One Tribe at a Time
weeks to train my TET on the tactical tasks necessary to conduct the mission.e TET’s goal is to achieve “inuence without authority.” e most reliable and lasting inuence happens by acting as partners, not distant superiors or strangers.
e TSFs (Arbakai) will be a much more credible
force than the local police (ANP) for many reasons.
ey will also give the villages and tribes what they
need most: an accepted, professional force that can oer the tribe protection from the Taliban.
e relationships the TETs build with their tribes
will have long-lasting eects, free of inuence or interference by local/district/provincial/national politics. e TET/TSF alliance will be able to govern and secure the tribe’s area until the tribe is condent
that the local police and army can help protect them. Even then the tribes will be able to maintain their autonomy.
Afghan tribes do not give up their autonomy to anyone. Many, many tribal militias fought against the presence of the Taliban long before 9/11.
e TET will also need to monitor closely the rela-
tionship the tribe has with other tribes in the area, and how they are interacting. Of course, the goal is to incorporate as many other tribes as possible into the TTE strategy and give each tribe a TET. at is the major goal of the expansion phase of the operation.
Why chase the enemy? Make him come to us. And when I say “us” I mean a group of people who have the same goals: the TET and the tribe.
Influence without authority — Sitting Bull and I enjoyed each other’s company. Our camaraderie set the tone for our team’s relationship with ther rest of the tribe. We laughed and spoke of many things that most US forces are taught as being taboo.