David Kilcullen interview

Greg Richards
Charlie Rose did a superb job interviewing David Kilcullen, the Australian colonel who was a senior advisor on counterinsurgency to General Petraeus for the first half of this year.  Charlie Rose's program has been a fount of knowledge on Iraq as he has interviewed many of the major players and thinkers about the war over the last two years.

Opening the interview, Charlie asks Kilcullen: "what do you know that other people don't?"

Kilcullen gives a very interesting answer:

"I don't think it is so much what I know that other people don't know, but what I can say that other people can't say.  I don't have a career in the U.S. government, so I am freer to talk."  A penetrating point, and it shows how sharp Petraeus is, to get an outsider to be a senior advisor, someone not bound by the career norms and courtesies of those in the chain of command.
Col. Kilcullen goes on to give a, to me, brilliant discussion of the new strategy of counterinsurgency under Petraeus as distinct from our previous strategy of going after the bad guys.  He contrasts conventional war, which in his terms is "binary" where two armies clash, with insurgency where the primary objective is to protect the population.

A very illuminating tile in the Iraq mosaic.  Well worth watching the whole thing, which available without charge at the link.

Charlie Rose did a superb job interviewing David Kilcullen, the Australian colonel who was a senior advisor on counterinsurgency to General Petraeus for the first half of this year.  Charlie Rose's program has been a fount of knowledge on Iraq as he has interviewed many of the major players and thinkers about the war over the last two years.

Opening the interview, Charlie asks Kilcullen: "what do you know that other people don't?"

Kilcullen gives a very interesting answer:

"I don't think it is so much what I know that other people don't know, but what I can say that other people can't say.  I don't have a career in the U.S. government, so I am freer to talk."  A penetrating point, and it shows how sharp Petraeus is, to get an outsider to be a senior advisor, someone not bound by the career norms and courtesies of those in the chain of command.
Col. Kilcullen goes on to give a, to me, brilliant discussion of the new strategy of counterinsurgency under Petraeus as distinct from our previous strategy of going after the bad guys.  He contrasts conventional war, which in his terms is "binary" where two armies clash, with insurgency where the primary objective is to protect the population.

A very illuminating tile in the Iraq mosaic.  Well worth watching the whole thing, which available without charge at the link.