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Thread: Anthropology and the Military - on at 11am EST October 10, 2007

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    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Default Anthropology and the Military - on at 11am EST October 10, 2007

    The dianne rehm show is doing a program on anthropologists and the military (10:00 a.m. EST). WAMU in Washington, D.C. you can get it on itunes, and i assume from their website also. they take comments by phone and email--see website for particulars, wamu.org. NB: I have heard conflicting times, it may also be at 10am. Definitely 10 am.

    The U.S. military is now sending teams of anthropologists and social scientists out to assist all combat brigades in Iraq and Afghanistan. The effort has reportedly helped troops improve relations with local populations and avert casualties, while raising a hearty debate among anthropologists over the ethical boundaries of their profession. A look at the so-called Human Terrain Teams and larger questions of how the military is adapting to new expectations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and beyond. Guests

    Montgomery McFate, senior social science adviser with the U.S. Army's Human Terrain System

    David Price, associate professor of anthropology and sociology at St. Martin's University; author of the forthcoming book, "Anthropological Intelligence: The Deployment and Neglect of American Anthropology in the Second World War."

    Col. John Agoglia, director, U.S. Army Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute

    Lt. Col. Edward Villacres, military leader of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division Human Terrain Team

    David Rohde, reporter, New York Times

    Last edited by marct; 10-10-2007 at 02:46 PM. Reason: Time correction
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
    Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
    Senior Research Fellow,
    The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
    Carleton University
    http://marctyrrell.com/

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    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Hi Marc !

    Seems like the same program here, but as you pointed out, perhaps not exactly at 10 !

    Hmmm, what will those SWC folks be doing this morning

    Would love to tune in when a Canuck gets out of hand

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    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stan View Post
    Hi Marc !

    Seems like the same program here, but as you pointed out, perhaps not exactly at 10 !

    Hmmm, what will those SWC folks be doing this morning

    Would love to tune in when a Canuck gets out of hand
    Hey Stan,

    Definitely looks like David Price is getting busy on the radio today!
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
    Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
    Senior Research Fellow,
    The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
    Carleton University
    http://marctyrrell.com/

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    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Default More from Savageminds...

    A recent letter to the NYT has sparked more discussion at SavageMinds.

    Marc
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
    Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
    Senior Research Fellow,
    The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
    Carleton University
    http://marctyrrell.com/

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    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marct View Post
    A recent letter to the NYT has sparked more discussion at SavageMinds.

    Marc
    Marc, I'm stuck wondering which would make a better campaign slogan at this point.

    Savage Minds kinda has a nice ring to it, and might scare off some of those pesky terrorists - sigh -

    However, Human Terrain is more sorta in fashion.

    One comment seems appropriate now. Hal writes:

    This sounds pretty simplistic and self-centered to me. If you canít establish who you are and what youíre are doing during fieldwork I doubt the media or the US military is to blame. The embedded anthropologists maintain that they are decreasing casualties. If there is any truth in that allegation I think that trumps your inconvenience in data gathering. The issue of informed consent is more important. How does that measure up against dead civilians?
    Literally translated in the Amurican Army lingo...Get off your butt and do something...and stop whining

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    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Hey Stan,

    Quote Originally Posted by Stan View Post
    One comment seems appropriate now. Hal writes:

    This sounds pretty simplistic and self-centered to me. If you canít establish who you are and what youíre are doing during fieldwork I doubt the media or the US military is to blame. The embedded anthropologists maintain that they are decreasing casualties. If there is any truth in that allegation I think that trumps your inconvenience in data gathering. The issue of informed consent is more important. How does that measure up against dead civilians?
    Literally translated in the Amurican Army lingo...Get off your butt and do something...and stop whining
    You know, last week was debating what paper I would write for my current class (I always write one to give them an idea of what the process is like for me). Several happenings in the last 5 days have now fixed the topic: I'm doing an evolutionary (neo-Darwinian) analysis of the construction of professional codes of ethics using the current Anthropology debates as the case study .

    A lot of it goes back to many of the discussions we have had here, but I'm trying to get a handle on exactly what processes are operating at the level of the institution. Your translation really highlights why I think it is imperative to get such a model together, and ties in with all sorts of other threads we've talked about (e.g. officer retention, professional military education, etc.).

    Anyway, that being said, I have to run off to vote - it's election day in Ontario.

    Marc
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
    Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
    Senior Research Fellow,
    The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
    Carleton University
    http://marctyrrell.com/

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    Default Clamoring For Participation

    The prospect of academics plying their trade and wares in direct efforts to minimize violence and achieve stability in any environment should bring them in droves clamoring for participation

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    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default You'd think...

    Quote Originally Posted by goesh View Post
    The prospect of academics plying their trade and wares in direct efforts to minimize violence and achieve stability in any environment should bring them in droves clamoring for participation
    That aspect has always fascinated me...

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    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marct View Post
    Hey Stan,



    You know, last week was debating what paper I would write for my current class (I always write one to give them an idea of what the process is like for me). Several happenings in the last 5 days have now fixed the topic: I'm doing an evolutionary (neo-Darwinian) analysis of the construction of professional codes of ethics using the current Anthropology debates as the case study .

