Steven Pressfield Online

A MESSAGE FROM STEVE

Steven Pressfield

This five-part series is about war in Afghanistan, ancient and modern. Each video is five minutes long. I'm not doing this for money. I have no political axe to grind. I'm a Marine and I don't want young Marines and soldiers going into harm's way without the full mental arsenal of history and cultural context.

What's my thesis? That understanding tribes and tribalism is critical for the U.S. in Afghanistan. The tribal mind-set (warrior pride, hostility to all outsiders, perpetual warfare, the obligation of revenge, suppression of women, a code of honor rather than a system of laws, extreme conservatism, unity with the land, patience and capacity for hatred) permeates everything in Afghanistan and its neighboring Islamic republics. For war-making or peace-making, it cannot be ignored.

Think of these videos as a crash course in tribalism. Start with Episode 1. I invite discussion. Tell me I'm crazy, tell me I'm out to lunch. If you agree, tell me too.

-Steven Pressfield

VIDEO BLOG

Video Blog

"It's the Tribes, Stupid"

Episode 1: "It's the Tribes, Stupid"

The real force in Afghanistan isn't Islamism or jihadism. It's tribalism. Mr. Pressfield compares Alexander the Great's Afghan campaign (330-327 BC) to our own wars today.

Episode 1: "It's the Tribes, Stupid"

Episode 2: "The Citizen Vs. The Tribesman"

Citizen = Western. Tribesman = Eastern. These are two different breeds of cat, who see the world in diametrically opposed ways. Can we Westerners impose "citizen values" on a tribal society?

Episode 2: "The Tribesman vs The Citizen"

Episode 3: "Tribes Are Different From You and Me"

What qualities define tribes? Warrior pride, hostility to all outsiders, perpetual warfare, the obligation of revenge, suppression of women, a code of honor rather than a system of laws, extreme conservatism, unity with the land, patience and capacity for hatred.

Episode 3: "Tribes Are Not Like You and Me"

Episode 4: "Fighting a Tribal Enemy"

Lessons from Alexander, the Brits, the Russians. What qualities make tribal fighters such formidable opponents—and how can they be beaten?

Episode 4: "Fighting a Tribal Enemy"

Episode 5: "How to Win in Afghanistan"

History's lessons point to a radical method of war-fighting and peace-making, quite different from what the U.S. currently has in play. As Rod Serling used to say, "submitted for your approval."

Episode 5: "How to Win in Afghanistan"
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Gates of Fire
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Turning Pro
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