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  1. May 14, 2010 · Human Terrain Teams (HTTs) are five- to nine-person teams deployed by the Human Terrain System (HTS) to support field commanders by filling their cultural knowledge gap in the current operating environment and providing cultural interpretations of events occurring within their area of operations.

  2. Jul 08, 2010 · While conducting assessments, the HTAT interviewed local shop owners, clinic workers, and tribal leaders. At each location, Iraqis told the team they were pleased to see Iraqi Security Forces and...

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  4. Human Terrain Analysis To assist our clients in grasping the myriad of cultures, languages, and norms within their geographic operating area, i2Si brings a team of professionals with expertise in multiple social science disciplines, such as political science, sociology, cultural anthropology, linguistics and regional studies.

  5. The research methods used to illicit this required human terrain information include classic anthropological and sociological methods such as semi-structured and open-ended interviews, polling and surveys, text analysis, and participant observation. Both qualitative and quantitative methodologies are used, based on the research required.

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    • See Also
    • Further Reading

    In the most immediate sense, HTS was developed as a response to concerns about mismanagement of US military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and, in particular, to the negative effects of recognized "deficiencies" in US military "cultural understanding" of these countries. In 2006 the Human Terrain System was launched by the Pentagon, the headqu...

    Chronological history of developments in HTS

    The beginnings of HTS can be traced to a pilot proposal for a "Pentagon Office of Operational Cultural Knowledge", published in 2005 by Montgomery McFate and Andrea Jackson. In July 2005, the Foreign Military Studies Office (FMSO) initiated an HTS pilot project (named Cultural Operations Research – Human Terrain System, or COR-HTS), which was headed up by Captain Don Smith, and housed at the Training and Doctrine Command in Fort Leavenworth. The pilot lasted until August 2006. In July 2006, C...


    Michael V. Bhatia, a member of HTT AF1, was killed along with two other soldiers by an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) while riding in a Humvee in Khost, Afghanistan in May 2008.: 17 Nicole Suveges, a member of HTT IZ3, was killed on 24 June 2008, along with 11 other soldiers, Iraqi government officials and United States Embassy personnel when a bomb exploded at the District Council building in Sadr City.: 9 On 4 November 2008, HTS member Paula Loyd was fatally injured whilst surveying the...

    Role of HTS in the US Army

    HTS is defined as an "intelligence enabling capability",: 1 and is categorized as "Intelligence support activity". According to the HTS website, the aim of the program is to "provide sociocultural teams to commanders and staff" in the US Army in order to "improve the understanding of the local population", and to "apply this understanding to the Military Decision Making Process (MDMP)".The website also argues that the program was designed to address an identified "operational need" in the US...

    HTS components

    HTS has two main components: an institutional component referred to as the "Army Enduring Base", and an operational component referred to as "Deployed Teams".Both components include numerous sub-divisions.


    The HTS program focuses on mapping the "human terrain" (i.e. the local population in an area in which military are deployed). In order to do this, HTTs create databases of information about local leaders, tribes or social groups, political disputes, economic issues, and social problems. This information is then analyzed by HTATs, used to advise military staff and commanders, and used to inform the Military Decision Making Process (MDMP). Collected data is compiled and stored in a larger archi...

    Cultural references

    In 2010, James Der Derian, David Udris, and Michael Udris released a documentary film about HTS entitled Human Terrain: War Becomes Academic. The film has been described as having two main narrative components: the first is an inquiry into the HTS program and its history; the second is a narrative of the "tragic" story of Michael Bhatia's involvement in HTS.The film features interviews with numerous individuals who have played an important role in the history of HTS and the public debate surr...

    Golinghorst, Kevin R. (2012). Mapping the Human Terrain in Afghanistan. School of Advanced Military Studies (CreateSpace). ISBN 978-1479329151.
    Lucas, George R., Jr. (2009). Anthropologists in Arms: The Ethics of Military Anthropology. AltaMira Press. ISBN 978-0759112131.
    McNamara, Laura A.; Rubinstein, Rubin A. (2011). Dangerous Liaisons: Anthropologists and the National Security State. School for Advanced Research Press. ISBN 978-1934691496.
    Price, David H. (2011). Weaponizing Anthropology: Social Science in Service of the Militarized State. AK Press. ISBN 978-1849350631.
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