SCRATs: AFRICOM after the Human Terrain System

For almost two years we have heard little more than passing statements and speculation about the U.S. Army’s Africa Command (AFRICOM) adopting the “human terrain” concept or deploying human terrain teams in Africa, even if individuals in the Human Terrain System seemed relatively confident this would happen (particularly, Montgomery McFate on the Charlie Rose show […]

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The Pentagon’s Human Terrain, beyond the Human Terrain System

Revised: 05 July 2010 Originally, this report was titled “The Pentagon’s ‘Other’ Human Terrain System,” which in subsequent discussions and follow ups with a source in the military, proved to be too misleading. What we are dealing with here is the wider interest in “human terrain capability” across the military, and in military intelligence, separate […]

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AFRICOM, Human Terrain, Empire, and Anthropology

First, some introductory propaganda about AFRICOM, from AFRICOM itself: Some anthropologists have been active in producing knowledge about the ways the so-called “war on terror” is being used as a lever for militarizing U.S. relationships with Africa, for inserting national security and counterinsurgency concerns within the domains of humanitarian relief and development, and in the […]

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John Stanton: US Congress Rewards Failure, Puts Personnel in Harm’s Way

This is John Stanton’s 20th article on the Human Terrain System, with his previous ones available here at: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, and 19. John sent this article a few days ago, my apologies for being late. It is reproduced here with his permission, and has already been published in CounterPunch, which is also featuring an extended […]

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U.S. Congress and the Human Terrain System

To supplement the report by John Stanton, “US Congress Requests Assessment of Army‘s Human Terrain System: Independent Assessment Due from SECDEF by March 2010,” one should note the following background documents to which the request for the assessment refers. The NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT FOR FISCAL YEAR 2010 points out that, In the committee report […]

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John Stanton: U.S. Congress to Assess Human Terrain System

This is John Stanton’s 19th article on the Human Terrain System, with his previous ones available here at: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, and 18. Once again, this article was sent in by John and is gratefully reproduced here with his permission. I am also happy to advertise the fact that John has published a book of his work […]

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John Stanton: Human Terrain System in the Kill-Pacify Chain

A warm welcome back to John Stanton: this is his 18th article on the Human Terrain System, with his previous ones available here at: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, and 17. Once again, this article was sent in by John and is reproduced here with his permission. So far, this is one of the clearest indications of the roles performed […]

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Anthropology, Militarization, and Canadian Responses: CASCA-AES Conference, Vancouver, 13-16 May, 2009

I will be participating in the upcoming joint meeting of the Canadian Anthropology Society-Société Canadienne d’Anthropologie (CASCA) and the American Ethnological Society (AES), held this year at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, 13-16 May. For those who are interested in further discussion and debate concerning the militarization of anthropology, the role of anthropologists […]

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Contemporary Colonial Scholarship and the Spreading Human Terrain System: AGS Bowman Expeditions, Zapotec Indians, and onto the Caribbean

(1) From Grassroots International via InfoShop News: “The Union of Organizations of the Sierra Juarez of Oaxaca (UNOSJO) – a longtime partner of Grassroots International based in Mexico – denounced a recently conducted study in the Zapotec region by U.S. geography scholar Peter Herlihy. Prof. Herlihy failed to mention that he received funding from the […]

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