CNAS hosted a discussion with CNAS Senior Fellow David Kilcullen on his new book, The Accidental Guerrilla: Fighting Small Wars in the Midst of a Big One. The book takes an infinitely complicated situation like global terrorism and localized guerrilla warfare within the larger framework of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and makes them both understandable and interesting.
Kilcullen is the leading international expert on counterinsurgency, an anthropologist, and a retired military officer with the Australian Army. He is now a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security and a partner at the Crumpton Group, a Washington, D.C.-based strategic advisory firm. In 2007 he was senior counterinsurgency advisor to General David Petraeus and was part of the small team that designed the "surge." In 2005-06 he was chief counterterrorism 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.
His area of expertise is guerrilla warfare, aided by 22 years of field service. His extensive research in Indonesia served as the foundation for The Accidental Guerilla. The book sets forth how guerrilla warfare must be addressed and diffused if the United States and NATO forces are to make substantial progress in places like Afghanistan.