David Kilcullen was born in 1967 in Australia. His education includes St Pius X College and the Australian Defense Force Academy, University of New South Wales. He received a Bachelor of Arts with Honors in Military Art and Science and later a PhD in politics. He had his army officers training at the Royal Military College, Duntroon . His military career includes attaining the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Australian Army, served as a Staff Officer in the Australian Defense Force Headquarters, Senior Analyst in the Australian Office of National Assessments. He currently serves as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Australian Army Reserves. He was a senior advisor to General David Petraeus in 2007 and 2008. He was then appointed special advisor for counterinsurgency to US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Before this, he was chief strategist in the Counterterrorism Bureau of the US State Department, and he has also advised the UK and Australian governments, NATO and the International Security Assistance Force. He has been a Senior Fellow of the Center for a New American Security and an adjunct Professor at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at John Hopkins University. His work has been published in numerous publications. His books include The Accidental Guerrilla, Counterinsurgency, Out of the Mountains, and Blood Year: Terror and the Islamic State, and his latest, The Dragon and the Snakes:  How the Rest Learned to Fight the West.