SMALL WARS COUNCIL
Go Back   Small Wars Council > Small Wars Participants & Stakeholders > Social Sciences, Moral, and Religious

Social Sciences, Moral, and Religious Applying the soft sciences and higher laws.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-07-2005   #1
SWJED
Small Wars Journal
 
SWJED's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Largo, Florida
Posts: 3,988
Default Navigating the 'Human Terrain'

Moderator's Note

This thread contains a number of previously stand-alone threads and seven small ones were merged in today. I have left RFI threads on terrain alone. The thread has been re-opened to enable a new post and capturing the announcement recently that the programme was being ended (Ends).


7 Dec. Los Angeles Times op-ed by Max Boot - Navigating the 'Human Terrain'.

Quote:
The U.S. Armed Forces have a problem. They have the technical capability to hit any target on the planet. But which targets should they hit? Unfortunately, our enemies in the war on terrorism don't operate tanks or warships that we could blow up. They lurk in the shadows and emerge only briefly to set off bombs. Rooting them out requires getting inside their minds. But there's no machine that can pull off such a feat, at least not yet.

We need smart people, not smart bombs — Americans who are familiar with foreign languages and cultures and proficient in such disciplines as intelligence collection and interrogation. Yet these are precisely the areas in which the U.S. government is the weakest.

The Iraq war has brutally exposed the cost of these shortcomings and led to a belated recognition by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld that his "transformation" agenda needs to incorporate the skills needed for peacekeeping, nation building and related tasks — what the Pentagon calls stability operations...

Last edited by davidbfpo; 07-14-2015 at 11:59 AM. Reason: Addd Mods Note
SWJED is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2005   #2
GS
Council Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: DC Area
Posts: 23
Default

I was just looking at that...
A couple of years ago we began to notice a trend...
We began to see certain SOF becoming more like OGA and other SOF becoming more like what we had traditionally seen certain SOF doing. The Marine Corps was traditioning to become more White SOF-like and finally the Army becoming more Marine-like.
This article and the actions that spawned it are exactly in line with those observations.

Last edited by GS; 12-12-2005 at 01:18 PM.
GS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2005   #3
Robal2pl
Council Member
 
Robal2pl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Poland
Posts: 13
Default

Hi !
1) GS : could you explain what mean "Black SF" and "White SF"? I guess that "Black" are Delta/DevGru etc, and "White" are Green Berets/Rangers ?
2) i agree, this article only cnfirms ts what some people knew and told years ago : USA don't have rela HUMINT capabilities. A lot of money was spent on COMINT/ELINT etc systems that were useful in Cold War. In GWOT they're almost useless
Robal2pl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2007   #4
wallace
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 4
Default Army Human Terrain Teams: Were they deployed to Iraq/Afghanistan?

I was reading an old article from Sept-Oct 2006 Military Review titled "The Human Terrain System: A CORDS for the 21st Century", and saw that five HTTS were to be deployed from Fort Leavenworth to Afghanistan and Iraq beginning in the fall of 2006. Does anyone know if they were and if so how successful they were?
wallace is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2007   #5
marct
Council Member
 
marct's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 3,682
Default

I'm not sure, but I thought the HTTs were only being deployed last month. It may be to early for anything to be coming out.

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/
marct is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2007   #6
wierdbeard
Council Member
 
wierdbeard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 49
Default HTT article

do you have a link to the article on the Human Terrain Teams that was referenced above?

-thanks
Wierdbeard
wierdbeard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2007   #7
marct
Council Member
 
marct's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 3,682
Default

The Human Terrain System. Dr. Jacob Kipp, Lester Grau; Karl Prinslow; and Captain Don Smith
__________________
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/
marct is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2007   #8
wierdbeard
Council Member
 
wierdbeard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 49
Smile HTT vs. THT

i just finished reading the article, interesting read. Although besides the difference in officers vs enlisted what are the differences between these Human Terrain Teams and Tactical Humint Teams? It seems the key products that the HTT provide to units seems like the same type of information that THT's regularly develope on the AO's they work in. From my experience THT's that made sure they cultivated a good working relationship with the action elements in their AO. As well as having had good relations with the other MI/S2/OGA operating in an AO.
wierdbeard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2007   #9
marct
Council Member
 
marct's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 3,682
Default

Hi Weirdbeard,

Quote:
Originally Posted by wierdbeard View Post
i just finished reading the article, interesting read. Although besides the difference in officers vs enlisted what are the differences between these Human Terrain Teams and Tactical Humint Teams? It seems the key products that the HTT provide to units seems like the same type of information that THT's regularly develope on the AO's they work in. From my experience THT's that made sure they cultivated a good working relationship with the action elements in their AO. As well as having had good relations with the other MI/S2/OGA operating in an AO.
We had a fairly long discussion on them when the article came out (here). As to the differences, after cooling down , I think the main difference is in spin and purpose. The basic idea behind the HTTs is that you would have an Anthropologist or Sociologist doing active research that would have both an immediate and a long term benefit in terms of better "understanding".

