Sunday, December 13, 2015

Report - Human Terrain System

Dr. Christopher Sims has wrote a 526 page report entitled The Human Terrain System: Operationally Relevant Social Science Research in Iraq and Afghanistan, dated December 2015. The author presents ". . . an examination of the organizational origins of the HTS, and a tactical history delineated through the experiences and insights of former Human Terrain Team social scientists, set against the backdrop of a wider debate in the academy and media on the efficacy and ethicality of the program." The provides an overview of the HTS program and examines the wider debate around social science and the military. This study of the U.S. Army HTS by the Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College is the story of civilians conducting social science research in conflict in order to help win the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Note: My personal experience in Afghanistan is that the men and women of the Human Terrain Teams (HTTs) working at the Brigade Combat Teams (BCTs) provided extremely helpful advice and information to the warfighters because of their knowledge of the area of operations, culture, and situation. HTTs staff members tended stay in country for a number of years while BCTs rotated in and out every 9-12 months.

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