Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Brief blurts about tribes and tribalism — StrategyPage.com

This article doesn’t bear directly on reversions to tribalism in America — my usual focus — but it’s an excellent article for reminding us about the nature of classic tribes across history and around the world. I’ve not seen a good article like this for years (and it reminds me of articles William McAllister and I each used to write years ago). I can’t clarify yet who wrote this post at StrategyPage.com — Al Nofi? — so I’m just citing it as the name of the page. (H/t Morgan Norval for directing me to it.)

Here are the first and final paragraphs:
“Most Westerners don't understand how important tribal politics is to the persistent mayhem in so many parts of the world. Not every group of armed men wearing uniforms and carrying modern weapons belong to what is generally considered organized “security forces. No, a large number of these gunmen are irregulars and members of some tribal or clan group, usually described as a “militia” or “self-defense force.” What creates and controls these men, who account for most of the death and destruction attributed to military conflict, answers to tribal or clan leaders not governments recognized by the United Nations. These tribes are not represented at the UN nor do they have ambassadors or embassies. …
“The most persistent “wars” are usually in areas where tribal or clan organizations are dominant. Each new generation brings with it new recruits for tribal militias who are willing to continue battles that have been going on for many generations. These ancient feuds are often ignored or underestimated when peacekeepers or some other pacification force arrives and discovers that there is no quick solution to problems that regenerate with each new generation.”


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