More on Anthropologists and the Military

The American Anthropological Association begins its annual conference this week in Washington, D.C. At the meeting the Commission on the Engagement of Anthropology with the U.S. Security and Intelligence Communities plans to issue its final report, which will be critical of anthropologists’ working with the U.S. military’s Human Terrain Systems project. David Price, author of the forthcoming book Anthropological Intelligence, is a member of the commission. He is quoted in the Toronto Star, which explains how this is not a new debate. Price’s book chronicles anthropologists’ "efforts in World War II, from
studying enemy culture to involving themselves in propaganda. In the
1950s, the AAA itself collaborated with the CIA, Price notes. The
Vietnam War also saw the military use data from a French anthropologist
to determine village structure. After that war debacle, anthropology
maintained a strained distance from the military, until recently, and
critics fear history is repeating itself with the HTS." Price is also quoted in the Chronicle of Higher Education. The Chronicle Review has an editorial about this issue this week, too.

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