View Full Version : Strategist Behind War Gains

08-18-2007, 06:06 AM
18 August The Australian - Strategist Behind War Gains (http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,22263435-31477,00.html) by Rebecca Weiser.

David Kilcullen answers to the most powerful woman in the world: Condoleezza Rice, the US Secretary of State. The Australian counterinsurgency expert is Rice's eyes and ears on the ground in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, the Horn of Africa and in the corridors of Washington.

But when the invasion of Iraq was being planned, Kilcullen was one of a handful of senior military advisers in the coalition of the willing to voice a dissenting view. "I was one of a bunch of people ... who said 'Iraq is going to be a lot harder than you people seem to think, based on 20 years of experience doing it and studying it. It's going to take a lot more than you seem to be willing to commit."'

It was a view that then US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld rejected out of hand, saying Kilcullen didn't know what he was talking about.

But now, after more than four years of entrenched conflict with no end in sight, Kilcullen's doctrine of counterinsurgency prevails in Washington and on the ground in Afghanistan and Iraq, where it provided the foundation for the surge strategy the Bush administration says is beginning to succeed.

Kilcullen is one of the most influential Australian military minds of his generation. He grew up on Sydney's north shore, the son of academics. He studied counterinsurgency as a cadet at Duntroon, served for more than 20 years in the Australian Army and was awarded a PhD in political science from the University fo NSW for a thesis on Indonesian insurgent and terrorist groups and counterinsurgency methods. He has been a military adviser to the Indonesian Special Forces in counterinsurgency, taught counterinsurgency tactics at the British School of Infantry, and served in peacekeeping operations in Cyprus and Bougainville. Kilcullen also commanded an Australian infantry company in counterinsurgency operations in East Timor and trained and led East Timorese forces after the independence vote in 1999. He was a special adviser for irregular warfare to the 2005 US Quadrennial Defence Review and is Rice's chief strategist on counterinsurgency and counter-terrorism, working in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, the Horn of Africa and Southeast Asia...

Much more at the link...