CANCELLED - In conversation with David Kilcullen


Professor David Kilcullen will be in conversation with Professor John Blaxland on David's new book, The Dragons and the Snakes. How the Rest learned to fight the West, a compelling, counterintuitive look at the new, vastly complex global arena.

In 1993, a newly appointed CIA director warned that Western powers might have 'slain a large dragon' with the fall of the USSR, but now faced a 'bewildering variety of poisonous snakes.' Since then, the dragons (state enemies such as Russia and China) and snakes (terrorist and guerrilla organisations) have watched the US struggle in Iraq and Afghanistan, and have mastered new methods in response: hybrid and urban warfare, political manipulation, and harnessing digital technology. Kilcullen reshapes our understanding of the West's foes, and shows how it can respond.

'David Kilcullen has produced another thoughtful, important book. His ideas about how to fight for peace in a dangerous world should be read and discussed not only by diplomats, defense officials, and military officers, but also by citizens concerned about securing a better future for their children.' - H.R. McMaster, retired US Army Lt-General and 26th National Security Advisor, serving under President Donald Trump from 2017 -2018.

David Kilcullen is Professor of International and Political Studies in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at UNSW Canberra. A former soldier, intelligence analyst and diplomat, he served as a counterinsurgency advisor during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and heads the global research firm Cordillera. Dr Kilcullen is the author of The Accidental Guerrilla, Out of the Mountains and Blood Year and won the 2015 Walkley Award for long-form journalism for his work on the rise of Islamic State.

Professor John Blaxland, with extensive experience in the intelligence community, is Professor of International Security and Intelligence Studies at the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, ANU. He was a lead author of the three-volume history of ASIO and was recently appointed Official Historian of the Australian Signals Directorate and commissioned to write a two-volume history of ASD.

The vote of thanks will be given by Allan Gyngell, an Honorary Professor in the ANU's College of Asia and the Pacific and National President of the Australian Institute of International Affairs.  He is a former senior public servant, Executive Director of the Lowy Institute and author of Fear of Abandonment: Australia in the World Since 1942. 

Pre-event book signings will be available from 5:30pm and again after the event. This event is in association with Harry Hartog Bookshop and books will be available to purchase.