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Kilcullen, The Accidental Guerrilla

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Kilcullen, The Accidental Guerrilla

Notes from Gloves / “neo-Salafi ‘jihadists’ … are often implacable fanatics, [but] the local guerrillas they exploit frequently fight because … we are intruding into their space” xiv / “he is engaged in resistance rather than insurgency” xiv / counter-terror, which focuses on removing the terror network, won’t work because it’s enemy-centric; COIN, which focuses on winning the population, won’t work because it’s social- and political-centric xv / it’s not terrorism, it’s not insurgency, it’s hybrid warfare xvii / use the term takfiri instead of jihadi or salafist xviii-xix / human security and national security are not necessarily parallel 4 / hybrid warfare combines non-state actors and new tech with all the old threats, in the same operational and strategic space 6 / War on Terror militarizes foreign policy 7 / four models describe the threat environment: globalization backlash, global insurgency, Islamic civil war, and asymmetric warfare 7-27 / while the direct approach was understandable (had to do something after 9/11) but counterproductive to US nat’l interests 20 / extreme intolerance among takfiri and other Islamic groups mean there are sgfnt cleavages the US should exploit 21 / because the US is so strong, it is critical that she establish a fundamentally benign intent – otherwise, every nation on earth is stuck in the security dilemma 23 / opposing models include Islamo-fascism, clash of civilizations, and fourth-generation warfare 28 / al Qaeda is “inciter-in-chief,” not commander-in-chief 28 / al Qaeda mil strat is to bleed US economy white 29 / accidental guerrilla syndrome steps: 1) AQ infects a safe haven, 2) AQ spreads violence, 3) outsider disrupts safe haven, 4) locals ally with AQ to oust outsiders 34-38 / locals reject outsiders like a body rejects a foreign object, even one that has a beneficial purpose 38 / “instability in Afg is a far broader problem than insurgency” 46 / “The Taliban may be cruel … but they are seen as fair” 47 / about a quarter of the insurgents are full-timers, with the balance being ad hoc accidentals 48-9 / insurgency isn’t focused on overthrowing the state – but in creating a Taliban state that includes part of Pakistan 50 / weak district governors give Taliban room to operate 51-2 / development must be targeted during COIN, to ensure only the good guys get aid 66ff / remember that in a traditional society, choices are made collectively, not individually 68 / tribal governance has three parts: tribal elders, local mullahs, and gov’t rep 77-8 / during times of external threat, mullahs get more authority 79 / tribal governance threatened by zealotry, unemployment, and foreign influences from both extremes 79-80 / seven elements of the Taliban system: three in Afg (full-time fighters, local guerrillas, and village cells) and four in Pak (training and logistics, political and religious leadership, recruiting service, and sponsors and backers) 83 / how to counter the elements: secure the people, separate them from the enemy, enable local governance, and connect local government to higher echelons of govt 93 / another breakdown of the method: secure populace, separate enemy elements, build local allies, deny enemy access to the populace, link people to govt, be persistently present, and use full-spectrum political maneuver 94 / “building of a road drags [the enemy] to you,” where you can use echeloned fires to kill him 96-7 / full-spectrum political maneuver is like blocking access with military, withholding something nice (tea, sugar, cooking oil) from the accidentals while providing it to cooperators, and promising relief upon entry into govt negotiations 104 / success requires knowledge of terrain, tribal structure, economics, and politics 106-7 / the presence of a road isn’t the magic – it’s the process of building the road that decouples insurgents from the populace 108-9 / Coalition C2 is byzantine, and that’s not good 110 / priorities: first, build an Afghan state; second, eliminate security threats; third, limit drug trade 113 / “there is no substitute for understanding [the] cultural terrain” 114 / it’s not colonialism if it’s only temporary 114 / blitzkrieg in Iraq was a bad idea 117 / accidental guerrilla syndrome steps in Iraq started with step three, the outsider invades 118 / “accepting the occasional mortaring as the cost of doing business in Iraq” is a better approach than overwhelming kinetic counterfire 125 / it’s force protection getting a higher priority than the strategic benefit of winning popular support 125 / Iraqi terrain that needed clearing wasn’t topographical but human 145 / Iraq hybrid warfare has four strategic problems: terrorism, insurgency, sectarian and ethnic conflict (which overlap) and an underlying lack of governance and services 149-51 / Iraq is an insurgency, plus a terror campaign, plus a civil war 152 / locals are allies, not employees – leads to trust and gives honor 165 / tribal-led reconciliations 168-70 / limited success led to bandwagoning 180 / eight COIN best practices: political strategy, comprehensive approach, continuity, secure the populace, synch development, partner with locals for govt, partner with locals for security, disrupt safe havens with a regional approach 265-7 / a local security person is worth about five outsiders, for “tooth-to-tail” and rotation issues alone 270 / GWOT has made terrorism an existential threat for other nations 272 / the existential threat to the US is that we would overreact and become something different (a police state, a colonial power, etc.) or that we would overreach and collapse 273ff / US national interest must consider the protection of our democratic, open society as an element 274 / too much attn on terror 276 / we need a frank and open dialog about the real risk of terror, and a cost-benefit anlys of our misdirected attn on it 276-7 / US has limits – we should examine them 280-1 / Powell doctrine stinks 281-3 / try this instead: lightest footprint possible, use local proxies as much as possible, use civil agencies rather than military forces, plan for long-term and low-profile rather than short-term and high-profile engagements 283 / 10 deductions about the hybrid war environment: protracted, requires a moderate national mobilization, must distinguish between enemies, sparing use of military force, limit government agencies (favor private sector), be indirect, DImE, emphasize virtue and morality and credibility, reduce conventional and increase unconventional force structure, and economize 283-7 / two key mission sets: strategic disruption and military assistance 288-9 / our intel structure is designed with the nation-state as the target set – corporate espionage techniques might work better 293 / US dinosaur might get beat by adaptable but smaller insurgent mammals 294 / refocus on the grand strategy 296-7 / DoD gets too great a share of the budget 298 / SOF are “special”; OSS was “strategic” – we need a new OSS 299

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