Sunday, July 19, 2015

Demise of the Human Terrain System (HTS)

A slew of news reports and articles explore the rise and fall of the Human Terrain System (HTS) - see news reports by Counterpunch and USA Today (June 29, 2015). Thomas Briggs provides us with recommendations for the aligning of SOF and Academia in the Human Domain field (Small Wars Journal, June 29, 2015). Steven Metz of the Strategic Studies Institute of the Army War College believes that the Pentagon's decision to cut the Human Terrain System is short-sighted (World Politics Review, Jul 10, 2015). Tobin Harshaw writes that the Army's anthropology experiment ended in defeat (Bloomberg View, Jul 15, 2015). David F. Eisler writes on the importance of embracing sociocultural intelligence in stability operations (Small Wars Journal, Jul 14, 2015). Ryan Evans, the editor of the War on the Rocks Blog and a former member of the HTT in Helmand province provides us with an insider's perspective of the seven deadly sins of the HTS but also points out that it was an invaluable program that provided great benefit in many situations (Geopoliticus: FPRI Blog, Jul 13, 2015). My experience with Human Terrain Systems (and teams) in Afghanistan was overwhelmingly positive and I found the Evan's article closest to the mark.

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