Steven Pressfield Blog
[Friends, with apologies, a stomach virus has laid the blog low. Here’s a re-run of a post that has been a reader favorite. We’ll be back on Wednesday!]
[Because of the extraordinary response to Maj. Jim Gant’s paper, One Tribe At A Time, I’ve decided to leave it up all week in the “Number One Slot.” My ongoing interview with Chief Ajmal Khan Zazai will pick again next Friday; the Chief has been in Kabul all week, meeting with U.S. and British commanders, and we haven’t had time to speak. So all’s well that ends well!]
[The blog is “on the road” this week. Here is a re-run of the most clicked interview so far. See you next week!] Welcome back, Chief Zazai, after last week’s break in our ongoing, multi-part interview. As you know, we took that space last week to post an open letter to Gens. Jones, Petraeus, McChrystal and Adm. Mullen, alerting them to your formation of a Tribal Police Force in the Zazi Valley and asking for help in aligning that force with the American troops (10th Mountain Division) whose Area of Operations (AO) includes your district. Respect for confidentiality prevents me…
[This week has been a rough one for our troops in Afghanistan–and a contentions one among policymakers here in the States. I’m going to interrupt our ongoing interview with tribal chief Ajmal Khan Zazai to post this open letter. The same note was sent by e-mail two days ago to the parties below.]
Last week in our first excerpt from Special Forces Major Jim Gant’s paper, “One Tribe At A Time,” Maj. Gant laid out the concept for a specialized type of American unit–a Tribal Engagement Team. Such teams would be small, highly trained and motivated, and granted broad latitude in the means of pursuing their mission. They would live full-time in the villages with the tribes, “lead, assist, train, supply,” and help organize Tribal Security Forces (TSFs.)
SP: Welcome back, Chief Zazai, for this second installment of our multi-part interview. As our readers know from last week, you are a paramount chief of eleven tribes in your home district, the Zazi Valley in Paktia province. Your father fought the Soviets and the Taliban and was assassinated in 2000; you yourself have fought those fights and have survived two recent attempts on your own life. It’s a pleasure and a privilege for me to be able to talk with you today. Chief Zazai: Thank you, Mr. Pressfield, for affording me this opportunity to tell a side of…
The thoughts and I ideas that I will put forward in this paper are mine alone. Although I credit the U.S. Army Special Forces for the training I have received and the trust of [its] commanders, nothing in this paper reflects any other person’s or organization’s ideas.
They say that every enterprise, from D-Day to a kitchen remodel, takes three times as long as you think and costs three times as much. I must apologize: our two new series have run afoul of this same syndrome. Here’s the latest:
A guest blog by Michael Brandon McClellan [Mike McClellan is a graduate of Yale and Georgetown Law and a Lincoln Fellow at the Claremont Institute. His articles on politics and foreign policy have appeared in the WSJ, the Weekly Standard and on TCS Daily. It’s our pleasure to welcome him as a contributor.]
A Man At Arms is on sale!