Pride and Prejudice - The STORY GRID edition - Annotated by SHAWN COYNE

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

By Steven Pressfield | Published: May 12, 2010

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. Mac’s is one of the many serendipitous friendships that have come out of my experience on Tribes. (more…)

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Afghanistan

AfghanistanEditorialFeatured Posts

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

By Steven Pressfield | Published: March 15, 2010

[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 any in the PRT sessions (the meetings with the Provincial Reconstruction Teams.) (more…)

Posted in Afghanistan, Editorial, Featured Posts
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Afghanistan

AfghanistanEditorialFeatured Posts

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

By Steven Pressfield | Published: March 14, 2010

[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 Iraq and the Anbar Awakening, had credited British general Graeme Lamb with the philosophical breakthrough that made that turnaround embraceable by the field commanders, the battlespace owners.  “Gen. Lamb’s mental model divided the Iraqi population into two groups—those who were reconcilable and those who weren’t.  The trick was to reintegrate the first group into the life of the nation–and to kill or chase the second bunch out of Dodge.”

Gen. Mattis with an Afghan commando in Marjah, 28 Feb 2010

(more…)

Posted in Afghanistan, Editorial, Featured Posts
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