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One Tribe at a Time

Each TET tribe will become a target and will take casualties. e US Teams themselves will be targeted.

  • ere will be fighting. But the fighting

will be US soldiers alongside tribesmen against a common enemy. Isn’t that what we want?

From top to ground level, we ideally must all be on the “same page” and move forward as one united force.

My last thought on the long-term eect of this strategy is that of the Chinese bamboo tree . . .

When a Chinese bamboo tree is planted, the grower must water and nurture it. e first yea , it does not grow more than one inch above the ground. During the second yea , after more watering and fertilizing, the tree does not grow anymore than it did during year one. e bamboo tree is still no more than one inch high after four years. Nothing tangible can be seen by

any outside .

But, on the fifth year the tree can grow more than eighty feet. Of course, the first four years the tree was growing its roots, deep into the ground. It is the roots that enable the tree to create an explosion of growth in year five.

B : A TET strategy will have to be given the time and patience to do its work. But as our teams continue to establish themselves, one tribe at a time, their inuence will reach a tipping point and become a far-reaching strategic inuence.


The Original Six. This is not a good quality photograph—taken in near dark with a marginal camera—but it may be the only picture I have of the original six members of ODA 316. Yes, there were only six of us during our first three months of fighting in Mangwel.

Clockwise from me sitting down in front: SFC Mark Read above my right shoulder, then SFC Chuck Burroughs, SSG Dan McKone, SSG Tony Siriwardene, SSG Scott Gross on Tony’s left, and finally that is Khalid, my outstanding inter- preter, sitting below Scott.

I have always loved this picture as it was these six men who started what would become a great fighting unit that found Sitting Bull and a new way to fight the Taliban in Afghanistan.

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