Montgomery McFate: Gone from the Human Terrain System

Sources report that Senior Social Scientist Montgomery McFate resigned her post with the US Army Human Terrain System (HTS) within the last ten days. Observers say the “category of resignation is similar to that of former HTS program manager Steve Fondacaro in that all assume it was a ‘forced resignation’  or ‘let go’ as is […]

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The Loaded Goat: Revisiting Pine Cone Anthropology in Afghanistan

The diary of Ted the Tongue reveals more about the poverty of the academic thinking and conduct that provisions the “Comparative Cultural Competence” (or is it “Cross-Cultural Competence”?) component of the U.S. Army’s Human Terrain System (HTS) than the colorful background and confused imaginings of a young American adventurer in the guise of anthropologist and […]

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Human Terrain System in the Media

First, and in case you missed them, a series of YouTube videos produced by the U.S. military about the Human Terrain System: The U.S. Army’s “light touch with heavy impact…a non-lethal force multiplier” — “a Human Terrain Team working with the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment is comprised of military and civilian analysts who specialize in […]

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The Diary of Ted the Tongue: Pinecone Anthropologist

In an earlier article, “More European Press Coverage of the Human Terrain System,” I referred to an article in Germany’s GEO Magazine which carried an extensive article about anthropology and the Human Terrain System, on 05 May 2010, the whole of which can be viewed and downloaded from here, titled “Ein Ethnologe im Krieg.” Online you can […]

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News: IED Blast Strikes Human Terrain Team, Injuries Reported

While out in the field traveling to visit Human Terrain Teams, Colonel Hamilton’s convoy came under attack. There were injuries, said sources, but Colonel Hamilton is “ok”. Also, a comment posted on this blog states: “…last week a team from HTT was involved in a complex IED attack and NOTHING was reported. Injured was Mike […]

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Pride and Prejudice in U.S. Army’s Human Terrain System

“Col Sharon Hamilton [acting HTS program manager], does not know what is going on here in Iraq because if she was aware of the behavior here, she would not tolerate the dysfunction that continues within the organization.” “The rules and regulations within the HTS program only apply to minorities or other people whom the team […]

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Andrew Garfield’s Commercial Plea for War Research, and the Reality of Ethics in Human Terrain Teams

Two very different, but related, items have been published online this past week, related to the Human Terrain System and embedding anthropologists/social scientists in counterinsurgency. The first one I mention–unsurprisingly published by the Small Wars “Journal” –is written by Andrew Garfield of Glevum Associates, a private defense contractor that we have encountered here many times […]

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Counterinsurgency: It’s Bloody Horrible

COUNTER-COUNTERINSURGENCY: You’ve heard the criticisms. You’ve read the book. Now see the movie. These are some of my favourite lines: counterinsurgency: it’s like a wild horse, only you bet on it; counterinsurgency involves a thousand small healing steps; the manual can never be wrong, only the practice; cultural knowledge for the military: it’s so basic […]

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More European Press Coverage of the Human Terrain System

Continuing from the last item on this topic, the following are more examples of recent European press coverage of the U.S. Army’s Human Terrain System and its embedding of civilian social scientists in counterinsurgency missions. One thing that immediately stands out from most of these articles is the emphasis not on “civilian social scientists,” but […]

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Saving Lives, or Ending Them? Martin Schweitzer on Special Operations and the Human Terrain System

Previously we read here of the testimony by a Col. Martin Schweitzer, Commander, 4 / 82 Airborne Brigade Combat Team, United States Army, before the House Armed Services Committee, Terrorism & Unconventional Threats Sub-Committee and the Research & Education Sub-Committee of the Science & Technology Committee , on 24 April 2008. He repeats statements there that have […]

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