)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0199737509
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199737505
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 23,6 x 15,7 x 2,8 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 83.163 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
  • Komplettes Inhaltsverzeichnis ansehen

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"An iconoclastic new book on future urban conflicts." --David Ignatius, Washington Post

"Out of the Mountains isn't brimming with tactical solutions to such problems. Just as present-day counterinsurgency doctrine didn't materialize overnight, the answers to the questions Mr. Kilcullen poses will evolve over time. But his insistence that it is 'time to drag ourselves -- body and mind -- out of the mountains' serves as a reminder that complacency remains one of the most serious threats to U.S. national security." --Wall Street Journal

"Kilcullen has a rare ability to combine serious theory with the insight of an experienced practitioner." --Foreign Affairs

"Out of the Mountains will appeal to a broad range of readers -- social scientists, security experts and military officers, urban planners and technologists, and a general readership interested in how today's global trends will shape tomorrow's world. Readers who enjoy the work of Robert Kaplan or even Paul Theroux -- the engaging mix of adventure writing with sophisticated social and political analysis -- will find Kilcullen quite appealing." --Washington Monthly

"Although an enemy of the state, I must concede that this is a brilliant book by the most unfettered and analytically acute mind in the military intelligentsia. Kilcullen unflinchingly confronts the nightmare of endless warfare in the slums of the world." --Mike Davis, author of Planet of Slums

"David Kilcullen brilliantly illuminates a coming dystopian urban world, part Blade Runner and part Minority Report. He cogently argues that we must rapidly find a way to build our own security networks to prepare for the coming age of urban guerrillas. Out of the Mountains crystallizes this sadly probable future in vivid and practical terms." --Admiral James Stavridis, USN (Ret), Former Supreme Allied Commander at NATO and Dean, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University

"Kilcullen delivers a lucid, important study that American leaders should read." --Kirkus Reviews

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

David Kilcullen is the author of the highly acclaimed The Accidental Guerrilla and Counterinsurgency. A former soldier and diplomat, he served as a senior advisor to both General David H. Petraeus and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In recent years he has focused on fieldwork to support aid agencies, non-government organizations and local communities in conflict and disaster-affected regions, and on developing new ways to think about complex conflicts in highly networked urban environments.

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5.0 von 5 Sternen Theory of competitive control rules 28. Juli 2014
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
Good examples for counter-insurgency in urban, littoral and connected cities, and possible solutions in the urban and civic battle space.
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Amazon.com: 4.4 von 5 Sternen  72 Rezensionen
19 von 23 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen The Present and Future of Warfare 17. Juli 2013
Von Michael Griswold - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
There is something familiar yet new about David Kilcullen's Out of the Mountains: The Coming Age of the Urban Guerilla. By looking at four trends: population growth, urbanization, coastal life, and interconnectedness, Kilcullen paints a rather convincing picture of the future of warfare. Instead of large-scale state on state warfare, Kilcullen predicts that warfare will take place where population is likely to be centered in urban areas along the coast.

Technology will play a role because technology makes people more interconnected, particularly in crowded coastal areas like the ones Kilcullen describes. I'm not sure that we have not heard many of these predictions before, but what sets this book apart is the depth Kilcullen takes his argument.

He uses several case studies from Iraq and Afghanistan, the various rebellions throughout the Middle East and Africa, and Jamaica among others to illustrate why the problems experienced by rulers and armies in these locations don't lend themselves to conventional solutions, but rather are a product of the new conditions of warfare that he sees increasing in the future.

I was impressed with the argument itself, but if we accept Kilcullen's argument that all four of the above mentioned factors play a role in future of war, what do we do about it?

At first blush, one might think that we need to strengthen government capacities in these troubled areas, but given that development in the most charitable appraisal has had mixed results that doesn't seem like a great solution. Further, these projects take money, which may be in a short supply in the era of austerity and increasingly partisan politics.

