Blood Year: Islamic State and the Failures of the War on Terror
Bell School Public Lecture
Date & time
Monday 22 February 2016
Lecture Theatre 1, Hedley Bull Centre (130), corner of Garran Road and Liversidge Street, ANU
"We’re now in the fifteenth year since 9/11 and, horrible though it is to contemplate, we may be nowhere close to the end of the War on Terror. For a while, it looked like things were improving: we were getting on top of the threat. But that was before ISIS began crucifying children, before the Taliban swept back out of the mountains to seize the cities, before the bodies of asylum-seekers began washing up on the beaches, before the first Russian cluster bomb fell on a Syrian village, before the first suicide vest exploded in a Paris concert hall." - David Kilcullen, Blood Year: Islamic State and the Failures of the War on Terror.
We have seen a “blood year” – massacres and beheadings, fallen cities, collapsed and collapsing states, the unravelling of a decade of foreign policy and military strategy. We witnessed the rise of ISIS, the splintering of government in Iraq, and a brutal Syrian civil war. What went wrong?
In his new book, Blood Year, David Kilcullen calls on twenty-five years’ experience to answer that question. He looks to strategy and history to make sense of the crisis. What are the roots of the global jihad movement? What is ISIS? What threats does it pose for Australia? What does its rise say about the effectiveness of the War on Terror since 9/11, and what does a coherent strategy look like after a disastrous year?
David Kilcullen is one of the world’s foremost thinkers on counterinsurgency and military strategy. He was senior advisor to General David Petraeus in 2007 and 2008, when he helped to design and monitor the Iraq War coalition troop “Surge.” He was then appointed special advisor for counterinsurgency to U S Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Before this, he was chief strategist in the Counterterrorism Bureau of the U S State Department, and he has also advised the U K and Australian governments, NATO and the International Security Assistance Force. He is a former Australian Army officer and the author of three acclaimed books: The Accidental Guerrilla, Counterinsurgency and Out of the Mountains.
Please join us for a light afternoon tea after the lecture with an opportunity to purchase the book and meet the author.