KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — Two years after its formation, a controversial military program to embed civilian social scientists inside combat units in Iraq and Afghanistan is scrambling to recover from a string of crises. How the so-called “Human Terrain System” responds to a spate of combat deaths and a disastrous employee pay cut will determine whether the program survives in its current form. Human Terrain System, headquartered at Fort Leavenworth, in Kansas, is the brainchild of Montgomery McFate, a Harvard- and Yale-trained anthropologist. In a series of journal articles(.pdf) in 2005, McFate outlined the basic shape of what would become HTS. […]

The following op-ed has been adapted from the Project for National Security Reform’s recently released report (.pdf), “Turning Ideas Into Action.” It is the third of three that WPR has featured. The first can be found here. The second can be found here. The National Security Act of 1947 established the National Security Council (NSC) to draw upon the expertise of the diplomatic, military, and intelligence departments and agencies to advise the president and coordinate policy. Today’s NSC consists of the president as well as select department secretaries and agency heads. A national security adviser and a small National Security […]