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Topic - Human Terrain Team

A Human Terrain Team (HTT), part of the Human Terrain System program, begun in late 2003, is a controversial, experimental counter-insurgency effort of the United States military which embeds anthropologists and other social scientists with combat brigades in Iraq and Afghanistan to help tacticians in the field understand local cultures. "Academic embeds" as the social scientists on teams are known, help troops understand relevant cultural history, engage locals in a way they can appreciate, and incorporate knowledge about tribal traditions in conflict resolution. In interviews, US military officers in Afghanistan have stated that the aim of the program is to improve the performance of local government officials, persuade tribesmen to join the police, ease poverty and protect villagers from the Taliban and criminals. ==Development==In late 2003, US officers in Iraq complained of poor local intelligence. Cultural anthropologist Montgomery McFate was recruited by the Pentagon while working for the Navy because she advocated using social science to improve military operations and strategy. McFate helped develop a database in 2005 that provided officers with detailed information on the local population. In 2006, Colonel Steve Fondacaro (Special Operations, retired) joined the program and advocated embedding social scientists with US combat units. - Source: Wikipedia

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