The Washington Independent

Posts Tagged david kilcullen

New Study Suggests Drone Strikes Don’t Kill as Many Pakistani Civilians as Claimed

By | 05.28.10 | 12:17 pm

It’s the most controversial counterterrorism program there is. The CIA’s remotely piloted aircraft, operating with the tacit consent of the Pakistani government, fire missiles at suspected militants in the Pakistani tribal areas where U.S. ground troops are prohibited from operating and where the Pakistani military is often hesitant to tread. More…

Drone Strikes and How Insurgents Are Created

By | 10.19.09 | 6:53 pm

One more thing about the New America Foundation’s drone-strike report, which found that the drones have “only” killed Pakistani civilians one-third of the time. (We’re talking about “250 to 320″ civilians killed, according to the report.) One of the reasons the report exists is to push back against More…

Obama Aide Declares End to War on Terrorism

By | 08.06.09 | 4:10 pm

John Brennan picked a deeply symbolic day to end the “war on terrorism.”

On August 6, 2001, Brennan, then a senior CIA official and now President Obama’s assistant for counterterrorism and homeland security, “read warnings that Osama bin Laden was determined to strike inside the U.S., but our government was More…

Road Rules: Counterinsurgency Edition

By | 07.28.09 | 1:59 pm

I wondered yesterday whether and how Gen. Stanley McChrystal would incorporate private security companies into his population-protection mission in Afghanistan. A post from Nathan Hodge, who’s in Afghanistan right now for Danger Room, highlights an area where such coordination is particularly necessary: the roads.

Roads are everything in More…

CNAS Has Your Af-Pak Benchmarks/Metrics in a Brand New Paper

By | 06.03.09 | 5:08 pm

After initially promising to come up with benchmarks for judging the success or shortcomings of its Afghanistan/Pakistan strategy — the term preferred by the administration, I understand, is “metrics,” which I’m cool with — the Obama administration has yet to come up with any, and has resisted More…

COINdinistas: Stop the Drone Violence!

By | 05.18.09 | 9:08 am

Take a look at this New York Times op-ed call for a moratorium on the Pakistan drone strikes by counterinsurgency luminaries Andrew Exum and Dave Kilcullen. (This, if I’m not mistaken, is the furthest Kilcullen has gone: in a recent discussion of his book, “The Accidental Guerrilla” at a More…

A Word From David Kilcullen Is Worth $100 Million

By | 05.05.09 | 11:50 am

Not many people were focused on increasing Pakistani police capacity, but here’s counterinsurgency expert Dave Kilcullen, testifying to the House Armed Services Committee on April 23:

The police are a critically important element in any counterinsurgency, and I am not aware of any successful campaign in which police reform,


The War Through the Taliban’s Eyes

By | 05.05.09 | 9:29 am

Whatever you do, don’t miss The New York Times’ epic interview with a Pakistani Taliban tactician about what has become “a seamless conflict” on both sides of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. The tactician is based out of Wana, in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas, but spends much of his time More…

Michael Vickers, The Stealth Operator of the Pentagon Budget Reforms

By | 04.08.09 | 12:30 pm

In February, I was told that Michael Vickers, the assistant secretary of defense for (deep breath) special operations, low-intensity conflict and interdependent capabilities, was a key player on Defense Secretary Bob Gates’ defense-budget review. Over at DOD Buzz, Greg Grant has an interesting look at Vickers’ whole deal: More…

The First U.S.-Pakistan Hiccup

By | 04.08.09 | 9:50 am

Special Envoy Richard Holbrooke and Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen visited Pakistan this week for the their first trip to Islamabad since the release of the Obama administration’s Af-Pak strategy. It could have gone better. From The New York Times:

With the chairman of the More…