31 May 2011
28 May 2011
"...Once considered an arcane branch of Cold War-era political science, security and intelligence studies now attracts interest from historians, sociologists -- even engineers trying to design structures that might become terrorist targets. At least 10 Canadian universities offer courses dealing with security and intelligence issues....The U.S. government's response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks resulted in the allocation of billions of dollars for intelligence and security agencies. The spillover is felt at American colleges and universities that have been able to start new courses and programs. The Department of Homeland Security finances faculty positions at 'centres of excellence' at six universities and 23 partner universities....Ottawa has also allocated considerable sums for security in recent years, but academics in Canada say they aren't seeing the same kind of benefit as their American colleagues....""Canada Boost Intelligence," Canadian Press, 04 February 2007:
"As universities struggle to meet the growing post-9-11 demand for courses in security and intelligence, Canada's spy agency has revved up recruiting efforts to fill positions soon to be vacated by retiring baby boomers.""It’s All About the People: Cultural Intelligence (CQ) as a Force Multiplier in the Contemporary Operating Environment," by Emily Spencer (University of Northern British Columbia), in Journal of Conflict Studies,Vol. 29, 2009:
Counterinsurgency within "the national domain":
"16 Within the domestic realm there are a number of audiences that are critical for the Canadian Forces to fully understand — each with its specific beliefs, values, and attitudes and, consequently, behaviors. The first target domestic audience is the general Canadian public itself. Understanding Canadian beliefs, values, and attitudes is critically important for a number of reasons. First, public confidence and support is crucial for the continuing vitality of the CF. The 'decade of darkness' of the 1990s, when a series of scandals eroded governmental and public confidence and support in the CF, demonstrated the danger of losing touch with Canadian societal sensitivities and beliefs in such basic concepts as accountability, integrity, and transparency. This erosion in CF support impacted the Department of National Defence (DND) and the CF in a myriad of ways from budgetary support to recruiting and the ability to investigate and regulate itself as an autonomous profession. In essence, public support engenders political support, which can lead directly to credibility and trust, which in turn leads to freedom of action. Indeed, continuing Canadian participation in Afghanistan is directly tied to public sentiment and support.The same article also evaluates the utility of the U.S. Army's Human Terrain System (HTS) for its possible lessons for Canadian cultural counterinsurgency. For more along those lines, see the next item:
"17 A 'cultural' comprehension of the general Canadian public also has an impact on recruiting. An understanding of what is important to Canadians, and what triggers their commitment and support, is key to developing the necessary approaches to attract young Canadians to join the CF. If the public understand the CF and its members, if there is a deep-rooted connection between them and the CF, particularly its mission and importance to national security, temporary crises or scandals will be less traumatic and have a shorter lasting effect.
"18 Finally, a cultural understanding of the general Canadian public is an important source of information. As the threat to Western societies grows through both the interconnected globalized world and through radicalization of home-grown terrorists through the internet or simply from domestic disenfranchised elements, the CF will increasingly be called on to assist law enforcement agencies (LEA) in a domestic context. As such, understanding what is important to Canadians from a cultural, ideological, and/ or attitudinal perspective will be critical for ensuring active support of the CF and equally to prevent alienation, passivity, or even active resistance while assisting LEAs in Canada."
