I’ve been promising for several weeks to have a free downloadable .pdf of One Tribe At A Time. Finally it’s here. My thanks to our readers for their patience. On a personal note, I must say that it gives me great pleasure to offer this document in full, not only because of my great respect for Maj. Jim Gant, who lived and breathed this Tribal Engagement idea for years, but for the piece itself and for the influence I hope it will have within the U.S. military and policymaking community.
One Tribe At A Time is not deathless prose. It’s not a super-pro Beltway think tank piece. What it is, in my opinion, is an idea whose time has come, put forward by an officer who has lived it in the field with his Special Forces team members-and proved it can be done. And an officer, by the way, who is ready this instant to climb aboard a helicopter to go back to Afghanistan and do it again
Here is Major Gant’s PDF:
This matters because the Afghanisatan debate has been too much a COIN or CT or COIN/CT Hybrid discussion and this paper puts forward a strategy option based upon decentralization, which given the strongly localist tradition of Afghani politics, should have been on the table from the inception. The nation-building, NGO, IGO community love to think in terms of “top down” or “capital city outward” but not every country has that kind of political tradition embedded in their national culture.