David Kilcullen

ASU Future of War Senior Fellow

David Kilcullen is an ASU Future of War senior fellow at New America. Kilcullen is Founder and Chairman of Caerus Global Solutions, a strategic research and design firm that helps governments, global institutions, businesses and communities build resiliency in conflict, disaster-affected and post-conflict environments. He is also the Founder and Chairman of First Mile Geo, a tech startup that pioneers open, online cloud-based platforms for collecting, analyzing, sharing, and visualizing social and spatial data. Before joining private industry he served 25 years as an army officer, diplomat and policy advisor for the Australian and United States governments, in command and operational missions (including peacekeeping, counterinsurgency and foreign internal defense) across the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Europe. 

In the United States he served as Chief Strategist in the State Department’s Counterterrorism Bureau, and served in Iraq as Senior Counterinsurgency Advisor to General David Petraeus, before becoming Special Advisor for Counterinsurgency to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Dr. Kilcullen holds a Ph.D. from the University of New South Wales, with a focus on the political anthropology of guerrilla warfare. He was awarded the 1995 Sir Edward “Weary” Dunlop Fellowship for his work in Southeast Asia, and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society in 1996. Dr. Kilcullen was named one of the Foreign Policy Top 100 Global Thinkers in 2009. His bestselling books, The Accidental Guerrilla: Fighting Small Wars in the Midst of a Big One and Counterinsurgency, are used in several universities, as well as by policymakers, the military, intelligence and development agencies worldwide. His third book, Out of the Mountains, which examines conflict in the connected, coastal cities of the future, was awarded the 2013 American Publishers’ Association Prize for Professional and Scholarly Excellence (PROSE Award) in Government and Politics. He most recently developed his 2015 Quarterly Essay Blood Year: Terror and the Islamic State into a full-length book. He is currently working on a book examining the future of unconventional warfare.

All Work

INTERNATIONAL SECURITY and NEW AMERICA
US SOCOM Commander's Reading List 2016

Books written by Michael Waltz, David Kilcullen, Shane Harris, Chris Fussell, and Peter Singer all appeared on the SOCOM Commander's Reading


INTERNATIONAL SECURITY and NEW AMERICA
Syria: a geopolitical earthquake

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 boo


INTERNATIONAL SECURITY and NEW AMERICA
Russian air strikes in Syria may improve push for negotiated settlement, David Kilcullen says

New America's David Kilcullen says Russian air strikes in Syria may improve push for negotiated settlement.


FELLOWS, FUTURE TENSE, INTERNATIONAL SECURITY and NEW AMERICA
'Empire of Fear' offers an analytical and lucid history of ISIS

But that's not to say that the world should breath a sigh of relief. Hosken ends his book with a chilling message from counterinsurgency exp


FELLOWS, FUTURE TENSE, INTERNATIONAL SECURITY and NEW AMERICA
We’re Losing the War Against ISIS in Iraq

Senior Future of War Fellow David Kilcullen wrote an article for the National Interest about the war against ISIS.


FELLOWS, FUTURE TENSE, INTERNATIONAL SECURITY and NEW AMERICA
David Kilcullen speaks on how to think about ISIS — and what to do about it

During the summer, David Kilcullen spoke at New America about the state of the campaign against ISIS. Here are some of his more striking com


INTERNATIONAL SECURITY
Islamic State: fight a long way from won, strong case for Australian military air strikes in Syria, expert says

Dr Kilcullen said the volume of Australian air craft would not be a game-changer to air strikes in Syria, but that joining the US would add


INTERNATIONAL SECURITY
Military expert Kilcullen says Australia would add weight and capability to fight ISIS in Syria

As far as the American people are concerned, I'm not sure that most Americans have given a second thought to the possibility that any other


INTERNATIONAL SECURITY
A Great Perhaps?

Based on field-work in Colombia’s regions, the study provides a history of the conflict, compares it to other historical and contemporary ca


INTERNATIONAL SECURITY
The Australian Army in the Urban, Networked Littoral

As we leave Afghanistan, the urban littoral will rise in importance simply because Australia’s primary operational environment (POE) is over


INTERNATIONAL SECURITY
I see no alternative to a larger, more intense conventional war against Isis

Isis is an escalating threat that’s growing and worsening. The longer it takes to deal with [it], the further its influence spreads, the mor


INTERNATIONAL SECURITY
David Kilcullen on ISIS as the new totalitarian state dividing the world

How bracing it is to read an account by an Australian soldier and military intelligence man about the worst thing in the world, ISIS or Isla