WASHINGTON, DC, November 19, 2008 – The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) is pleased to officially announce that Dr. David Kilcullen has joined CNAS as a senior fellow. Kilcullen was a non-resident senior fellow with CNAS for more than a year and collaborated with CNAS on Iraq and Afghanistan reports, as well as violent extremism and grand strategy Solarium projects in 2007 and 2008.
Kilcullen's position as the Special Advisor for Counterinsurgency to the Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, will conclude in December 2008, at which time he will also become a partner at the Crumpton Group, a Washington, D.C.-based strategic advisory firm.
Prior to joining CNAS, Kilcullen was senior counterinsurgency advisor to General David Petraeus, then Commanding General of United States and international forces in Iraq. He was part of the small team that designed the “surge,” and subsequently spent several months in the field directing counterinsurgency programs and providing hands-on advice to Iraqi and coalition military, diplomatic, aid and intelligence agencies. In 2005-2006 he was chief counterterrorism strategist at the U.S. State Department, working in the Middle East, South Asia, Europe, Africa and Southeast Asia, including operational activities in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Agencies. He designed and implemented the Regional Strategic Initiative, the policy that drives U.S. counterterrorism diplomacy worldwide.
He previously served in Australia’s Office of National Assessments, worked in the Pentagon where he wrote the counterterrorism strategy for the 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review, and served on the writing team for Australia’s 2004 Terrorism White Paper. He is a former Australian infantry officer with 22 years of service, including operational deployments in East Timor, Bougainville, and the Middle East. His doctoral dissertation, on insurgency in traditional societies, drew on residential fieldwork with guerrillas and terrorists in Indonesia during the 1990s. He is fluent in Indonesian and conversant in Arabic and French. He is a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (elected in 1996) and 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,” the first such award to a foreign national serving in combat alongside U.S. Forces.
His forthcoming book, The Accidental Guerrilla, to be published by Oxford University Press in spring 2009, analyzes the complex interplay between local guerrillas and global terrorists in contemporary war zones from Africa to Southeast Asia.
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The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) is an independent and nonpartisan research institution that develops strong, pragmatic and principled national security and defense policies that promote and protect American interests and values. CNAS leads efforts to help inform and prepare the national security leaders of today and tomorrow.