There’s a theme to all of these Writing Wednesdays posts, and the theme is Resistance: what it is, how it attacks us, how we can beat it. Here’s an insight that struck me with blamm-o impact last week: I was in Washington, D.C., with Maj. Jim Gant of the U.S. Army Special Forces and Chief Ajmal Khan Zazai, a tribal chief from Paktia province in Afghanistan. We were speaking on the subject of “tribal engagement”—a new military/cultural strategy for Afghanistan—at the Naval Academy, Marine Corps University and several think tanks. (If you’re at all curious about this, click on “One Tribe…Read More
This post will launch a new series we’re calling “The Creative Process.” Don’t worry, Writing Wednesday fans, it will not replace WW. We’re going to run “Creative Process” in a different space on the new site as soon as we get it up. The plan is to ask all kinds of interesting people “how they work.” What is their process? How do they get ideas–and what do they do with them once they’ve got ’em? We’ll be grilling writers and artists, military people, entrepreneurs, maybe even an Afghan tribal chief or two.Read More
As the debate over what to do in Afghanistan, Iraq, and beyond continues, United States soldiers and Marines are on the ground fighting and sacrificing. While this blog will continue focusing on that debate, the greater focus will be on providing soldiers and Marines practical, battle-tested information, which can help them on the ground.Read More
Download “COIN and Irregular Warfare in a Tribal Society” to your computer, or view it right now. [COIN and Irregular Warfare in a Tribal Society, by William S. “MAC” McCallister, was first featured on Small Wars Journal in 2007. This paper remains an important read today, as do the many other papers and discussions posted to Small Wars Journal and the Small Wars Journal Blog. If you aren’t familiar with the site, please add it to your “must-read” list. Check out some of Mac’s other papers there, too.]Read More
William S. “Mac” McCallister is a retired military officer, a U.S. Army major, who served in numerous special operations assignments specializing in civil-military, psychological and information operations, with focuses in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. I was introduced to Mac a few weeks ago, when he forwarded to Maj. Jim Gant his paper “COIN and Irregular Warfare in a Tribal Society,” which he’d written in 2007, and which focuses on Iraq. Mac was in Iraq around the same time Maj. Gant was in Afghanistan. Both were working with tribes, attempting to figure out what works in the real world…Read More
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