- Hardcover: 352 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (October 1, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0199737509
- ISBN-13: 978-0199737505
- Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 1.2 x 6.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 83 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #237,239 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Out of the Mountains: The Coming Age of the Urban Guerrilla 1st Edition
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A Look Inside: Out of the Mountains: The Coming Age of the Urban Guerrilla [Click Images to Enlarge]
"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
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Mr. Kilcullen also develops some principles of future policies he feels may "bend the rod." He cites examples from the Women's groups in Liberia that led to the ouster of President Charles Taylor. And makes the good point that just a "white man with a clipboard" is not going to be accepted or successful. That white man must work with the locals and with accepted agencies, governments, criminal elements and NGO's to map progress to a flux that is what the mega-cities are - not "stability" as identified by those stuck in the national paradigm. The main book is more aimed at understanding the four trends listed above. The appendix is more aimed at the military and how it will have to change to met the upcoming threats.
Mr. Kilcullen discusses at some length the "fish trap" of competitive control." He cites example after example of how those wanting to govern and control a population must be able to bring predictability and fairness to stability to the members of the population. He states that often, especially in the "feral city" such control comes not from the government, but from criminal forces, gangs, insurgencies etc, who can establish such and maintain it.
Mr. Kilcullen discusses at some length how "connectedness" through cell phones and the internet has come to be regarded as a basic right. He states that in Somalia, over 80% of the population -many more than have access to clean water - have internet connections and cell phones. In Egypt, according to Mr. Kilcullen, the masses finally poured out of their houses when the government shut off the internet.
Much is made of the chaos in the massive slums that have grown up and are rapidly expanding around most of the major cities of the third world. In Mumbai, the Le T of Pakistan spent a full year mapping and evaluating the flux and flow of Mumbai before sending in their teams of terrorists as opposed to the quick look the US Rangers made before invading Mogadishu. But Mr. Kilcullen contrasts this with the order and apparent stableness of Mogadishu in 2012 when he visited there. The shops were open. The coffee houses were open with customers. People were flowing up and down the street like normal. The same is said of Kingston, Jamaica, and San Pedro Sula in Honduras. The day to day activity was normal, but not controlled by the government, but by criminal gangs and warlords who prospered from the stability. Along with this is discussed how the diaspora from these areas is sending money back, notably as protection money for their families left behind.
This book is well written, concisely makes it points, and is fascinating in the recent history provided. For anyone attempting to understand the current world situation, this is a good book to read.
My input is simply that I read this book months ago. I've spent time in some of the places described. I get it. Barely a day goes by that I don't reflect back on some aspect of Kilcullen's thesis to understand and comprehend the implications to realpolitik to challenge the nation state for governance.
Great book for high information seekers! I've recommended it a dozen times or so to friends that are like me, trying to understand what we see.
Kilcullen takes the exact opposite view. He looks at "megatrends" occurring throughout the world, and comes to the conclusion that we are likely to be entering a period where there will violent organizations hiding and thriving in various slums and inner cities, and they will use violence as much for economic as for political purposes. Obviously he goes into much more depth, but I'm not here to write you cliff's notes.
Anyways, Kilcullen's detractors will always find something to complain about, and it is possible that this book is self-serving, since Kilcullen is in the COIN business and has a reason to want to promote that as the big future trend. I'm also biased, as I've been following Kilcullen for quite some time and am quite a fan. So, with my biases in the open, I'm going to highly recommend this book. I think he does an excellent job of looking at how the world is changing, how these changes have manifested themselves, how they will likely manifest themselves in the future, and what it will look like. He's unfortunately light on the prescriptions, but I can't blame him since this is sort of an introductory theory. I also think that this book may be interesting to those who are not into defense policy, because much of it is economic and is an interesting corollary to "The World is Flat" by Tom Friedman.
In the end, I think that Kilcullen will be proven right. While there are certainly threats involving the South China Sea, North Korea, Iran, etc. the fact of the matter is that the general trend has not been of explosive conventional conflict (especially in the nuclear age) but violent low level conflict. Even recent events have demonstrated this with AQ striking cities in Iraq, the outbreak of violence in Benghazi, and the MNLF attack on Zamboanga.