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Thursday, March 6, 2014

'The Accidental Guerrilla': Dr David Kilcullen at ANU, June 09


Uploaded on Mar 14, 2010
The Accidental Guerrilla: Fighting Small Wars in the Midst of a Big One - recorded at The Australian National University, 1 June 2009.

In the first few years of the post-9/11 era, the established models for fighting small wars proved distressingly ineffective against resilient insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan. As the insurgents fought Western armies to a stalemate, it was clear that a new approach was necessary. Dr David Kilcullen, a former Australian army officer, and one of the worlds most influential experts on guerrilla warfare, became a key architect of the Wests revamped military strategy. As the senior advisor to General David Patraeus in Iraq, Kilcullens revolutionary approach to counterinsurgency was an intellectual foundation for the Surge of 2007.

Kilcullen will uncover the face of modern warfare, illuminating both the global challenge, the War on Terrorism, and small wars across the world in Afghanistan, Iraq, Indonesia, Thailand, East Timor, and Pakistan. He will explain that todays conflicts are a complex hybrid of contrasting trends that America has tended to conflate, blurring the distinction between local and global struggles, and thereby enormously complicating our challenges. The West has continually misidentified insurgents with limited aims and legitimate grievances—accidental guerrillas—as members of a unified worldwide terror network. We must learn how to disentangle these strands, develop strategies that deal with global threats, avoid local conflicts where possible, and win them where necessary.

David Kilcullen is one of the worlds leading experts on guerrilla warfare and, rarely among his kind, has a PhD (UNSW) in political anthropology. He has served in every theatre of the War on Terror since 9/11 as special advisor for counterinsurgency to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, senior counterinsurgency advisor to General David Petraeus in Iraq, and chief counterterrorism strategist for the US State Department. He is a former Australian army officer with combat experience in Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

Presented by the Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies (The Middle East and Central Asia).