So You Want to Join the Human Terrain System: Welcome, Anthropologist

An excellent little video that neatly summarizes, in the appropriately burlesque fashion, the situation of unqualified anthropologists who join the Human Terrain System, and the desperate and deceitful nature of the sales pitch that they get from recruiters. Just my overblown misinterpretation? Not really, now that Col. Steve Fondacaro, former head of HTS, is corroborating so much of what we have reported on this blog–and again, many thanks are due to John Stanton and his sources. Enjoy.

11 thoughts on “So You Want to Join the Human Terrain System: Welcome, Anthropologist

  1. Maximilian Forte

    “…as a child, Aladdin was my second-favorite movie”

    “I have taken a Carnival cruise to the Caribbean”

    “I also have $80,000 in student loans”

    “Americans have invaded because we are peaceful people”

    LMFAO. I loved this!

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  3. John Allison

    Ohhhh, God! I am getting chills. This is exactly like the 19th on-line national security training fi’m that i had to go through and answer the questions until i got them right so i could print my certificate and go on to the next animated national security training fi’m so I could qualify to go on with my Human Terrain System Training at such a high pay and perdiem and then go downrange, which is a whole ‘nother thing.

  4. CM

    Anna Maria Cardinalli. the Latino studies and theology student who enjoys flamenco music as a recreational pursuit has popped up in the news again.

    Afghan sex practices concern U.S., British forces

    She is now writing a book based on her “expertise” on the subject.

    Cardinalli told The Examiner by e-mail that she is writing a book about widespread acceptance of male homosexuality among Pashtuns, a culture where far fewer opportunities for premarital heterosexual encounters exist.

    “To dismiss the existence of this dynamic out of desire to avoid Western discomfort is to risk failing to comprehend an essential social force underlying Pashtun culture which can potentially effect the success” of the U.S. effort there, Cardinalli wrote in the report.”

    The blind leading the blind.

    1. Maximilian Forte

      She is blinded by an opportunistic lust for rewards, milking economic and cultural militarism to the maximum, profiting from war while it lasts–because clearly she has nothing else to fall back on except a guitar and somebody else’s compositions. What a fraud.

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  6. John stanton

    Major Kevin Burke’s thesis referenced in one of the early articles posted here discusses early US military encounters with the sexual activites of Afghan males and makes astute observations on dealing with situation. This was documented before HTS arrived on the scene and decided to make hay and money on the matter.

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  8. Yazzie Girl

    Disturbingly on point … give an anthropologist the opportunity to do fieldwork and we might initially look past a few red flags during recruitment … especially if it means paying off our $80,000 student loans in the process since we can’t find employment paying a livable wage at home.

    But once inside, the horrendous reality kicks you in the head like a mule. Some get the hell out quickly, or are identified as “insurgents” themselves very early on and sent home, others may ride the cash cow until it is time to deploy …. Ultimately, this ain’t anthropology, Sherlock!

  9. Damajah

    Sounds like a bunch of bitter campers in here. The HTS program has a lot of positive potential. The kinetic slice of the pie has left Afghanistan far worse that it was when we first arrived. Language skills, and other short-term education and training that has an extremely narrow applicability, are far less important than previous combat arms experience, staff officer training, and exposure to higher education quantitative and qualitative research methodologies. From what I’ve seen so far, well-managed HTS teams can answer valuable questions for trigger-pullers, that cannot be answered through clumsy military intelligence methods. You also forget, that HTS teams will not only be deployed to the Middle-East, but to other parts of the world, and as adjuncts to our embassies.
    Criticism of the HTS program is extremely short-sighted, and may reflect more personal behavioral deficiences, that defects with the program. I can’t imagine what it is like working around so many bitter, self-centered people. One final point…if the system is broken I haven’t seen a single suggestion on how to fix it, making criticism of HTS even more irrelevant.

    1. Maximilian Forte

      It’s probably not as bad as working around a bunch of naive, opportunistic, money grubbing “patriots.”

      But really, “bitter”? I would have thought that if you saw the video and read the comments, only one conclusion would have been possible: we’re laughing.

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