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One Tribe at a Time

maintain inuence on large portions of Afghanistan by advising, assisting, training and leading local tribal security forces (Arkabai) and building strong relation- ships with the tribes they live alongside.

One Tribe at a Time reects what I believe to be the one strategy that can help both the US and the people of Afghanistan by working directly with their centuries-old tribal system. We can only do this by giving top priority to the most important political, social and military force in Afghanistan—the tribes. We must engage these tribes at a close and personal level with a much deeper cultural understanding than we have ever had before.

When we gain the respect and trust of one tribe, in one area, there will be a domino eect will spread

Afghan tribes always have and always will resist any type of foreign intervention in their affairs.

throughout the region and beyond. One tribe will eventually become 25 or even 50 tribes. is can only have a long-term positive eect on the current situa- tion. It is, however, not without pitfalls and diculty.

But it can and must be done. 

This is my vehicle after it hit an IED on the night of 24 Nov 2006 during my last tour in Iraq. The explosion flipped it three times and it was on fire when it landed. I was pinned inside and could not get out. I remember thinking, “So this is how it ends . . .” then I lost consciousness. My Iraqis somehow pulled me out and took care of me. Although I want to go back to Afghanistan so badly, I owe the Iraqis my life—and if they still need me, I feel obligated to go.


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