US army enlists anthropologists
By Kambiz Fattahi
The Pentagon is pulling out all the stops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
It is sending "mine-resistant, ambush-protected" vehicles into the battlefield. It is also using cutting-edge biometric technologies to identify insurgents.
But that is not all. The US military has developed a new programme known as the Human Terrain System (HTS) to study social groups in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The HTS depends heavily on the co-operation of anthropologists, with their expertise in the study of human beings and their societies.
- Considering recent debates over the concept of "culture," anthropologists' relations with their informants etc., I think this is crazy...
- Is this HTS programme intended for knowing the "enemy"? If so, it reminds me of Ruth Benedict and her work "The Chrysanthemum and the Sword (菊と刀)."