Social Science Goes to War: The Human Terrain System in Iraq and Afghanistan

Paperback | September 30, 2015

EditorMontgomery McFate, Janice H. Laurence

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The Human Terrain System (HTS) was catapulted into existence in 2006 by the US military's urgent need for knowledge of the human dimension of the battlespace in Iraq and Afghanistan. Its centrepiece was embedded groups of mixed military and civilian personnel, known as Human Terrain Teams(HTTs), whose mission was to conduct social science research and analysis and to advise military commanders about the local population. Bringing social science - and actual social scientists - to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan was bold and challenging. Despite the controversy over HTS amongscholars, there is little good, reliable source material written by those with experience of HTS or about the actual work carried out by teams in theatre. This volume goes beyond the anecdotes, snippets and blogs to provide a comprehensive, objective and detailed view of HTS. The contributors put the program in historical context, discuss the obstacles it faced, analyse its successes, and detail the work of the teams downrange. Most importantly, theycapture some of the diverse lived experience of HTS scholars and practitioners drawn from an eclectic array of the social sciences.

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The Human Terrain System (HTS) was catapulted into existence in 2006 by the US military's urgent need for knowledge of the human dimension of the battlespace in Iraq and Afghanistan. Its centrepiece was embedded groups of mixed military and civilian personnel, known as Human Terrain Teams(HTTs), whose mission was to conduct social scie...

Montgomery McFate is a cultural anthropologist who works on defence and national security issues. She is the Minerva Chair at the Center for Naval Warfare Studies at the US Naval War College and has been profiled in the New Yorker, Elle and the Atlantic Monthly. Janice H. Laurence is a professor in the College of Education at Temple U...

other books by Montgomery McFate

Format:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 8.4 × 5.4 × 0.68 inPublished:September 30, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0190216727

ISBN - 13:9780190216726

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Table of Contents

Montgomery McFate and Janice H. Laurence: Introduction - Unveiling the Human Terrain System1. Montgomery McFate: Mind the Gap: Bridging the Military/Academic Divide2. Ted Callahan: An Anthropologist at War in Afghanistan3. Katherine Blue Carroll: What Do You Bring to the Fight? A Year in Iraq as an Embedded Social Scientist4. Jennifer A. Clark: Playing Spades in Al Anbar: A Female Social Scientist among Marines and Special Forces5. Kathleen Reedy: The Four Pillars of Integration: How to Make Social Science Work in a War Zone6. James Dorough-Lewis, Jr.: Realizing the Promise of Applied Social Science for Military Operations7. Leslie Payne: Allied Civilian Enablers and the Helmand Surge8. Carolyn Fluehr-Lobhan and George R. Lucas, Jr.: Assessing the Human Terrain Teams: No White Hats or Black Hats Please9. Brian G. Brereton: Tangi Valley and the Limitations of Applied Anthropology in AfghanistanJanice H. Laurence: Conclusion - The Human Terrain System: Some Lessons Learned and the Way Forward