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Out of the Mountains

The Coming Age of the Urban Guerrilla
Written by: David Kilcullen
Narrated by: Christopher Kipiniak
Length: 14 hrs and 11 mins
Categories: History, Military
4.5 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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 nonstate 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 road map to a future that will increasingly be crowded, urban, coastal, connected - and dangerous.

©2013 David Kilcullen (P)2018 Audible, Inc.

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  • Ty
  • 2019-03-04

great book. terrible reader.

great book. terrible reader. some guy's sing song voice almost ruins a superb analysis of modern conflict.

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  • kucherv
  • 2018-04-25

Very detailed and informative approach.

Great book for anyone who is interested in the next future conflicts. The analysis of this book is unrivaled.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Anon
  • 2019-11-06

Insightful analysis

The book tackles themes we’re seeing more and more often: messy conflict zones and how they actually work and what happens when order breaks down, or shifts to a different kind of order.

Having no experience in conflict zones I wanted to get a deeper understanding of how things actually work when there is no, or a very weak central government. The author delves deep into governance structures and leads through anecdotes from his real world experience.

He outlines the (odd to Western eyes) order that establishes itself and how locals operate in that environment. He also goes somewhat into the best ways for an outside force to effect that order.

It was all very illuminating and analytically driven. If you’re interested in this topic generally, you’ll be interested in this book. My one quibble is that though he discusses at a cursory level various domains of conflict, he never once mentions space as a conflict zone. It’s a very curious omission to an otherwise well constructed book.

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  • Kyle
  • 2019-10-16

A Lot To Learn!

This text is concerned with what happens in conflicts when the context is “crowded, urban, networked, and coastal” (chapter 1). Its lessons are not exclusively applicable to war zones. For example: Arab Spring, violent protests following election of President Donald Trump, and present tensions between China and Hong Kong; the urban context bears similar advantages as well as vulnerabilities around the world.

At the intersection of urban geography and technology is a host of powerful tools for mobilizing target populations. The interdependence of people in urban areas has a lot to do with this.

I think it’s cool that changes in technology have not necessarily benefitted state authorities who suppress dissenting voices.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2019-07-04

Great Study

A great read to understand where future "Small Wars" MAY lead to. Recommended for intelligence and infantrymen or anyone who simply wants to understand how unconventional wars start and how they can be minimized or won.

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  • edward sumerdon
  • 2019-05-14

Highly informative.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. it has applications beyond the scope of the military. Law enforcement should take heed.

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  • Alexander Roose
  • 2019-02-12

a lot of knowledge on irregular warfare

the author is obviously a very smart guy, has a ton of important info for combat leaders. however, he needs to dumb down the writing IOT target the right audience. maybe write a cliff notes version and sell it to the army

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  • Romualdo Colon-Adorno
  • 2019-01-17

A good introduction to how warfare is evolving

Book carries the reader thru the evolution of warfare and how it is affected by urbanization and the importance of understanding that system as well.

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  • Magdalena
  • 2018-07-22

Great Narration

Kipiniak brings this to life! Very informative, exciting and a easy listen. I hope to more from the author and the narrator.

0 of 3 people found this review helpful