Monday, February 08, 2010

When Scholars Join the Slaughter

Dahr Jamail, author of The Will to Resist: Soldiers Who Refuse to Fight in Iraq and Afghanistan, reports on how the U.S. military has used anthropologists and other social scientists to further the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Dahr Jamail, t r u t h o u t | Report

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(Image: Lance Page / t r u t h o u t; Adapted: The U.S. Army, Hayley Austin)

A core tenet of the Obama administration’s plans for “victory” in Iraq and Afghanistan is an increased reliance on counterinsurgency.

As previously reported on this web site, the US military has sent shock troops – anthropologists, sociologists and social psychologists – with their own troops in both Iraq and Afghanistan, who also donned helmets and flak jackets. By the end of 2007, American scholars in these fields were embedding with the military in Afghanistan and Iraq as part of a Pentagon program called Human Terrain System (HTS), which evolved shortly thereafter into a $40 million program that embedded four or five person groups of scholars in the aforementioned fields in all 26 US combat brigades that were busily occupying Iraq and Afghanistan. The program is currently comprised of approximately 400 employees, and is actively seeking new recruits.

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