Since 2007, an experimental Pentagon program has been sending teams of civilian anthropologists into the hardest-fought regions of Iraq and Afghanistan to understand the needs of local communities. The mission has become increasingly important to U.S. military strategy, but remains deeply controversial.
Social scientists work within frontline combat units to gather information and advise soldiers about the workings of the local economy, tribal structures, cultural norms and other elements of what the military calls the “human terrain.”
Journalist Vanessa Gezari of the Pulitzer Center is currently reporting on the Human Terrain project in Afghanistan. She is responding to your questions and comments about her story in The Washington Post Magazine.
Post your questions and comments below and Vanessa will answer them in the coming week.