Sunday, February 21, 2016

Human Terrain System (HTS) - In the News Again

The Human Terrain System or HTS is under attack once again. From my point of view, having worked with the Human Terrain Teams (HTTs) deployed in Afghanistan, this was a novel approach to educate and advise brigade commanders and their staffs on the local Afghan environment - specifically the human domain. To a large degree the small 3-5 man HTTs were successful; although the program had its share of failures, fraud, and a bumpy start. But overall it was an enabler for the Brigade Combat Teams (BCTs) that deployed to Afghanistan. Two fierce critics of the HTS are Tom Vanden Brook, a reporter for USA Today, and Representative Duncan Hunter (California). While they rightfully point out abuses by the HTS program they carry the attack too far. Read Vanden Brook's latest rant about the HTS where he re-iterates past wrongdoings again in "Army's rebranded social science program draws flak", USA Today, February 9, 2016. Pete Turner, a former HTT member, responds to the USA Today article in "Guest Post: Duncan Hunter and Human Terrain System by Turner",, February 14, 2016.

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