Human Terrain Teams Feared more than CIA: Cureton Blinded for Life, Laurie Adler Returns
by John Stanton
12 May 2010
…You have no sense about the intriguing world of intelligence gathering! I am dead scared of a Peace Corps…Team wanting to help a strategically important country affected by a natural disaster [rather] than a CIA team stationed in [an] embassy or a very safe house. These Peace Corps… Teams consist of academics, experts and intellectuals. They basically are Human Terrain Teams that have ‘social scientists’ who map relationships and create databases of local leaders, economic issues, social problems, castes and political disputes as well as using mapped knowledge and cultural insights to advise military commanders………From the Sri Lanka Guardian: How the LTTE Was Militarily Defeated: A Soldier’s Point of View – Part Nine
As reported earlier, Sergeant Wesley Cureton, USA, was wounded while working with a Human Terrain Team in Afghanistan. A number of sources report that Cureton “is blind for the rest of his life.” Cureton is located somewhere in a Texas at a medical facility still undergoing rehabilitation for injuries sustained while with an HTT. Sources say he is being visited and is also receiving telephone calls from family and friends.
Civilian antipathy for soldiers working with/for HTS has grown say observers. Some have indicated that civilians openly state that the US military/soldiers are in the way. According to one source, that this attitude prevails at HTS is not surprising as one of its senior leaders takes a Pontius Pilate approach to it all: “Montgomery [McFate] had always talked about how easy it was to dupe people in the US military and in academia. She believes she has no peers.” Brilliance, it seems, is a blinding force as well.
And so the culture clash within HTS goes on.
The old comic Bizarro World comes to mind here. It’s a weird world where all is convoluted/upside down.
US politicians and military leaders repeatedly make the case that “serving your nation in uniform in the highest calling for an American.” While that’s debatable, what is not is that soldiers wounded while in close proximity to HTT’s are ignored by US Army/HTS management. Big Press (MSM) goes to cover the exploits of HTS civilian academics-contractors alive or dead. It’s a rare occasion that the sacrifice/fate of a soldier such as FLT. Brennan is told. The world may never have known about his sacrifice were it not for General David Petraeus, USA, who happened to take a liking to the young Lieutenant.
Buy a Seaplane, Get a Discount on Glevum’s F2RA ™
An Intelligence Online headline reads thus: “Glevum, The US Army’s Social Surveyor…To gain a better understanding of the ‘human’ terrain in combat zones where it is engaged, the U.S. Army turns to research carried out by Glevum Associates.” Glevum’s polling of 1,994 individuals using its Face-to-Face Research and Analysis (F2RA™) in Kandahar, Afghanistan, was widely praised and covered by the Big Press. Andrew Garfield has brought his firm to the forefront of human/cultural analysis. His client list is utterly impressive and includes the US Army’s Human Terrain System. Is Glevum the go-to contractor for the US Army HTS?
A peek at Glevum’s leadership team reveals that Laurie Adler (former Lincoln Group and HTS) is back in the national security game. There is one little tidbit of interest in her company bio and it is this: in addition to Glevum duties, Adler is also currently “the Senior Public Affairs Advisor for the Dornier Seaplane Company.” According to the French Canadian press, Dornier Seaplane Company will be building an assembly plant in Canada and will announce the location of the plant after 17 May 2010.
At first glance, it seems odd that Adler would be working for a group like Dornier Seaplane Company that does not appear to be involved in national security. She has had an exceptional career in the national security industry and that’s where her expertise seems to be. But a closer look at DSC’s Seastar CD2 reveals that it is ideal for military and intelligence operations. According to the Seastar’s specifications, “the target applications for this segment are coastal surveillance, search and rescue, covert operations, drug interdiction, disaster relief, humanitarian, medical and missionary work.”
The aircraft has an array of features suited to stealthy water-based operations of the type required for Foreign Internal Defense, COIN, kill-capture, or even dropping off an HTT, or personnel from Glevum, to do some polling/mapping somewhere in, say, the Niger Delta or up/down a river anywhere in the world.
