Sunday, August 30, 2009

Newest Washington Post story about Human Terrain in Afghanistan

With thanks to the always-excellent Small Wars Journal, read Rough Terrain by Vanessa M. Gezari about the Army's Humain Terrain program.

Lede: "Under an experimental program in Afghanistan, teams of anthropologists and social scientists are working alongside soldiers to help win the war by winning over the Afghan people. It may seem like a brilliant idea. But in this battle, nothing is as it seems."

Key quote: "[Human Terrain social scientist Karl Slaikeu] eventually decided to join but still harbored misgivings. As he went through the four-month training at Fort Leavenworth, he reevaluated the project, he said. He was still doing that in Maywand, watching for anything that might jeopardize ethical standards by endangering local people.

"It just hasn't come," he said, "and I've been looking for it.""

This stuff excites me. I've asked before, and I'll ask again: how do I get into this line of work? Given my latest career choice, how do I get into this line of work as a lawyer? Should I join a CA unit as a JAG? Should I dual-degree - would that be my best 'in'?




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