CANADIAN FORCES COLLEGE / COLLÈGE DES FORCES CANADIENNES - JCSP 34 / PCEMI 34 - MASTER OF DEFENCE STUDIES PAPER - From the Physical to the Cognitive: The Changing Nature of the Army in Post-Modern Operations. By /par Maj C.W. Kean, 25 April 2008:
"The Human Terrain System (HTS) is an innovative method of gaining an appreciation for and understanding of the cultural aspects that shape different perspectives within a given society. When properly implemented, the Human Terrain System (HTS) helps clarify previous assumptions or gaps in understanding that had plagued the Army in previous years. This tool allows the commander and his or her staff the ability to visualize the complexity of the social systems within their area of operations so that they are more capable of understanding root causes of conflict and conceptualizing possible second and third-order consequences of their actions. It further allows the commander and his staff the ability to better understand the situation from the perspective of the population and potential adversaries." (page 55)
The Gregg Centre for the Study of War and Society, at the University of New Brunswick:
Our strengths: Internationally recognized faculty specializing in peacekeeping, modern stability building, terrorism, intelligence and military and naval history...The Journal of Conflict Studies, from the Gregg Centre (above):
Topics Include:Canadian Intelligence Resource Centre: Academic Community and Research Groups
- revolutionary or civil war
- guerrilla warfare
- counter-insurgency and counter-terror operations
- propaganda and psychological warfare
- intelligence activities
- media coverage of such conflict
- foreign/military policy
- strategic studies as they relate to the field
Canadian Association for Security and Intelligence Studies--see links to ACADEMIC PROGRAMS
27 May 2011
17 May 2011
Sociology & Anthropology, Concordia University
Originally published in the newsletter of the Canadian Anthropology Society (CASCA)--click here if the link does not work.
“While many anthropologists express concerns about disciplinary ties to military and intelligence organizations,contemporary anthropology has no core with which to either sync or collide and there are others in the field who openly (and quietly) support such developments.”
--David Price, anthropologist, author of Anthropological Intelligence (March 12 / 13, 2005, Counterpunch)
“As one HTT [Human Terrain Team] member said, ‘One anthropologist can be much more effective than a B-2 bomber – not winning a war, but creating a peace one Afghan at a time’.”
--Website of the U.S. Army’s Human Terrain System
Critics have argued, among many points, that social scientists are being used to better refine targeting, given that the Assistant Undersecretary of Defense, John Wilcox, noted: “the human terrain enables the global kill chain.” Recruits receive at least $300,000 per annum when in the field, a major incentive for some, even if two social scientists (both PhD students) have been killed (one from a roadside bomb in Afghanistan, the other from a suicide bomber in Iraq).
The American Anthropological Association's Executive Board issued a statement critical of embedding anthropologists in counterinsurgency teams, followed by a broad final report still critical of HTS, and very recently a call to all members to consider a complete revision of the entire Code of Ethics of the association.
Up until July of this year (2008), this debate seemed to be largely confined to American anthropology, and to the Human Terrain System, even when several other U.S. government programs recruit anthropologists and other social scientists in espionage and national security research, such as the National Security Education Program (NSEP), the Intelligence Community Scholars Program (ICSP), and the Pat Roberts Intelligence Scholars Program (PRISP), the latter instituted with the support and guidance of Felix Moos, anthropologist at the University of Kansas. Moreover, even the principles and mechanisms behind the Human Terrain System have been incorporated in newly expanded designs for the U.S. military’s Africa Command (AFRICOM), and its Latin American and Caribbean Command (SOUTHCOM), to better penetrate local cultures and expand the nature of U.S. military presence in those regions, in part with the aid of social science research.
|"Sometimes it gets kinetic," reads the caption to this photo from the Human Terrain System|
While in 1988 a CIA spokeswoman bragged that they had enough professors on their payroll to staff a large university, since 2001 this collaboration has grown further: as David Price noted, “many institutions are cultivating closer relations with intelligence agencies. New campus intelligence consortia are forming. Most of these are organizations like the National Academic Consortium for Homeland Security…which aligns research and teaching at member institutions with the requirements of Bush’s war on terror” (“CIA Skullduggery in Academia: Carry On Spying,” Counterpunch, May 21 / 22, 2005).
Suddenly, however, with the implementation of the Pentagon’s new Minerva program, the import and impact of the militarization of the social sciences has now widened considerably even beyond these areas of concern, and beyond the social sciences in the U.S.
(1) Chinese Military and Technology Research and Archive Programs;
What is important to note, besides the size of the awards and the nature of national security research that is being promoted, is that foreign universities and foreign researchers are also encouraged to participate: “This MRI competition is open to institutions of higher education (universities) including DoD institutions of higher education and foreign universities, with degree-granting programs in social sciences. Participation by foreign universities either as project lead or in a supporting role is encouraged” (p. 4).
