The US military has developed a new programme known as the Human Terrain System (HTS) to study social groups in Iraq and Afghanistan.Well, I guess it's an improvement on "ragheads," but I wonder if Mr. Fondacaro (maybe I can presume to call him "Steve") quite recognizes that he might be sending the wrong signal. Swarthy and non-American though they might be, it still sounds a little odd to refer to people as "human terrain" ... and, given the circumstances, "target population" -- while undoubtedly correct -- is still a bit, ah, tactless, no?
The HTS depends heavily on the co-operation of anthropologists, with their expertise in the study of human beings and their societies.
Steve Fondacaro, a retired special operations colonel overseeing the HTS, is keen to recruit cultural anthropologists.
"Cultural anthropologists are focused on understanding how societies make decisions and how attitudes are formed. They give us the best vision to see the problems through the eyes of the target population," he said.
Farther along in the news story is the information that every "social scientist" employed by the Human Terrain System is costing the national MasterCard a yearly $400K. As a service to my fellow
1. People aren't so apt to hate you if you don't kill, torture, imprison, beat, rape, and humiliate their mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins -- and selves.
2. People aren't so apt to hate you if you refrain from invading and destroying their countries, for no good reason at all.
3. People aren't so apt to hate you if you don't behave as if the entire world is yours to mismanage.
As I say ... no charge. You're welcome.