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David Kilcullen

Dr David Kilcullen
Dr. David Kilcullen was a former senior adviser on counter-insurgency in Baghdad.
BBC Radio 4's Analysis: David Kilcullen will be broadcast on Thursday, 1 November 2007 at 20:30 and repeated on Sunday 4 November at 21.30 GMT

In a frank and outspoken interview, David Kilcullen, who has just become policy advisor to US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, outlines his view of the conflict in Iraq and the future of the struggle with militant jihadism.

He tells the BBC's security correspondent Frank Gardner that the coalition is achieving success by a radical change in its tactics in Iraq.

It must find and cultivate local partners and demonstrate to them that their interests are best served by allying themselves with the US-led coalition.

Dr. Kilcullen says this has led to a "tribal revolt," starting in Al-Anbar province, in which local tribal leaders have turned against Al-Qaeda. This change has now spread to half the provinces in Iraq.

The US must continue to engage in "kinetic warfare" - which he defines as "killing the enemy and breaking their stuff" - in order to demonstrate to the Iraqi population that it has the upper hand.

However, this is not a war that will quickly be won. Dr Kilcullen predicts that quashing the insurgency in Iraq will take between 11 and 15 years.

He concedes that his strategy means that the coalition effectively has to abandon its original ideals of creating a Western-style secular democracy in Iraq.

David Kilcullen has an unusual background for a US military strategist.

He is an Australian reserve officer with a Phd in anthropology. He served as chief advisor on counterinsurgency to General David Petraeus, who heads the US forces in Iraq, and has just been appointed as policy advisor to Dr. Rice.

On a wider level, he says that the West is losing in the wider conflict with militant jihadists - especially when it comes to the war of information.

He says he learned from watching the Taliban that their military operations function primarily as opportunities for propaganda, and that the West has been failing to respond to this strategy.

Dr. Kilcullen predicts that there will be three future flashpoints in what he calls "the long war" against insurgents.

Pakistan is the most likely territory, followed by Bangladesh and Europe.

In the programme there are also comments from Professor Michael Clarke, Director of the Royal United Services Insitute and Professor Martin Van Creveld of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Presenter: Frank Gardner
Producer: Simon Coates
Editor: Hugh Levinson




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