Military reviewers and government employees are looking specifically for proposals that are relevant to Pentagon goals. The focus of areas (2) and (4) is to “elucidate the relationships amongst social, cultural, political, religious and economic factors that interact to foster political violence, terrorism or insurgent behavior” (p. 17). The Pentagon notes the following disciplines as “relevant”: “anthropology, economics, political science, sociology, social and cognitive psychology, and computational science.”
This project also calls on academics to themselves identify an organization or an ideology as “terrorist” without providing any guidelines or list of suggested organizations and ideologies. Surveillance is intended, over the long term, and anthropologists are specifically called upon, as “the relevance of context and situation may require field research” (p. 20).
The effort is aimed at studying “behaviour networks, groups, and communities over time” with an “urgent need” to locate terrorist organizations and populations sympathetic to them. “Especially helpful to the Department of Defense,” the document states, is, understanding where organized violence is likely to erupt, what factors might explain its contagion, and how to circumvent its spread.
Research on belief formation and emotional contagion will provide cultural advisors with better tools to understand the impact of operations on the local population. This research should also contribute to countermeasures to help revise or influence belief structures to reduce the likelihood of militant cells forming.(p. 21)
The National Science Foundation’s Division of Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences released its calls for applications under the title, “Social and Behavioral Dimensions of National Security, Conflict, and Cooperation (NSCC).” Full proposals are being sought for a deadline of October 30, this year. Projects will be jointly reviewed by the NSF and the Pentagon, and funded by the Pentagon.
“ISLAM IS THE PRIMARY TARGET OF MINERVA, AS A SOURCE OF VIOLENCE AND RADICALIZATION TO BE MONITORED AND PENETRATED BY ACADEMIC FIELDWORKERS.”IMPERIAL RESEARCH AGENDAS
Thus far there has been no public discussion by either the NSF or the AAA about the ethics of Minerva projects. For example, one of the areas of research for which applications are invited is titled the “Iraqi Perspectives Project.” Part of the description of the background of this research field reads as follows:
In the course of Operation Iraqi Freedom, a vast number of documents and other media came into the possession of the Department of Defense. The materials have already been transferred to electronic media and organized. Yet these comprise only a small part of the growing declassified archive and its potential, combined with the open literature. This continuing collection offers a unique opportunity for multidisciplinary scholarship combined with research in methods and technologies for assisting scholarship in automated analysis, organization, retrieval, translation, and collaboration (p. 19).
"When research that could be funded by neutral civilian agencies is instead funded by the military, knowledge is subtly militarized and bent in the way a tree is bent by a prevailing wind. The public comes to accept that basic academic research on religion and violence “belongs” to the military; scholars who never saw themselves as doing military research now do; maybe they wonder if their access to future funding is best secured by not criticizing U.S. foreign policy; a discipline whose independence from military and corporate funding fueled the kind of critical thinking a democracy needs is now compromised; and the priorities of the military further define the basic terms of public and academic debate. (“The U.S. Military's Quest to Weaponize Culture,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 20 June 2008).
To secure the national defense was one of the original missions we were given when we were chartered in 1950. We’ve always believed that sociologists, anthropologists, psychologists and other social scientists, through basic social and behavioral science research, could benefit our national security. In fact, we’ve always done so through various research projects. The MOU [Memorandum of Understanding with the Pentagon] gives us another tool and more resources to do what we’ve always done well.
13 May 2011
From the AJP Symposium at CASCA 2011: The Anthropology of Militarism/The Militarization of Anthropology
Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Paper presented at the symposium by Anthropologists for Justice and Peace, “Paths Out of Empire: Anthropologies of Resistance and Prefiguration,” at the conference of the Canadian Anthropology Society (CASCA), Fredericton NB, Canada, 11 May 2011.
