The Army appears to have revived a controversial program that sent social scientists to battlefields and became mired in fraud and sexual harassment, according to documents and interviews.
The Human Terrain System spent at least $727 million to deploy anthropologists and other social scientists to Iraq and Afghanistan between 2007 and 2014. In June, the Army confirmed that the program had been killed because commanders no longer required advice from civilian anthropologists. However, a program with similar components, titled the Global Cultural Knowledge Network, appears to have taken its place within the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command, according documents and emails obtained by USA TODAY.
A critic of the program, Rep. Duncan Hunter, a California Republican and member of the Armed Services Committee, demanded answers about the program from Acting Army Secretary Patrick Murphy in a letter sent Monday. Hunter noted “striking similarities between the two programs” and called on the Army to explain how the Global Cultural Knowledge Network differed from Human Terrain System. He also asked for an accounting of its cost and the number of people it employs.
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