ORDER THE NCA'S BOOK:THE COUNTER-COUNTERINSURGENCY MANUAL, OR NOTES ON DEMILITARIZING AMERICAN SOCIETY
The founding members of the Network of Concerned Anthropologists include Catherine Besteman, Andrew Bickford, Greg Feldman, Gustaaf Houtman, Roberto Gonzalez, Hugh Gusterson, Jean Jackson, Kanhong Lin, Catherine Lutz, David Price, and David Vine.
We received more than 1,000 signatures. We are no longer collecting signatures for the pledge.
HTS WANTS YOU! BE WARNED!
(CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO)
CONGRESS LIMITS HTS FUNDING
House Armed Services Committee "limits the obligation of funding for HTS until the Army submits a required assessment of the program, provides revalidation of all existing operations requirements, and certifies Department‐level guidelines for the use of social scientists."
NCA on NPR
ANTHROPOLOGISTS' STATEMENT ON HTS
(More than 700 signatures collected!)
Modeled after a well-publicized 2008 statement written by economists to oppose the Bush administration's first TARP program, this statement to Congress aimed to clearly and concisely state the factual grounds for our opposition. Unlike our previous year-long effort to compile signatures for the Network of Concerned Anthropologists' "Pledge of Non- participation in Counterinsurgency," we attempted to collect the signatures of as many professional anthropologists as possible (including students!) as soon as possible so that our voice can be heard in the debate about HTS.
ON THE HUMAN TERRAIN SYSTEM PROGRAM
To the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the President pro tempore of the Senate, and the Chairs and Ranking Members of the House and Senate Armed Services and Appropriations Committees:
We, the undersigned anthropologists, want to express to Congress our profound opposition to the Human Terrain System (HTS) program and its proposed expansion. We are heartened and encouraged by the Pentagon’s interest in expanding its cultural knowledge, and we believe that anthropologists have an important role to play in shaping military and foreign policy. However, we believe that the HTS program is an inappropriate and ineffective use of anthropological and other social science expertise for the following reasons:
"Human Terrain Team" Named Most Euphemistic Phrase of 2007 (see American Dialect Society, p. 3)
SPEAK OUT!: AAA Blog
Pledge of Non-participation in Counter-insurgency
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. By so doing, such work breaches relations of openness and trust with the people anthropologists work with around the world and, directly or indirectly, enables the occupation of one country by another. In addition, much of this work is covert. Anthropological support for such an enterprise is at odds with the humane ideals of our discipline as well as professional standards.
We are not all necessarily opposed to other forms of anthropological consulting for the state, or for the military, especially when such cooperation contributes to generally accepted humanitarian objectives. A variety of views exist among us, and the ethical issues are complex. Some feel that anthropologists can effectively brief diplomats or work with peacekeeping forces without compromising professional values. However, work that is covert, work that breaches relations of openness and trust with studied populations, and work that enables the occupation of one country by another violates professional standards.
Consequently, we pledge not to undertake research or other activities in support of counter-insurgency work in Iraq or in related theaters in the “war on terror,” and we appeal to colleagues everywhere to make the same commitment.
SPEAK OUT: Tell the American Anthropological Association (AAA) what you think about anthropologists collaborating with the "war on terror" by posting on the AAA's Blog.