Background Briefing - Sunday, July 25, 2010

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David Kilcullen is an author and a consultant on counterinsurgency and counterterrorism. An anthropologist who was a Lieutenant Colonel in the Australian Army, he was the Counterinsurgency Advisor to general David Petraeus in Iraq and is currently advising the top command in Afghanistan. Kilcullen is also an adjust professor of Security Studies at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a Fellow at the Center for a New American Security. He is the author of The Accidental Guerrilla: Fighting Small Wars in the Midst of a Big One and Counterinsurgency, which is now out in paperback.


Felix Kuehn and Alex Strick von Linschoten are the only independent Western journalists living in Kandahar, and are the founders of Alex is currently working on a PhD. in the War Studies Department of Kings College, London on the interaction between Sufi groups and militant jihadi organizations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Chechnya, and Somalia. Both Alex and Felix are graduates of the School of African and Oriental Studies and both live permanently in Kandahar. They are the co-editors of the book, My Life with the Taliban, an autobiography of Abdul Salam Zaeef. They blog at and


Scott Thomas Bruce is the Director of US Operations for the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainability located at the University of San Francisco’s Center for the Pacific Rim. He trained as a historian at both Queens University in Belfast and at the University of California, Berkeley and holds Masters Degrees in Asia Pacific Studies and Business Administration from the University of San Francisco.