Soldier, scholar, linguist, adventurer. David Kilcullen, a former Australian special forces officer with a PhD in political anthropology, is unique in the level of influence and cachet he wields in Washington. A career soldier-scholar, his portfolio derives from a wide range of military appointments, combat operations, and scholarly research. As a senior counterinsurgency advisor to Gen. David Petraeus and counterterrorism advisor to the State Dept., that expertise was tested and refined in America’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. As an Australian in D.C., he cuts an almost exotic swath: appealing, no doubt, to a distinctly American appreciation of rugged individualism in any form, Kilcullen’s latter day renaissance man is a romantic figure, a throwback, it would seem, to days of empire when orientalist advisors could be brought in from abroad.