One Tribe at a Time
Make no mistake, there is a lot more ghting and killing to do. We should do it on our terms, side by side with Afghans with as many advantages as we can have. e TTE strategy will give us that.
is plan requires a small group of men who can
comprehend the extensive networks, inuences and idiosyncrasies of the mission and the environment. We’re talking about “street smarts”—the instinct to grasp and account for all second, third and fourth order eects of decisions at all levels.
is is warfare at the Ph.D. level. It is constantly
changing and requires continual assessment. Only a few dedicated men can execute this plan properly.
It will become a very personal ght. Once we commit to the tribe, the Pashtunwali code comes into eect for the US team as well. In the end it will be the
TET’s ability to build a true bond with the tribe that is backed up by warrior ethos: the ability and desire to
ght and die alongside them when necessary.
Start small, think big
is strategy can be tested on a pilot basis. It
doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Tactical Tribal Engagement can be tried out on a small-scale (one or two tribes in a given area) to determine how produc- tive it will be for the long term. It will take at least six months to a year to see any tangible results. Once it is demonstrated that this course of action will work, more resources can be put into it for the long-term (three to ve years). I think everyone agrees that Afghanistan will not be won overnight. is strategy requires an investment of time, but not major man- power or resources.
Sitting Bull, Dr. Ahkbar and I enjoyed many late-night conversations in the midst of our tribal friends.