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Nature calls for end to HTS

13 December, 2008

A Nature editorial calls for a swift end to HTS. Their objection: not the principle of putting anthropology and the social sciences in the service of the U.S. military in Iraq, but the fact that there have been several deaths, injuries, and a scandal in the form of hiring as an Iraqi translator a suspected (by the FBI) former spy for Saddam Hussein (frankly I struggle to see how that’s a scandal).

UPDATE: David Price has just published in CounterPunch an article which puts the Nature editorial in context along with the recent publication on of the Human Terrain System handbook (unclassified, but previously unreleased publicly).

–L.L. Wynn

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Gonzo permalink
    14 December, 2008 9:21 am

    Deaths, injuries, and scandals? Potentially aside from the scandals part, this seems to me to be a stupid rationale for scrapping HTS. Does Nature actually expect there will be no deaths or injuries resulting from long-term deployments to combat zones? Am I the only one that thinks this is ridiculous?

    As for the scandal, the one cited doesn’t to me rise to the level of a disaster worthy of killing the program. The measure of effectiveness for the HTS program should be it’s impact on military operations. If it is making positive contributions to a brigade’s mission (as I understand it, HTTs are deployed at the brigade level) then it should be worth it continuing.


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