This course provides an overview of incorporating Human Geography into GEOINT at NGA, with the intention of providing a foundation of the knowledge, skills, and application capabilities for the NGA GEOINT analyst.
The Joint Civil Information Management Tactical Handbook is designed to provide joint procedures and standardized formats for the collection and reporting of civil data to support the Joint Force Commander planning and execution of operations. The publication consolidates the Services’ best tactics, techniques and procedures.
Human Terrain Team Survey Finds U.S. Soldiers Widely Believe the Afghan Army is Making Little to No Progress
A research report compiled earlier this year by a group of social scientists working for the U.S. Army’s Human Terrain System found that members of the Afghan National Army (ANA) are largely seen by coalition forces as unmotivated, highly dependent and making little to no progress. The report, titled “ANA and CF Partnership in Khost and Paktiya”, is based on interviews and observations made during the Human Terrain Team’s time embedded with a U.S. cavalry squadron from November to December 2011. A survey distributed to three other companies also informs much of the report’s findings, which are intended to analyze “the dynamics that influence partnering between the ANA and [coalition forces] and how they contributed to the ANA’s effectiveness in gaining the Afghan population’s support.” The soldier’s candid responses to the survey provide a great deal of insight into the perceptions of the Afghan National Army among coalition forces.
U.S. Army Human Terrain Team Report: Afghan National Army and Coalition Forces Partnership in Khost and Paktiya
Members of Human Terrain Team AF01 embedded with a U.S. cavalry squadron from November to December 2011. Our goal was to understand the dynamics that influence partnering between the Afghan National Army (ANA) and Coalition Forces (CF) and how those dynamics impacted ANA effectiveness in gaining the Afghan population’s support. We conducted 22 interviews with U.S. Army personnel, including U.S. enlisted Soldiers and officers, U.S. troop commanders, police trainers, and ANA mentors. In addition, we conducted 21 interviews with high- and low-ranking ANA enlisted Soldiers and officers and Afghan police officers. We accompanied U.S. forces on non-kinetic missions to villages throughout Khost and Paktiya to gather perceptions from the Afghan civilian population.
A map depicting the approximate locations, members and national affiliations of every human terrain team operating in Afghanistan as part of the U.S. Army’s Human Terrain System. The information is accurate as of April 3, 2012.
Most US personnel that are serving in Afghanistan have already served a tour in Iraq and are accustomed to doing things “the Iraq way”. Many people are trying to apply the lessons learned in Iraq to Afghanistan, which in many cases is inappropriate. AF2 wants to provide a product to US units to compare and contrast Iraqi tribal structure and Pashtun tribal structure to prevent future missteps by US forces.
Local governance in rural Afghanistan is not simple. Older customary local assemblies operate alongside GIRoA officials, Community Development Councils (CDC’s), and insurgent groups. Although we speak of insurgent governments as “shadow governments,” they rarely exist in the shadows for those over whom they wield power. In villages where insurgents continue to exercise control, the insurgents and not GIRoA perform traditional governmental functions; they levy taxes, resolve disputes (they are, in many villages the only law in town), and maintain local defense forces. Western Powers have invested their hope and their treasure in inventing a new form of local control: Community District Councils that come out of the National Solidarity Program (NSP). Managed by the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD) with funds from NGO’s and from the World Bank, these organizations set priorities for the expenditure of donor money and oversee contracts. Although they offer an alternative to the indiscriminate funding of the past that encouraged favoritism and corruption, these organizations have little authority except when it comes to the stewardship of outside money. As those development funds begin to dry up, will CDC’s vanish? Can they be further empowered?
Military cultural awareness training for Afghanistan often emphasizes that the effeminate characteristics of male Pashtun interaction are to be considered “normal” and no indicator of a prevalence of homosexuality. This training is intended to prevent servicemembers from reacting with typically western shock or aversion to such displays. However, slightly more in-depth research points to the presence of a culturally-dependent homosexuality appearing to affect a far greater population base then some researchers would argue is attributable to natural inclination. To dismiss the existence of this dynamic out of desire to avoid western discomfort is to risk failing to comprehend an essential social force underlying Pashtun culture—one with a variety of potential implications upon the efficacy and applicability of ISAF efforts and on the long-term future of Afghan society.
Human terrain teams (HTTs) consist of five to nine personnel deployed by the HTS to support field commanders. HTTs fill the socio-cultural knowledge gap in the commander’s operational environment and interpret events in his AO. The team, individuals with social science and operational backgrounds, deploys with military units to bring knowledge about the local population into a coherent analytic framework. The teams also assist in building relationships with the local community in order to provide advice and opportunities to commanders and staffs in the field.
Human Terrain Teams (HTTs) are five- to nine-person teams deployed by the Human Terrain System (HTS) to support field commanders by filling their cultural knowledge gap in the current operating environment and providing cultural interpretations of events occurring within their area of operations. The team is composed of individuals with social science and operational ackgrounds that are deployed with tactical and operational military units to assist in bringing knowledge about the local population into a coherent analytic framework and build relationships with the local power-brokers in order to provide advice and opportunities to Commanders and staffs in the field.