[OPE-L] Anthropoligists are replacing economists as the hired prize-fighters for capital

From: glevy@PRATT.EDU
Date: Fri Oct 05 2007 - 08:23:16 EDT

Via Joe Smith and Globolist. / In solidarity, Jerry

Here are some useful resources on new plans to embed anthropologists
in military units.


"Army Enlists Anthropology in War Zones"
By David Rhode
NY Times, Oct. 5, 2007

SHABAK VALLEY, Afghanistan — In this isolated Taliban stronghold in
eastern Afghanistan, American paratroopers are fielding what they
consider a crucial new weapon in counterinsurgency operations here: a
soft-spoken civilian anthropologist named Tracy.

Tracy, who asked that her surname not be used for security reasons,
is a member of the first Human Terrain Team, an experimental Pentagon
program that assigns anthropologists and other social scientists to
American combat units in Afghanistan and Iraq. Her team's ability to
understand subtle points of tribal relations — in one case spotting a
land dispute that allowed the Taliban to bully parts of a major
tribe — has won the praise of officers who say they are seeing
concrete results...


Pledging to Boycott the "War on Terror"
When Anthropologists Become Counter-Insurgents

Counterpunch, Sept 28, 2007

When anthropologists work overseas, they typically arrive with an
array of equipment including notebooks, trowels, tape recorders, and
cameras. But in the new context of the Bush Administration's "war on
terror," a growing number of anthropologists are arriving in foreign
countries wearing camouflage, body armor, and guns.

As General Petraeus and his staff push to enact new strategies in
Iraq, the value of culture is taking on a greater role in military
and intelligence circles, as new military doctrines increasingly rely
on the means, methods and knowledge of anthropology to provide the
basis of counterinsurgency practices. The Department of Defense,
intelligence agencies, and military contractors are aggressively
recruiting anthropologists for work related to counter-insurgency
operations. These institutions seek to incorporate cultural knowledge
and ethnographic intelligence in direct support of US-led
interventions in the Middle East and Central Asia.


Network of Concerned Anthropologists:
Pledge of Non-Participation in Counterinsurgency

We, the undersigned, believe that anthropologists should not engage
in research and other activities that contribute to counter-
insurgency operations in Iraq or in related theaters in the "war on
terror." Furthermore, we believe that anthropologists should refrain
from directly assisting the US military in combat, be it through
torture, interrogation, or tactical advice.

US military and intelligence agencies and military contractors have
identified "cultural knowledge," "ethnographic intelligence,"
and "human terrain mapping" as essential to US-led military
intervention in Iraq and other parts of the Middle East.
Consequently, these agencies have mounted a drive to recruit
professional anthropologists as employees and consultants. While
often presented by its proponents as work that builds a more secure
world, protects US soldiers on the battlefield, or promotes cross-
cultural understanding, at base it contributes instead to a brutal
war of occupation which has entailed massive casualties...

[4] David Price's Publications on Anthropology's Interactions with
Military & Intelligence Agencies


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