5 readers online now  |  69 million page views

The gap between Tribal Culture and the way that the West Thinks About Counterinsurgency

Reader comment on item: Must Counterinsurgency Wars Fail?

Submitted by Sam Stolzoff (United States), May 23, 2009 at 15:08

Gentlemen, as the security agreement requires that US forces withdraw from all cities to the rural areas, this brings a very serious shortcoming to light. First, we don't have a mastery of how the Iraqi tribal system works. Secondly, we are moving from the cities, where tribalism is weaker, to the rural areas, where it is stronger. As insurgent sanctuaries are generally in rural areas, they are engaging the tribes to coexist with and recruit from them.

It is imperative that we as Americans fighting the war in Iraq gain some mastery on how to interact with the Iraqi tribal system. When we are in harmony with the culture with which we coexist on a tactical level, it saves soldiers' lives, and it also is a powerful counter to insurgent information operations.

To that, please have a look at www.theiraqitribalsystem.com. It's not the answer to all questions...but it is the first more comprehensive treatment of the subject, with applied methodologies for leveraging the tribal data contained in the book for the purpose of establishing strong relationships with tribal leadership that are based on respect, humility, and trust.

If are able to fill the gap between what we think is intelligence and what causes cultural phenomena such as the insurgent groups in Iraq, we are will be well on our way to helping the Iraqis themselves towards state formation.

That's victory!

Respectfully,

Sam Stolzoff
www.theiraqitribalsystem.com

Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Comment on this item

Mark my comment as a response to The gap between Tribal Culture and the way that the West Thinks About Counterinsurgency by Sam Stolzoff

Email me if someone replies to my comment

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

See recent outstanding comments.

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List
eXTReMe Tracker

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2020 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)