US Army Generals Not Informed HTS was Spy/Intel Program: John Stanton

US Army Generals Not Informed HTS was Spy/Intel Program; Casualty Rate Excessive

by John Stanton

29 April 2010

“Let me tell you what HTT is not. The Team is not an intelligence gathering too which is used to target individuals.” Colonel Martin Schweizter, USA, in testimony before the US Congress, April 2008.

“Deployed HTTs work solely on the non-kinetic side of the military planning and are not involved in the lethal targeting process.” Steve Fondacaro & Montgomery McFate writing in Men’s Journal, February 12, 2009

Sources report that there are several investigations of HTS underway in addition to the US Army’s AR 15-6 effort.

Personalities that figure prominently in the life of HTS–and likely the US Army’s AR 15-6 investigation/other investigations of HTS–are Lieutenant General Michael Vane, head of the US Army Capabilities Integration Center (ARCIC) at Fort Monroe, Virginia.  ARCIC is an element of the US Army’s Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) and, according to observers, oversees the ongoing AR 15-6.  TRADOC is currently commanded by General Martin Dempsey. His desk is where the “buck stops” on all matters TRADOC.

Retired US Army Colonel Maxie McFarland is the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence for TRADOC G-2 which, like Vane’s shop, is located in Fort Monroe, Virginia. Retired US Army Colonel Steve Fondacaro, HTS program manager; and Montgomery “Mitzy” Carlough (McFate), HTS senior social scientist round out what appears to be the HTS chain of command: Dempsey—Vane—McFarland—Fondacaro—Carlough (McFate).

According to observers, the current HTS structure and mission was approved and “signed off” on as an intelligence capability. As reported previously, HTS is funded as a Military Intelligence Program (MIP).

Some in the TRADOC chain of command, according to sources, were unaware that HTS was an intelligence support operation. This has caused a significant amount of turbulence within the program, they say, as HTS management tries to figure out how to re-package and justify the program’s existence as an intelligence support operation.

Observers say that McFarland, Fondacaro and Coughlin (McFate) falsely advertised the HTS program as pure social science research to universities, at various social science conferences, and particularly in their recruiting and training processes. This has grave implications for universities and their researchers as many were convinced that their work-product was being used for humanitarian purposes.

The US Army could pull the funding from MIP and place it under a research function in the defense budget. But management’s credibility quotient has sunk to unrecoverable depths and any attempt at claiming an error in the US Army budget process using “it was not supposed to be in the MIP, it was a mistake rationale” would be as ridiculous as hiring a horse-shoer on a Human Terrain Team.

But wait! They did! According to a Wapedia entry on the Human Terrain System, “HTS hired an unemployed and former US Marine who had been retired from the USMC for 23 years. The former US Marine had recently undergone shoulder replacement surgery and could no longer shoe horses…”

Critics of HTS such as the observers/sources for this series of articles on HTS, Dr. Max Forte, Dr. David Price, Dr. Hugh Gusterson, Dr. Alberto Gonzalez, Dr. Robert Albro, and the American Anthropological Association have made the point over and again that HTS is ethically challenged at the management level and does, in fact, operate as an intelligence support program. For stating their views they have been pilloried by McFarland, Fondacaro and Carlough (McFate) and their supporters in and out of the military (sources report that the officer currently conducting the AR 15-6 is being “bad mouthed” by some in HTS management).  Even the venerable Ben Connable who authored “All Our Eggs in One Broken Basket” in TRADOC’s Military Review was criticized for expressing the view that the effort was cannibalizing military funding and in-house capabilities.

The focus on preparing/shaping the Human/Cultural Terrain for warfighters originated with the Defense Science Board’s 2006 Summer Study on Strategic Vectors. HTS is—and always has been–an intelligence support program and the information it produces is used to prepare/shape the human terrain and to enhances the kill/pacify chain.

Now the spin from HTS personnel appears to be that HTS is not an intelligence program in the traditional sense. They are correct: it is a “new” intelligence program based on old intelligence programs.  Some believe that it is little more than a polling and community policing effort.

Answering the question do they want to hug us or kill us?” is the responsibility of the active duty military. It must not be left to a hodge-podge of civilian contractors lured by high salaries and led by some in HTS management desperate to build a Human Terrain Agency replete with splendid offices in Kansas City. There is indeed a role for social scientists and it is inside the wire, not outside it.

Life and limb have been sacrificed in HTS management’s quest to prove a point and get rich in the process. It’s astonishing that a minuscule social science program like HTS should have such a high casualty rate and generate so much controversy. More repugnant is that the HTS chain of command is numb to it all.

It’s always worth remembering :

* Paula Loyd-killed/died of wounds

* Nicole Suveges–killed

* Michael V. Bhatia–killed

* Lt Brian Brennan–(both legs amputated)

* Wesley Cureton–wounded, status unknown

* Scott Wilson–wounded, status unknown

* D. Ayala–guilty of manslaughter

* A. Salam, Afghani National killed by Ayala

* Issa Salomi–Hostage, released March 2010

* Name Unknown-shot in chest

* Name Unknown-wounded in vehicle rollover

* Name Unknown-wounded in vehicle rollover

Add to FacebookAdd to NewsvineAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Furl

3 thoughts on “US Army Generals Not Informed HTS was Spy/Intel Program: John Stanton

  1. Maximilian Forte

    Hi John,

    Look at this, from HTS’ Dr. Richard R. Boone:

    “We’re looking at the regular people, the average people and we’re trying to figure out how they view their own lives, what issues do they think are important, what attitudes do they have toward their own national government, what attitudes they have towards the enemy,” Boone said.


    To me that sounds like a targeting question: when you find out that “average people” are supportive of the Taliban…what do you then do? Finding out attitudes toward “the enemy” in a war zone is about using knowledge for lethal purposes.

    Boone adds:

    “Our purpose is to get the information in the hands of commanders to help them determine what their actions will be. That will help them reduce the lethality of what we have to do,” Boone said.

    HTS is not about NON-lethality, but better targeting, as critics have said all along, and as is supported now by multiple HTS insiders.

  2. Pingback: Tweets that mention New Post: US Army Generals Not Informed HTS was Spy/Intel Program: John Stanton: US Army Generals Not Informed HTS... --

  3. Pingback: Human Terrain System: Senior Managers to Paris, Security Clearance Troubles « ZERO ANTHROPOLOGY

Comments are closed