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The campaign against the Islamic State

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This Strategic Flashlight presentation will look at the genesis of the IS, the Western strategy to degrade and defeat it, and then analyse the effectiveness of the US-led air campaign and draw some lessons that would be applicable to the employment of air power in similar circumstances.

Event details

An in-depth look at the genesis of IS and the Western strategy to degrade and defeat it.

Wednesday 6 May 2015
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Curtin University, Bentley Campus, Building 210: Room 104
Free, RSVP essential. Please RSVP by 4 May 2015 to or 08 9266 2234

It will also look at the regional political, social and cultural aspects that influence the military campaign. Will the coalition be able to defeat the IS and rid the region of a fundamentalist group that has garnered support from a large number of young people from many Western nations?

About the presenter

Dr Sanu Kainikara is the RAAF’s Air Power Strategist at the Air Power Development Centre in Canberra. He is a former fighter pilot of the Indian Air Force (IAF) who retired as a Group Captain after 21 years of commissioned service. He has vast operational flying experience in a number of modern fighter aircraft and has flown over 4,000 hours on fighter aircraft including MiG-21,-23,-25,-27, and MiG-29 and also on the Jaguar and Hunter aircraft.
Dr Kainikara is a Qualified Flying Instructor (A2), a graduate and Directing Staff of the Fighter Weapons School and was the Commanding Officer of an Operational fighter squadron. He was decorated for gallantry and is the recipient of the Air Force Cross and two Commendations from the IAF Chief of Air Staff, and also received the Royal Australian Air Force Chief of Air Force’s Commendation.
After leaving active duty with the Indian Air Force he worked for four years as the senior analyst of a US Training Team in the Middle East, specialising in fighter operations, weapons and tactics, before migrating to Australia. He is the author of 12 books and has also written four Chief of Air Force Occasional Papers and is the contributing editor of the book Friends in High Places (2009). He was a lecturer in Aerospace Engineering at the RMIT University, Melbourne and is currently a Visiting Fellow at UNSW @ADFA in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. He is also the inaugural Distinguished Fellow at the Institute for Regional Security based in Canberra.
Dr Kainikara is a graduate of the Indian National Defence Academy, Defence Services Staff College and the College of Air Warfare. He holds two Bachelors degrees (Strategic Studies and Aerospace Engineering) and a Master of Science in Defence and Strategic Studies from the University of Madras. His PhD in International Politics was awarded by the University of Adelaide. He is currently pursuing doctoral studies on the topic of the Law of Armed Conflict and Military Strategy at the ANU