Social Scientists & War

I just don’t understand why academic anthropologists are so viscerally opposed to the Pentagon’s Human Terrain program. If injecting cultural sensitivity into the military can defuse tensions and reduce conflict in a war zone, isn’t that a good thing?  I can appreciate the ethical concerns, but from what little I’ve followed on this, it seems that the profession’s leading body isn’t interested in working with the military to address those concerns. (There are also operational shortcomings but that’s another issue.)

The question Danger Room posed a few months back still stands unanswered:

Are there any conditions under which anthropologists can work with the military?

One Response to “Social Scientists & War”

  1. I don’t understand this either. The wording of the anthropologists strikes me as ‘We want the military to protect us but we will not help the military in that protection.’ It comes across as the ‘nobility’ not wanting to dirty their hands with the actions of the ‘little people.’  I would love to have a clear explanation of what is going on.

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