Important breaking news, please see: Human Terrain System Criticized by U.S. Congress. The House Armed Services Committee in the U.S., which was awaiting an independent assessment of the U.S. Army's Human Terrain System, which has not been forthcoming, has decided to stop further funding for HTS. The HASC wants the U.S. Army to look at other opportunities, to justify the need for HTS, and to certify how HTS complies with Army guidelines. The HASC noted "certain concerns" with the program. HTS had gone on an aggressive media campaign early on to attract anthropologists into supporting counterinsurgency teams in Iraq and Afghanistan, initially for very high salaries reaching as much as $300,000 U.S. Since the program began in 2007, it has suffered three fatalities, and its management was "nationalized," brought into the U.S. Army rather than run as a private military contractor outfit under BAE Systems, with which ample fault was found. The drop in salaries led to a mass exodus from the program. In addition, the U.S. Army has since developed other, competing, in-house human terrain analysis capabilities. The American Anthropological Association formally rejected HTS on ethical grounds, stating that anthropologists working in the program were not pursuing a legitimate professional application of anthropology.
We send our warm congratulations to the Network of Concerned Anthropologists, our sister organization, for its resolute opposition to HTS and for its tireless organizing, writing, and publicizing of the harm represented by HTS for an independent and credible anthropology.