In conclusion, Kilcullen's ideas seem more than plausible, but how we deal with them is a question that this book seems to leave open-ended for further debate.
31 von 40 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen The Future Face Of Conflict: Urban, Littoral, and Connected (Sorry, But This Is Old News) 29. September 2013
Von M.A. Hallisey - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
Unlike the majority of other reviewers, I did not fall in love with this book. It's good and worth a read, but nothing spectacular. I'm not sure it is even an important book (interesting, yes; important, not so sure).

For starters, I don't think there's anything truly new in the book (something the author pretty much admits to in the first few pages). Mr. Kilcullen's spends (in my uncorrected, advance copy) 265 pages (not including an appendix and notes) telling the reader that future conflict will - more often than not - take place in urban areas (by 2050, more than 3/4 of the world's population will reside in an urban setting), that most urban areas are situated within 12 miles of a coastline (hence, littoral), and that these urban/littoral setting will be ultra-connected. In short, future conflict will take place in a "Blade Runner" environment and thus is something that works to the (dis)advantage of both sides. Mr. Kilcullen also reminds us that the world is not binary (i.e., us vs them), but multi-agenda'd. Finally, Mr. Kilcullen states that in future conflicts the line between lawful conflict and criminal activity will be blurred and our comfortable Westphalian view of the "nation-state in conflict" will be displaced by a reality where the enemy is a non-state entity. I'm not finding anything new here (except for the 20th century, seems this is how the world has always been [again, something the authors admits to in the first few pages]). Not to be cheeky, but :yawn:.

While the book is informative, accessible, and well-written it is not what one should expect from an academic publishing house (in this case, Oxford University Press). If you would be disappointed to see The Economist covering news like USA Today, then I think you will understand my point: we expect The Economist to challenge "everything" (the reader, the current zeitgeist, etc.), so we should expect academic publisher house offerings to do the same (or if they can't, at least add to the body of knowledge). Bottom line, this book doesn't challenge. If you are up-to-date with the literature in this field I suspect the reaction just might be, "so what?"

Had the book come from a non-academic publishing house I might be writing a different review. But it didn't and as a result, no matter how hard I tried I just could not get into the book and justify the time I was spending reading it.

Summary: 3 stars (interesting, but didn't see anything new here. Readers should expect better from an academic publishing house offering).

(NOTE: this advance copy was provided at no cost for review purposes.)
17 von 22 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Feral cities, fish traps, and soccer hooligans 7. August 2013
Von sneaky-sneaky - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
There are a half-dozen actors responsible for the U.S. exit from Iraq. Barack Obama, Generals Petraeus and Odierno, Emma Sky, the voting public, and David Kilcullen. The go-to guy for counterinsurgency, Colonel-professor Kilcullen's new book analyzes a number of recent combat actions and draws some conclusions about the future.
Any number of authors have now covered TF Ranger in Mogadishu, and each brings new insight; Kilcullen describes Somali swarm tatics that are now widely applicable in the wired Arab Spring. The LeT attack on Mumbai, and the various uprisings in the Middle East over the past couple of years, Afghanistan, and Jamaica all get attention. Mr. Kilcullen is making the point that complex, crowded, coastal megacities are predominating, and will be the focus of conflict in the coming decades. Hence the title 'Out of the Mountains' describes the irrelevance of remote Afghan valleys and the importance of Mumbai, Karachi, Dhaka, or Rio.
Mr. Kilcullen also lays out his theory of competitive control, and though he never explicitly states it, shows that the Taliban should never have been removed from power in Afghanistan, as it at least provided a measure of stability. Competitive control encompasses the strongest and stickiest memes, so that organizations like Hezbollah that provide health care, reconstruction, education, and so forth, prevail by providing armed security and social services, much like functioning governments.
Mr. Kilcullen's work is standard in military colleges and think tanks, it is drawn from experience both on the ground and at higher orders of command, and makes for compelling reading.
3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A perspective on war that you will not get elsewhere 5. September 2013
Von Adam Rust - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
This is a book on how our military should plan for future wars. David Kilcullen has a unique mindset, as he is a trained anthropologist who has served as a counter-insurgency expert to Condoleeza Rice and David Petraeus.

