The Many Faces of the Human Terrain System in Iraq

This is the first in a two part series on recent examples of the Human Terrain System in the military’s own media, and in military-embedded media. The second one is “Burlesque Afghanistan: Pulp Fiction from an Embedded ‘Reporter’.” Revised 09 October 2010 “Human Terrain Teams: Mapping a course for a peaceful, prosperous Iraq” by Pfc. […]

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Are You Afraid of the Digital Taleban?

In the latest in militainment news, Electronic Arts has bowed to pressure from military officials in the U.S. and UK–not that it wasn’t already predisposed to their sentiments–and to the overreaching complaints of family members of those who died killing Afghans, and removed mention of the Taleban from the upcoming release of “Medal of Honor.” […]

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Encircling Empire: Report #4, 23-30 September 2010

EE: Report #4, 23—30 September 2010 Encircling Empire Reports is a selection of essays, blog posts, and news reports covering a given time period. They are intended to be useful for those interested in: ● contemporary and critical political anthropology ● public anthropology ● imperialism and imperial decline ● militarism/militarization ● the political economy of […]

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Encircling Empire: Report #1, 03-11 September 2010

EE: Report #1, 03—11 September 2010 Encircling Empire Reports is a selection of essays, blog posts, and news reports covering a given time period, which can usually be glimpsed in raw form at zero.collected. They are intended to be useful for those interested in: ● contemporary and critical political anthropology ● public anthropology ● imperialism […]

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The ‘Dirty Secrets’ that Purify a Dirty War: A Colonial Tale of Dancing Boys, a Journalist, and the Human Terrain System in Afghanistan

By M. Jamil Hanifi & Maximilian C. Forte The Telling of a Tale There is no “scoop” in Joel Brinkley’s article, “Afghanistan’s dirty little secret” (29 August 2010, San Francisco Chronicle)—just an ugly sensationalist title on a story already abundantly covered by PBS Frontline months ago (see: “The Dancing Boys of Afghanistan”). What is more […]

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Israeli Penetration of the American Media: Documents Released

Internal documents from an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice and Senate Foreign Relations Committee, finding that millions of dollars from Israel were used to plant stories in the U.S. media, especially The Atlantic Magazine. These documents were released to the national archive and provided by the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy. The […]

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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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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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