Featured Posts

Are you looking for “It’s the Tribes, Stupid?” You’ve found it.

By Steven Pressfield | 0 Comments

We’ve changed the name to Agora (the Greek word for marketplace and, in ancient Athens, the central gathering place for talking and brawling over the day’s events). Agora is meant to signify a communal meeting site—a forum for the exchange of political, cultural and military ideas. Everything that was on “It’s the Tribes, Stupid” in the past will be available on Agora in the future—with the exception of “Writing Wednesdays” and “The Creative Process.” These two series will be featured as stand-alone elements on our new site, Steven Pressfield Online. To access them, click on “Series” in the menu bar above. Our agora-master will be William “Mac” McCallister.…

Read More

Downrange: An Informal Report of a trip to Afghanistan with Marine Gen. James N. Mattis

By Steven Pressfield | 19 Comments

[Part Four of Four] COIN doctrine, counter-insurgency theory, says “protect the people” comes before “kill the enemy.” In meeting after meeting we heard all the right things from officers and civilian leaders who were earnest, brave, well-intentioned, smart, sincere, hard-working and absolutely decent and ethical.  We heard about construction projects and rules of engagement and mitigating civilian casualties, about liaising with tribal elders and managing escalation of force and irrigation and extracting resources and using local people, defeating the corruption of the Karzai regime, delivering good governance, etc.  But I didn’t see any Afghans in the rooms.  I didn’t see…

Read More

Downrange: An Informal Report on a trip to Afghanistan with Marine General James N. Mattis

By Steven Pressfield | 5 Comments

[Part Three of Four] It’s more than a little weird, participating in one of these PR walkarounds. Self-congratulation is the inevitable theme. The bubble can get pretty thick. For me, at least, it’s almost impossible to grok the street reality. Are things going great or are we all lining up to drink our own Kool-Aid?  For all I can tell, the sullen, hood-eyed bandits eyeballing our procession have been cutting loose AK rounds at Marines twenty-four hours earlier—and may be doing it again three days from now. Not that that means anything. Earlier in the trip, Gen. Mattis, speaking of…

Read More

Downrange: An Informal Report on a trip to Afghanistan with Marine Gen. James N. Mattis

By Steven Pressfield | 8 Comments

[Part Two of Four] 6. Kabul is a Third World city, squalid as mud and dirty as hell. Every building that’s above the level of the people is built like a fortress; compounds with high walls topped with razor wire, AK-toting guards out front and security cameras atop Y-shaped posts. At the airport, guard towers are set in onion fields with police asleep or tending little vegetable gardens or heating tea over propane stoves. They’re keeping watch, supposedly, over cyclone fences topped with concertina wire and protected at ground level by rolls of the same, so no one can crawl…

Read More

Downrange: An Informal Report on a trip to Afghanistan with Marine Gen. James N. Mattis

By Steven Pressfield | 10 Comments

Part One of Four 1. Jim Mattis is a four-star Marine general. He doesn’t go out of his way to be quotable; he just can’t help himself.  Here, from Iraq 2004, are his instructions to the Marines under his command on how to conduct themselves with the natives they will encounter. Be polite.  Be professional.  But have a plan to kill everyone you meet. In the first battle of Fallouja, Gen. Mattis commanded the Marines assigned to take the city. There came a point during the fighting when Mattis had to negotiate with the Sunni sheikhs and Baathist ex-army officers…

Read More

What's Next?

By Steven Pressfield | 4 Comments

Have you read about the Slow-Word Movement? I was thinking about it long before I knew there was a name defining it, much less a movement behind it. Formulating ideas, researching, writing, posting to the blog, Twitter and Facebook, and replying to comments left on the blog, Twitter and Facebook, takes time—as does the day-to-day stuff we all face, such as cleaning, maintaining our homes, and nurturing our relationships with our friends, family, and colleagues—oh, and there’s work, too. . . . This all takes time, and in an effort to keep on top of the blogging, posting, and updating,…

Read More

Happy Christmas/Hannukah/New Year!

By Steven Pressfield | 5 Comments

My wish is that our readers are taking this season off, just like I am.  I do want to take this moment, though, to say special thanks to the friends and partners who helped get this blog off the ground six months ago and whose hard work has kept it aloft ever since.

Read More

FREE MINI COURSE

Start with this War of Art [27-minute] mini-course. It's free. The course's five audio lessons will ground you in the principles and characteristics of the artist's inner battle.

Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.