This book blends the kinds of ideas we have heard from Donald Rumsfeld with the thoughts of traditional writers in urban studies such as Mike Davis or Saskia Sassen-Koob. He looks at war as a battle for control in cities. To Kilcullen, fighting is an activity that is a part of the regular life of cities. But an important distinction, and one that is a basic assumption for this book, is that warring groups are not limited to nation-states. You have to recognize that there can be many factions within a city.

He draws his analysis from several cities: the civil war in Somalia, the 2008 terrorist attack in Mumbai, the 2010 revolution in Tunisia, the intifada in Benghazi, and gang warfare in the slums of Jamaica.

Kilcullen's premise is that four transforming forces - urbanization, migration of people to coastal cities, population growth itself, and then the increasing interconnectedness made possible by electronic media - have changed how wars will be fought in the future.

"The future conflict climate, as we have seen, will be coastal, networked, and overwhelmingly urban - so that we need to orient ourselves toward conflict in connected cities...Dominant theories of international relations take the nation-state as their basic building block. We need to bring our analysis down to the city and sub-city level, understanding communities and cities a 'system under stress' in their own right, treating cities as biological or natural systems....A related insight is the need to conceive of a city as a flow and process, rather just place; with violence shaping and creating the landscape and not just happening in it."

As with almost everything else in the world, the explosion in media changes the future nature of war. One example is the 2008 Mumbai attack. This small group of terrorists in Mumbai controlled their operation from a bank of computers in Pakistan. They followed twitter updates made in Mumbai by newspapers and regular citizens to learn real-time details: where the police were arriving, where traffic was blocked, and where their partner cells were having success. With that, those planners sent texts to the soldiers on the ground. Those media, as well as facebook and youtube, were vital throughout the Arab Spring.

The mistake that could be made, he argues, is to believe that Afghanistan and Iraq will be the models for future conflicts. Modelling matters because it determines the long-range investments made by governments with their military expenditures. But recent wars - Afghanistan was a rural war (Iraq's fighting was mostly in cities) fought without navies among communities with little in the way of modern media - provide the wrong viewpoint.

Moreover, as the likely pursuant of war in foreign cities in the future, the United States should realize that it will be judged by how it conducts those efforts. War can kill a city, even if it makes it secure. For example, he believes that making Baghdad safe had the unfortunate effect of ruining the efficiency of it as a place.

This was for me one of the most thought-provoking books that I have read on the topic of war. I have read a lot of great work (Ghost Wars, The Forever War, Night Draws Near, The Looming Tower, The Good Soldiers) on the wars of the last decade, but I cannot think of one that takes so much from such a variety of disciplines to develop a systematic viewpoint on how the near future will differ from the recent past.
7 von 9 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Understanding the Urban Guerilla Environment.....which is Here. 17. August 2013
Von Wayne Crenwelge - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
Suffice to say I have some background in the history of guerilla warfare, I was very pleased to be able to read David Kilcullen's "Out of the Mountains: The Coming Age of the Urban Guerilla". It is well packed with great theories of what types of situations we world humans will see in the future.

Mr. Kilcullen divides his book into four parts that he calls mega-trends. He means to imply that these four trends will shape and define the coming problems (not necessarily conflicts, if they are handled probably). He states they are:

Population Growth - the continuing rise in the planet's total population.

Urbanization - the tendency for people to live in larger and larger cities.

Littoralization - the propensity for these cities to cluster on coastlines.

Connectedness - the increasing connectivity among people, wherever they live.

The book weaves real events from Afghanistan, Mogadishu, Indian, Jamaica, Lebanon, Libya, and other places to explain his theories. He never states that his is the only way or plan, but he does suggest that it is a possible theory. He writes: "That's all it is: just a straight-line projection of current trends, based on data currently available, that suggest where conflict on the planet may be heading, given its current course. " There will be shocks, black swans, and other events that may change the trends. David Kilcullen wants to start real discussion so going forward everyone does things as smartly as they can to diffuse potential bad events before they happen. That's all. If you are interested in thinking and doing some serious reflection of these concepts, this book is for you. Hope this helps.
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