US Special Operations Command and Pacific Command may be interested in this type of aircraft particularly as US activity in Southeast Asia and Africa heats up.
How about the US Marine Corps which actually does information operations/human terrain analysis and mapping the right way?
USSOCOM, CENTCOM, MPRI, BAE, State Department, and Psyop Task Forces Iraq and Afghanistan are other clients of Glevum. More on Seastar:
“Seastar has the unique capability to combine in a single operation surveillance and intervention by landing on water next to the target. On water, Seastar features the maneuverability and speed of a powerboat; the Dornier-typical sponson platforms facilitate personnel, equipment or stretcher ingress and egress on water; Seastar can mask itself from radar at sea (within sea clutter) by loitering on water remotely offshore and close to the target area for extended time periods. Thus, Seastar enables surprise interventions, paramount for the success of many operations; Seastar’s capability to combine joint operations of different transport means like helicopters, vessels and fixed wing aircraft in one single mission results in drastic cost savings and increase in operational efficiency;
Routine single engine surveillance operation extends on-station endurance to up to 10 hours; Seastar is an electronically quiet aircraft because of its all-composite construction. Radome (s) can be integrated into the fuselage structure (front or side). Seastar inherently eliminates rotor modulation common with helicopters; Composite structure is highly damage tolerant. Wing and fuselage hard points can be added for external stores; Large cabin facilitates multiple sensor consoles and crew member stations. External visibility from the cockpit is well suited for Night Vision Goggles operations; and Seastar (with its high horizontal stabilizer) can be flown with a modified cabin door to deliver airdropped material.”
A muddled image comes to mind here and includes flashes of HTS, HTT’s, CAPS (Vietnam), Phoenix Project, Air America, incestuous networking defense contractors, social scientists for the Kill Chain, and Selous Scouts.
The image becomes clear now as well as a realization.
Full Spectrum Dominance and thus American Imperialism can only be achieved through some sort of emotionless, brutal Project Scylla. The project starts with understanding the evolutionary/social sciences, the human brain/mind, and the target culture and its geographic terrain. Then it is on to screwing with the minds of the indigenous occupants of that terrain and setting them right or alight. That’s what COIN/HTS and Soft Power are all about in the end. America is on the right track. But can it afford the price?
“I am dead scared of…Human Terrain Teams.”
6 thoughts on “Human Terrain Teams Feared More than CIA: John Stanton”
There was some discussion in Twitter about the extent to which you may be legitimizing one source’s allegations about the Peace Corps providing data for intelligence operations by the U.S. military, and whether this could threaten the lives of Peace Corps volunteers. It would be good if there were any other sources that could confirm this, or if we knew more about this one source (I found little myself).
I would agree with an argument that places Peace Corps work withing the domain of “soft power.” I cannot imagine anyone who understands the concept would disagree. I also agree that associating “X” with HTS could threaten the lives and reputations of people in “X.”
That “X” could be the Peace Corps, or it could be anthropology. One thing that does seem clearer is the extent to which knowledge of HTS has become internationalized, in the sense that we now see articles about HTS, and anthropology and counterinsurgency, in the Middle East, in Sri Lanka, Trinidad, and Mexico (to name only the few that I have read).
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Beautiful to still see “people” so deeply and bitterly roiled by my well justified comments about Salam Abdul, which I would repeat forever if they were not already recorded, multiple times, on this site, and repeated to the press.
It is always the right of those under foreign domination to fight back. Americans ought to know and support this one — they did when the mujahidin fought the USSR, and Reagan called them “the moral equivalent to our founding fathers” — and they did when Americans used “terrorism” to fight against the British. No room for your hypocrisy now.
As for personal insults, like one recently received, they give me even more pleasure: they are the mark of a weak, mildly insane child. Thus it is also very appropriate that some feel that the best way to defend the memory of Paula Loyd is by spewing vulgarity–very fitting.
Good show Max.
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