Now, I'll admit to being biased and thinking that getting Anthropologists (and occasional Sociologists) into the field is a good idea. I think we have a lot to offer in the current war effort, despite what some of my <shudder> colleagues may say .

To actually answer your question, I think the real differences between HTTs and THTs is in the temporal dimension - we (aka Anthropologists) think in a very different time horizon from Intel people - ours tends to be in millenia even if it has immediate applications.

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/
marct is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2007   #10
wierdbeard
Council Member
 
wierdbeard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 49
Default

thanks Marc, I appreciate the feedback and the link to the other thread, on a personal note if could have a Anthropologist or Sociologist handy in theater i would glady take them, as it always seems to me that there's never enough information out there when i'm getting my guys up to speed, but that's probably just me as I tend to be an information junkie.

I always seem to acquire at least a footlocker or three of books on a given area while i'm in theater, humpin all that around gets to be umm problematic to say the least.

Wierdbeard
wierdbeard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2007   #11
marct
Council Member
 
marct's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 3,682
Default

Hi Weirdbeard,

Quote:
Originally Posted by wierdbeard View Post
thanks Marc, I appreciate the feedback and the link to the other thread, on a personal note if could have a Anthropologist or Sociologist handy in theater i would glady take them, as it always seems to me that there's never enough information out there when i'm getting my guys up to speed, but that's probably just me as I tend to be an information junkie.
Well, you know how to contact me if I can ever help out .

Quote:
Originally Posted by wierdbeard View Post
I always seem to acquire at least a footlocker or three of books on a given area while i'm in theater, humpin all that around gets to be umm problematic to say the least.
Damn! That's what cheap laptops and DVDs are for! Man, I've got 1/2 my library in pdf format, which beats the other half (way too many books and articles!).

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/
marct is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2007   #12
SoupWithAKnife
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: London, UK
Posts: 4
Default Blog by Iraq-bound Anthropologist

The Danger Room over at Wired Magazine tips readers off to a new blog by one Marcus B. Griffin, Ph.D. He's headed to Iraq to develop the Army's Human Terrain System. Some interesting reading, including this post:
Quote:
Going Native

Going “native” in anthropology is a fairly common strategy to gain a better understanding of the people with whom one is working. I am about a month away from deploying to Baghdad as part of the US Army’s new Human Terrain System and have almost gone completely native.

...

By going native, I am better able to see social life from the viewpoint of the people I am working with. I did this as a child among the Agta of northeastern Luzon, the Philippines by wearing a loincloth. As I got older I wore beads and arm bracelets. Today among soldiers, I am looking and more often acting just like them. There is an old Native American saying not to judge another person’s actions until you have walked two moons in their moccasins. That is what going native is all about: walking in someone else’s shoes in order to know what their life is like and therefore why they do what they do. This is called acquiring an emic point of view.
My apologies if this is a repost, but this blog looks promising.
SoupWithAKnife is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-2007   #13
Tom Odom
Council Member
 
Tom Odom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: DeRidder LA
Posts: 3,949
Default

Welcome and keep posting. Obvoiusly you are --like me--a fan of Nagl's book. Tell us more about yourself at Tell Us About You #2...

I will leave commenting on whether "going native" means that in the world of Anthropology to Marc T. But in the world of the FAO, "going native" means losing your perspective and your usefulness.

Best

Tom
Tom Odom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-2007   #14
SoupWithAKnife
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: London, UK
Posts: 4
Default

Tom,

Thanks for the welcome. I briefly wrote about myself a couple of months ago here. It's a lightweight bio (given my lack of experience in the "real world") compared to the others, so I hardly blame you for missing it!

I am indeed a fan of LTC Nagl's book, but I regret my choice of username. Rather than a tribute to a great book, it comes off like some kind of rip-off...

Regarding the use of the expression "going native," I'm also interested to see how it hits Marc T. given its negative connotation in the military.

