Military Intelligence and the Human Terrain System

03.26.12 | 1 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

The latest issue of the Army’s Military Intelligence Professional Bulletin is devoted to the Human Terrain System (HTS), which is a U.S. Army program to conduct social and cultural studies in support of military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The Bulletin provides theoretical and practical accounts from HTS personnel in the field.

Thus, HTS analyst John Thorne writes that U.S. counterinsurgency operations can themselves generate a violent reaction “by causing shifts in perceptions of relative power or well-being, or through perceived threats to identity.”

The Army released the latest Bulletin in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.

The Human Terrain System program has been controversial among some social scientists who believe it wrongly subordinates scientific research to U.S. military imperatives.