David Kilcullen

David Kilcullen was a partner at the Crumpton Group, a strategic advisory firm based in Washington, D.C. He was senior counter-insurgency advisor to General David Petraeus in Iraq, and was part of the small team that designed “the surge”.

Kilcullen, a native of Australia, has held several senior positions in the U.S. government, including Special Advisor for Counterinsurgency to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. He spent his tour in Iraq directing counter-insurgency programs and providing hands-on advice to military, diplomatic, aid and intelligence agencies.

In 2005-6 he was chief counter-terrorism strategist at the U.S. State Department, working in the Middle East, South Asia, Europe, Africa and Southeast Asia, including several operational activities in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Agencies. He helped design and implement the Regional Strategic Initiative, the policy that drives U.S. counter-terrorism diplomacy worldwide.

A former Australian infantry officer with 22 years’ service, including operational deployments in East Timor, Bougainville, and the Middle East, Dr. Kilcullen has served in Australia’s Office of National Assessments and on the writing team for Australia’s 2004 Terrorism White Paper. From 2004 to 2005 he was seconded to the Pentagon in Washington D.C. where he wrote the counterterrorism strategy for the 2006 U.S. Quadrennial Defense Review.

Kilcullen has spent many years conducting fieldwork with guerrillas, insurgents, and terrorists around the world, from Africa to the Middle East to Southeast Asia. He is fluent in Indonesian and partially fluent in Arabic and French. He holds several honors and decorations, including the United States Army Superior Civilian Service Medal “for exceptionally meritorious service to the United States as Senior Counterinsurgency Advisor, Multi-National Force-Iraq, during Operation Iraqi Freedom.” He is the first foreign national to receive such an award from the U.S. government.

David Kilcullen is the author of The Accidental Guerrilla: Fighting Small Wars in the Midst of a Big One, a widely acclaimed book about national insurgencies.