    A lot of it goes back to many of the discussions we have had here, but I'm trying to get a handle on exactly what processes are operating at the level of the institution. Your translation really highlights why I think it is imperative to get such a model together, and ties in with all sorts of other threads we've talked about (e.g. officer retention, professional military education, etc.).

    Anyway, that being said, I have to run off to vote - it's election day in Ontario.

    Marc

    Marc, sorry. That was a bit selfish of me. I don't want to come off sounding like I understand the moral issues and rules that you folks face. I'm actually perplexed. Having spent many years in Catholic school listening to Bravo Sierra bible studies, coupled with unheard of moral dilemmas, I finally met a priest that said: "Young man, you'll not only meet the devil one day, you'll also figure out what to do and all on your own. You have those morals and you'll decide when they fit and don't. I can't prepare you for that day."

    That was probably the best thing I needed to hear. Years later, I would meet and work with Tom

    I hope you didn't vote for Oh Mama Bamama (sp?)

    Regards, Stan

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    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Hey Stan,

    Quote Originally Posted by Stan View Post
    Marc, sorry. That was a bit selfish of me. I don't want to come off sounding like I understand the moral issues and rules that you folks face. I'm actually perplexed.
    No worries, mate . I guess the closest analog is with combat training and when (and where) it can be used. Our training (if we are any good) let's us manipulate groups pretty easily by figuring out the CoGs in their culture. That's where a lot of the moral quandaries come from, including the feedback loop affecting us.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stan View Post
    Having spent many years in Catholic school listening to Bravo Sierra bible studies, coupled with unheard of moral dilemmas, I finally met a priest that said: "Young man, you'll not only meet the devil one day, you'll also figure out what to do and all on your own. You have those morals and you'll decide when they fit and don't. I can't prepare you for that day."

    That was probably the best thing I needed to hear. Years later, I would meet and work with Tom
    It's pretty much the advice I was given as well by a couple of my mentors.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stan View Post
    I hope you didn't vote for Oh Mama Bamama (sp?)
    Nope, but I'm not saying who I did vote for - that's what secret ballots are all about . We also had a referendum on changing out electoral system. We'll see how that goes.

    Marc
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
    Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
    Senior Research Fellow,
    The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
    Carleton University
    http://marctyrrell.com/

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    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Hi Stan,Oh Mama Bamama???? is this another new candidate?

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    "Young man, you'll not only meet the devil one day, you'll also figure out what to do and all on your own. You have those morals and you'll decide when they fit and don't. I can't prepare you for that day."

    That was probably the best thing I needed to hear. Years later, I would meet and work with Tom
    Who are you, Bobby Bouchet? I am the one living down in da swamps and Mama says, "foosball is da debble." She doan say anythang bout you.

    Who is oh Mama Bamama? An who cares wat she say?

    Then again we were strategic waterboys in Goma

    Tom

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    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapout9 View Post
    Hi Stan,Oh Mama Bamama???? is this another new candidate?
    Sorry Slap...That would be Obama !
    Pictured below is Mama Bamama just before the elections in Ontario

    Check out the snappy lookin voter's ballot box - Those Canucks !

    a referendum question about whether to change the political composition of the Ontario Legislature. The choices are between our current system of First Past The Post and an alternative system called Mixed Member Proportional.
    I now realize why Marc took the entire day to vote. The first choice for government composition seems to be the best - Both hopeful candidates will run like hell for 100 meters (no not yards, this is Canada dammit !) and, you got it, first past the post ! At least with this system, you're assured at having a healthy legislature. I'm not even going to touch the second option

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Odom View Post
    Who is oh Mama Bamama? An who cares wat she say?

    Then again we were strategic waterboys in Goma

    Tom
    Ya know Tom, we could've made a fortune selling water from a dead lake ! Not to mention water pressure
    Strategic indeed - who else can have California-based fire trucks and fireman flown in a C-5 to Goma ? You da man
    Last edited by Stan; 01-09-2008 at 08:23 PM.

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    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
    Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
    Senior Research Fellow,
    The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
    Carleton University
    http://marctyrrell.com/

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    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Ya know Tom, we could've made a fortune selling water from a dead lake ! Not to mention water pressure
    yep dead lake with dead people in it; I remember the young AF captain jumping in to clear a body or two from the intake. One of the bodies was white. Never heard anything else about it...

    Tom

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    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Odom View Post
    yep dead lake with dead people in it; I remember the young AF captain jumping in to clear a body or two from the intake. One of the bodies was white. Never heard anything else about it...

    Tom
    Actually, there was a story in the post - a bleed from a California paper - about a fireman or whatever that pulled 'white bread' outta da waater

    I'm gonna have a look...but gotta take my better half to dinner, or tonite may not pan out the way I planned it

    I'm listening to Marc's link. LTC Villacres starts from Iraq. 10 minutes into the interview..So far, pretty good.

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