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
Treat Islamic State as nation-State in Order to Fight it, Counterinsurgency Expert Proposes

An effective military campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria should strike at what essentially makes it a nation-state, namely


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Islamic State and global terrorism: where to now?

David Kilcullen is a former Australian army colonel, with a PhD in insurgency movements. He has been a counterterrorist adviser to the US an


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Blood Year: Terror and the Islamic state

Kilcullen says the West now faces “a larger, more unified, capable, experienced and savage enemy, in a less stable, more fragmented region”.


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The Rise of ISIS and Its Threat: David Kilcullen in conversation with Robert Manne

In this La Trobe University Ideas and Society session at the Wheeler Centre, David Kilcullen, author of the Quarterly Essay ‘Blood Year: Ter


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New air strike campaign needed against jihadis

As eminent Australian military strategist David Kilcullen has pointed out in The Weekend Australian, Mr Obama cannot ignore the reality that


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Abbott prefers to stay on the high moral ground in a war mired in murkiness

As for the view of David Kilcullen, formerly an adviser to the US, UK and Australian governments, NATO and the International Security Assist


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Office of the Australian Prime Minister Addresses David Kilcullen's Statements on the Islamic State

David Kilcullen, who is one of Australia's foremost authorities on counter-insurgency has written this week that one of the mistakes the Wes


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Blood Year

Counter-insurgency specialist David Kilcullen believes there’s no alternative but to escalate the conflict with IS into a full conventional


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Islamic State: Fall of Ramadi poses threat to Australian troops at Camp Taji training base, warns counter-terrorism expert David Kilcullen

Mr Kilcullen warned that the problem was compounded by the fact that the fall of Ramadi meant that 3,000 American troops situated at Al Asad


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Panel Discussion on the Islamic State

On this episode of The Drum the panel discuss the Islamic State group’s advance in Syria, the attempted return of foreign fighters, declassi


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David Kilcullen Speaks with The Alan Jones Breakfast Show

Alan talks to the terrorism expert about the rise of Islamic State and the threat it poses.


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Islamic State fast becoming a 'legitimate' state, says leading military voice

The war on Islamic State will only get worse before it gets better, says one of the world's leading military strategists. Australian David K