View Full Version : Leavenworth Military - Social Science Roundtable

Dr Jack
06-25-2007, 02:19 AM
Thursday, 21 June 2007, there was a Military - Social Science Roundtable at Fort Leavenworth sponsored by CGSC (CTAC) and FMSO. The roundtable included military personnel with recent operational experience in Iraq and Afghanistan and several academic anthropologists and social scientists.

Here is some of the coverage of the roundtable:

Army Times: http://www.armytimes.com/news/2007/06/ap_anthropologists_070622/

With American troops mired in Iraq and Afghanistan, leaders at the Army post where the military’s new counterinsurgency doctrine was written are turning to cultural anthropologists for help.

The relationship rekindles one that existed between the military and academics throughout much of the nation’s modern military history but fizzled after the Vietnam War.

“You have to look at things through the lens of the people on the ground to effectively know where you are going,” said Robert Kurz, an Eurasia analyst with Fort Leavenworth’s Foreign Military Studies Office.

Fort Leavenworth conducted a roundtable discussion Thursday among anthropologists and military veterans who have experience in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was part of an effort to create doctrine on how to conduct military operations with some degree of cultural competence.

Antropologi.info: http://www.antropologi.info/blog/anthropology/anthropology.php?title=military_social_science_rou ndtable_anthr&more=1&c=1&tb=1&pb=1

A few weeks ago I wrote about the deepening connections between anthropologists, military and intelligence agencies. Yesterday, Fort Leavenworth (USA) conducted a roundtable discussion among anthropologists and military veterans who have experience in Iraq and Afghanistan. Among the participants self-described “left-leaning” anthropologist and an associate professor at Kansas University; Bart Dean.

Dean said "the landscape today is beginning to turn for anthropologists’ relations with the military, which reached a low level of trust in the Vietnam War era". “People will criticize me,” Dean said of his participation in the roundtable. “I will be viciously criticized. … But that’s OK. I like controversy.”

Both Dean ad his colleague Felix Moos acknowledged they are in the minority among their peers because they are working with the military. But Dean said anthropologists through World War II had a seat at the table when leaders planned military operations.

The military's new counterinsurgency doctrine, produced last year at Kansas' Fort Leavenworth, hinges on the government getting the consent of the people. By understanding the culture, the military can neutralize insurgents, the doctrine says.

A full report from the Roundtable should come out in the next month or so...

06-25-2007, 01:47 PM
Interesting! I hope that the report gets put online, I'd like to read it.