Download the formatted, printable PDF
Taking up the challenges posed by Hugh Gusterson, for anthropology to become more cognizant of how militarism often shapes research topics and field sites, and to make militarism a subject of theoretical and empirical inquiry as much as colonialism or post-colonialism have been, we examine what an anthropology of militarism would encompass, and what its methods and aims should be. However, we couple this with scrutiny of the militarization of anthropology as one of the current reincarnations of anthropological support for empire, rendering anthropology one of the front-lines in the confrontation with militarism. We examine the import of diffused, outsourced modes of enlisting support and service to empire by contracting service for military goals. If no one in the world is untouched by militarism, we need to understand the nature of that “touching” and its limits, and here anthropologists can speak as insiders.
“When the university turns away from its central purpose and makes itself an appendage to the Government, concerning itself with techniques rather than purposes, with expedients rather than ideas, dispensing conventional orthodoxy rather than new ideas, it is not only failing to meet its responsibilities to students; it is betraying a public trust.”--J. William Fulbright (see also AJP, 2011).
The speaker in that opening quote is not a Maoist, a Leninist anti-imperialist, or an anarchist, but rather U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright. He wrote those words at a time, such as this, of the U.S. transforming itself into a military nation, where war becomes an end in itself, and where the distance between patriotism and militarism has been blurred to the extent that they fuse into one, producing bellicose jingoism.
11 May 2011
At AJP symposium on Paths Out of Empire today, Robin Oakley compared anthropologists to poets of India's heroic age #anthro #anthropologyless than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet ReplyAJP
Oakley: poets of India's heroic age were feared by leaders; also sought out by them, given their knowledge of society #anthro #anthropologyless than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet ReplyAJP
Oakley: #anthropology used for counterinsurgency, is #anthro gone bad; will ultimately negate itself, since it fragments communitiesless than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet ReplyAJP
Oakley: low-intensity warfare has become a fact of everyday life in North America, between the haves and have-nots. #anthro #anthropologyless than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet ReplyAJP
Khasnabish at AJP symposium: public, applied, engaged #anthropology = forms of liberal engagement, making #anthro relevant to policyless than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet ReplyAJP
Khasnabish: 1. Invocation - where academic authority is used to legitimate social movements; speaking for them. #anthro #anthropologyless than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet ReplyAJP
Khasnabish: or 3. Convocation - where we put into play the "weird autonomy" of the academic, in a collective summoning #anthro #anthropologyless than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet ReplyAJP
Khasnabish: "the radical imagination," coming out of convocation, is not something we "have" but something we "do" #anthro #anthropologyless than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet ReplyAJP
Next up from the AJP symposium at CASCA 2011 in Fredericton: Angela Robinson, on Aboriginal decolonization. #anthro #anthropologyless than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet ReplyAJP
AJP's Angela Robinson: the "disappearance" of Aboriginals, as a fiction of governmental colonization in Newfoundland. #anthro #anthropologyless than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet ReplyAJP
Robinson:root of govt's vanishing of aboriginals=conflict over different cultural notions of land ownership, occupancy #anthro #anthropologyless than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet ReplyAJP
Reddi Yalamala at AJP Symposium: more present among India's #anthropology students, faculty: women, tribals, lower-castes. #anthroless than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet ReplyAJP
Yalamala in discussion: some Indian anthropologists serving in top positions in counterinsurgency against Naxal rebels #anthro #anthropologyless than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet ReplyAJP
Brown is a former student of Felix Moos at Kansas, who is a key supporter of Human Terrain System, militarism in #anthro #anthropologyless than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet ReplyAJP
Brown's research is more about the Bowman Expeditions, based at U. of Kansas, relationship with U.S. military. #anthro #anthropologyless than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet ReplyAJP
Brown:also need to put pressure on professional associations to fight militarism more; need to write in public venues. #anthro #anthropologyless than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet ReplyAJP
Instead of tweets about Max Forte's presentation at AJP Symposium, dealing with militarism & militarized #anthro, his paper will follow.less than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet ReplyAJP
Discussion: 4. what does it mean today to do anthropology, where should it be done, about what, to whose ends? #anthro #anthropologyless than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet ReplyAJP