‘The nature of future conflicts with both state and non-state enemies, and the kind of weapons that will be used, is spelled out in a new book by the perceptive and thoughtful counterinsurgency expert David Kilcullen. … Out of the Mountains is a warning of the vulnerability of what he calls ‘feral cities’, of coastal ones in particular, faced with hit-and-run attacks, ambushes, snipers, and bombings.’
'Out of the Mountains deserves to be read (and argued about) by anyone who is interested in the war or the shape of the modern world ... [it] provides a masterly review of new strategic trends.'
Nicholas Stuart, Canberra Times
'In the future, insurgencies around the globe will increasingly take place in
‘networked’, coastal megacities and slums ... Kilcullen offers a nuanced, systematic view of the ‘messy’, multiple, volatile factors that shape irregular warfare.’
Fiona Capp, The Saturday Age
'Anyone who has responsibilities for international security or who cares about the future of governance in an increasingly over-crowded and resource-stressed world needs to read this book.'
Nigel Inkster, former director of operations and intelligence for the British Secret Intelligence Service
'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 crystallises 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
‘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
‘Kilcullen has a rare ability to combine serious theory with the insight of an experienced practitioner … [and] brings his narrative to life by using contemporary examples, including the recent revolts in Libya and Syria and the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai.’
Lawrence D. Freedman, 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.’
‘A wide-ranging, astute and squirm-inducing evaluation of the future of military operations … Kilcullen delivers a lucid, important study that American leaders should read.’ STARRED REVIEW
‘There is no better guide to the future of warfare than David Kilcullen. Surveying the scene from Mumbai to Mogadishu, and Syria to San Pedro Sula, Kilcullen persuasively argues that conflict will increasingly be in ‘crowded, coastal, and connected cities.’ This is a gripping and essential read.’
Theo Farrell, Head of War Studies, King’s College London
‘David Kilcullen has given us a definitive analysis of the characteristics of much recent conflict with its overlapping mix of terrorism and insurgency, gangsterism and racketeering, legitimate and criminal business, tribal and gang rivalries and perverse economic incentives. He draws striking lessons from the difficulties of providing security and governance in those circumstances and projects them into the ever more crowded slums of the megacities now sprawling along the coastlines of the developing world. His sombre conclusions should be essential reading.’
Sir David Omand, former UK Security and Intelligence Coordinator
‘Kilcullen is a natural storyteller with a sharp and sympathetic mind. His first-hand experiences in Somalia, Afghanistan and elsewhere carry added credibility given his track record as a senior adviser to David Petraeus, the star US general in Iraq, and later to Nato in Afghanistan. Thankfully, he does not limit himself to dire warnings. He broaches solutions. It would be a start, he contends, if policymakers and security strategists approached the world’s megacities as living entities to be analysed in their own right, not fixed locations, or part of a nation state. We have to keep up with the pace of their transformation.’
The Daily Telegraph
‘This is the mature work of someone who’s thought long and hard about conflict. Out of the Mountains deserves to be read (and argued about) by anyone who is interested in the war or the shape of the modern world [and] every officer needs to be familiar with its arguments.’
Sydney Morning Herald
‘Soldiers and scholars both listen to Kilcullen — and now the development community should as well … He comes out of the mountains and plunges head first into the teeming megacities of the developing world. It is well worth following him there.’
‘At a time when many Western militaries are slashing defence budgets while increasing investments in high-tech weapons, Kilcullen’s book provides an argument for reassessing defence priorities ... This is an important book.’
H.R. McMaster, Survival
‘Out of the Mountains is a wide-ranging, thought-provoking book that draws on and synthesises concepts and arguments from geography, ecology, political science, sociology and military strategy … it will spawn ideas, and pull our attention to the emerging megacities of the world and their assorted urban guerillas.’
Shashank Joshi, Global: The International Briefing