In the wake of the death of one of the HTS anthropologists last week in Afghanistan, The Guardian covers some of the controversy around the use of anthropology by the military. The article discusses the “Anthropology and Global Counter-Insurgency” conference I presented at last month, and features quotes from and mentions of several of the participants, including John Kelly, Marshall Sahlins, David Price, Hugh Gusterson, Brian Selmanski, and Kerry Frosh — the latter two representing the Air Force and Marines, respectively.
Though the article notes that HTS advocates denied the invitation to take part, there was an HTS recruiter in the audience for at least part of the conference; several people talked with him, and he left his card quite freely, so it’s not like it was a secret or anything.
Of course, how telling is it that the only mainstream mention of the conference comes from a UK paper? You’d think, after the big PR push by the US Army last year — I mean come on, The Daily Show? — there would be some attention paid to the “native” response from anthropologists. We are, after all, supposed to be the secret sauce that’s going to win this war.