COIN Seminar Summary Report

In reference to an earlier post - COIN Seminar: Dr. David Kilcullen -- Wargaming Division of the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory has posted my summary report (pdf -- word) of the event.

From the earlier post (updated):

The Small Wars Center of Excellence had the privilege of organizing a Counterinsurgency (COIN) seminar featuring Dr. David Kilcullen on 26 September at Marine Corps Base, Quantico, Virginia.

Dr. Kilcullen spoke to a standing room only crowd at the Gray Research Center and provided an excellent and very informative brief (1 ½ hour) followed by a Q&A period that could have lasted well beyond the allotted 45 minutes.

The purpose and scope of the COIN seminar was to share some basic observations on COIN theory and practice derived primarily from Dr. Kilcullen's service in Iraq (2006 and 2007), Afghanistan (2006), and pre 9/11 campaigns in SE Asia and the Pacific. Additionally, the forum served as a conduit to open a discussion on issues relevant to seminar attendees.

Dr. Kilcullen opened with a caveat -- everyone sees Iraq differently, depending on when they served there, what they did and where they worked. Because the environment is highly complex, ambiguous and fluid; observations from one time / place may or may not be applicable elsewhere -- even in the same campaign in the same year. He enjoined the audience to first understand the essentials of the environment, then determine whether analogous situations exist, before attempting to apply "lessons". Dr. Kilcullen's role in Iraq (hence his bias) was as Senior COIN Advisor to General David Petraeus (Commanding General, Multi-National Force -- Iraq [M-NF -- I]). He spent approximately 65 percent of his time in the field and the remainder at M-NF -- I Headquarters and the US Embassy in Baghdad.

The Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory's Wargaming Division has posted Dr. Kilcullen's briefing slides here. The SWJ has posted a 'backup' copy of the brief here. The presentation, as well as the Q&A were videotaped and will be made available; along with the briefing slides, the summary report, a 45 minute video interview with Dr. Kilcullen, and several of his articles and SWJ Blog postings; on DVD. I'll post another heads-up as the DVD production date nears.

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