24 September 2010

Wikileaks, the Human Terrain System, and Anthropological Counterinsurgency in Afghanistan

The following are articles written specifically about data contained in the Afghan War Diary released by Wikileaks, in connection with the U.S. Army's Human Terrain System and its deployment of anthropologists and other social scientists in counterinsurgency in Afghanistan. The results are mixed, but what was revealed was also very novel and damning. In the meantime, the two top directors of HTS, Col. Steve Fondacaro, and anthropologist Montgomery McFate have been forced to resign from the program.

  1. Human Terrain Teams in Wikileaks’ Afghan War Diary: Raw Data
    This is the entire list of records in the Afghan War Diary that concern the Human Terrain System, presented unedited and without comment.
  2. Wikileaks’ Afghan War Diary: Problems to Note, More to Come on Human Terrain Teams
    In this essay the ethics of the release of records that have not been redacted to protect the identity of NATO's Afghan civilian informants. Wikileak's "harm minimization process" is questioned, as well as the completeness and significance of the records for achieving an understanding of what happened in the field.
  3. Human Terrain System in Wikileaks’ Afghan War Diary: Searching for Evidence of the Positive
    One question we have to ask ourselves is how the managers of the Human Terrain System can use these same records leaked via Wikileaks to make a positive case for the program embedding civilian social scientists with military units.
  4. Revealing the Human Terrain System in Wikileaks’ Afghan War Diary
    This article presents evidence showing that HTS conducted internal spying of its own fieldworkers in order to gain access to their confidential fieldnotes, and passing them on to military intelligence, as appears in the records. We begin by asking a few questions: When a Human Terrain Team (HTT) is mentioned in the records leaked to Wikileaks, how does the report writer know what he or she knows about the HTT? The answer seems simple enough, in a number of instances: a HTT is embedded with a larger military unit, the report writer indicates where the HTT is, what it is doing at a given moment, and what it plans to do. As for what HTTs themselves report, none of these records are HTT reports. Their reports go elsewhere and have an altogether different form. So when a record indicates what was recorded by a member or members of a HTT, how does the report writer know that, and who are these report writers?
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...