Regards
Cullen
SoupWithAKnife is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-2007   #15
Tom Odom
Council Member
 
Tom Odom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: DeRidder LA
Posts: 3,949
Default

Cullen

Sorry I missed the intro, But also thanks for the bolg contact. I am interested in the subject as are many here,

Best

Tom
Tom Odom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-2007   #16
marct
Council Member
 
marct's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 3,682
Default Going native

Hi Cullen and Tom,

I've been reading Marcus' blog and I'm really impressed by it. One the whole I find it quite good and I'm looking forward to more. Of course the fact that Hugh Gusterson is engaging in little snipes at Marcus' posts is another sign, to me at least, that it is good !

As far as "going native" is concerned, Marcus is describing it quite accurately. If you want a more formalized description, it would be building a "persona" (sort of like a split personality) that is "native", but retaining the ability to come out of that persona.

I think it is this final point, being able to come out of that persona, that marks the difference between what Anthropologists and the military mean by "going native". In the MPD (Multiple Personality Disorder) literature, this is called "switching", and it's pretty much what good fieldworkers do with the vital exception that we have control over which persona we are using. Think of it as a mental "trick".

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/
marct is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-2007   #17
Ironhorse
Council Member
 
Ironhorse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: DC
Posts: 96
Default Which native?

I just took a look at some of the recent entries, and this does bear watching.

But I would have thought the right "native" would be some flavor or Iraqi. Of course which flavor is a debate all of its own. But if his target nativity is just being one of the Joes, that's a different program that the one I thought they were after with the Human Terrain efforts.

I probably need to read more, type less . At least I'm not the only one
Ironhorse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-2007   #18
marct
Council Member
 
marct's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 3,682
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironhorse View Post
I just took a look at some of the recent entries, and this does bear watching.

But I would have thought the right "native" would be some flavor or Iraqi. Of course which flavor is a debate all of its own. But if his target nativity is just being one of the Joes, that's a different program that the one I thought they were after with the Human Terrain efforts.

I probably need to read more, type less . At least I'm not the only one
LOLOL

Right now, the "natives" he is working with are US forces - a group that I think we can all agree are rather different from academics . We'll just have to see what he does over in Iraq. From what I have read of the HTS, I find it unlikely that he will have the opportunity to do proper fieldwork with anyone there except, possibly, the IA or IP.

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/
marct is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-2007   #19
Beelzebubalicious
Council Member
 
Beelzebubalicious's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: currently in Washington DC
Posts: 321
Default

Hello. I've recently found this forum and it addresses a lot of my interests so I'm jumping in. I'll post a bio.

Anyway, how the HTS is operationalized interests me so I'll be following this blog. Marcus seems to have a good attitude and seems quite practical, so I think he'll do well. In any case, it's a learning curve for everyone. I'm civilian, but have had some limited interaction with the military side in different forms. LIke Marcus I'm impressed, but from my little exposure, it's been hard to bridge the gap (language, experience, etc.). I hope he can.
Beelzebubalicious is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-20-2007   #20
SWJED
Small Wars Journal
 
SWJED's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Largo, Florida
Posts: 3,988
Default Anthropologists in Iraq

Anthropologists in Iraq - and Those in America Who Attack Them - Herschel Smith at the Captain's Journal blog.

Quote:
... These “concerned anthropologists” understand classical conventional warfare, and the difference between it and counterinsurgency operations. There is no mistaking the facts. Because they consider the original invasion to be unwarranted, they will take no part of a successful counterinsurgency. Rather, they will try to bully other anthropologists into the same position with a childish “petition” (as if other Doctors of Philosophy in anthropology are incapable of making their own minds up about what they consider to be ethical use of their knowledge).

In our many articles on the subject, we have cataloged the brutalities perpetrated by the terrorists and insurgents in Iraq. The Anbar Province is for all intents and purposes pacified, but seven months ago it was still a restive and savage place with al Qaeda on a campaign of torture in response to the Anbar “awakening.”...
SWJED is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Terrorism in the USA:threat & response SWJED Law Enforcement 481 03-11-2017 09:54 AM
Human Terrain Team study Michael Davies RFIs & Members' Projects 0 10-02-2011 01:20 AM
Human Terrain Team Member Killed in Afghanistan SWJED OEF - Afghanistan 0 05-09-2008 08:05 PM


All times are GMT. The time now is 07:51 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9. ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Registered Users are solely responsible for their messages.
Operated by, and site design © 2005-2009, Small Wars Foundation