“It’s the Tribes, Stupid!”

by August 8, 2009 08/8/09

Author and historian Stephen Pressfield has recently published a video blog called “War & Reality in Afghanistan.”

Pressfield makes a remarkable comparison between Alexander the Great’s Afghan campaign and our own war today, as well as offering unique insight into the underpinnings of this war on terror.

We’ve embedded the YouTube videos here so you can view all five episodes, but we’d encourage you to visit Pressfield’s blog as well.

He has continued to update his blog posts quite frequently and offers some very insightful information within each and every post.

Pressfield’s book, “Gates of Fire,” is something we all here at ITS Tactical feel should be required reading for anyone interested in any kind of military special programs.


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Chris K.
Chris K.

Having watched all 5 episodes. I think the research into the tribe problem is sound, his conclusion on how to "win" ignores half of what he just spent half an hour telling us.

He tells us about a woman being killed for speaking her educated opinion then in the end tells us "female empowerment" is leading to moderation in tribalism.

"Time is on our side" is another of his keys. When in another of his videos he stated that the tribes have outlasted their enemies in the past because of their ability to persevere in utter poverty. You can't threaten to bomb them into the stone age because they are already there.

He also grossly mischaracterizes the cause of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Stating that by waiting it came down by itself. It came down specifically because of the pressure we applied to the Soviet system with our defense spending. It didn't fall because the Soviets and East Germans wanted it to fall, it fell because they couldn't stop it. The pressure was too great.

That last misunderstanding of his makes me question the rest of the material presented unfortunately.

Chris K.
Chris K.

Having watched all 5 episodes. I think the research into the tribe problem is sound, his conclusion on how to "win" ignores half of what he just spent half an hour telling us. He tells us about a woman being killed for speaking her educated opinion then in the end tells us "female empowerment" is leading to moderation in tribalism. "Time is on our side" is another of his keys. When in another of his videos he stated that the tribes have outlasted their enemies in the past because of their ability to persevere in utter poverty. You can't threaten to bomb them into the stone age because they are already there. He also grossly mischaracterizes the cause of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Stating that by waiting it came down by itself. It came down specifically because of the pressure we applied to the Soviet system with our defense spending. It didn't fall because the Soviets and East Germans wanted it to fall, it fell because they couldn't stop it. The pressure was too great. That last misunderstanding of his makes me question the rest of the material presented unfortunately.

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