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Why did David Kilcullen leave the Crumpton Group?

David Kilcullen, the former Australian military officer who became a key architect of the "surge" strategy in Iraq, is among the most respected counterinsurgency gurus in Washington, a senior advisor to generals and officials in both the Bush and Obama administrations and a prolific author and speaker on the U.S.-led mission in Afghanistan. So his ...

David Kilcullen, the former Australian military officer who became a key architect of the "surge" strategy in Iraq, is among the most respected counterinsurgency gurus in Washington, a senior advisor to generals and officials in both the Bush and Obama administrations and a prolific author and speaker on the U.S.-led mission in Afghanistan.

David Kilcullen, the former Australian military officer who became a key architect of the "surge" strategy in Iraq, is among the most respected counterinsurgency gurus in Washington, a senior advisor to generals and officials in both the Bush and Obama administrations and a prolific author and speaker on the U.S.-led mission in Afghanistan.

So his announcement to a private, off-the-record meeting of foreign-policy wonks last month that he was quitting his main consulting gig left many in the room scratching their heads.

Kilcullen almost missed his planned appointment to speak with the group that Saturday morning in late January, explaining that he had just spent several hours suddenly resigning from the Crumpton Group, the consulting firm headed by former State Department and CIA official Henry "Hank" Crumpton, over "a matter of principle."

Contacted by The Cable, Kilcullen confirmed his remarks but said he couldn’t discuss the reasons for his split with the Crumpton Group because he had signed a non-disclosure agreement.

"What I can say is that I’m still very heavily involved in work in Afghanistan and in support of foreign assistance, humanitarian work, governance and development worldwide, and have formed my own company to work in that space."

Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at josh.rogin@foreignpolicy.com.

Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.

A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.

Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C. Twitter: @joshrogin

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