Use of Anthropologists in Intelligence Gathering for the Military

Topics: History, Culture, Sociology Pages: 3 (1066 words) Published: February 27, 2011
As noted, anthropology’s work with the military over the years has been wrought with controversy. Where do you stand on the issue regarding the use of anthropologists in intelligence gathering for the military? I realize that anthropologist where needed to help understand the culture, the personalities, the cultural landscapes and exactly where we could get strategic strongholds of who we were in conflict with. An anthropologist name Montgomery McFate felt as though “If you understand how to frustrate or satisfy the population’s interests or get them to support your side in a counterinsurgency, you don’t need to kill as many people,” she said. “And you certainly will create fewer enemies.” Her ideas have made McFate the focus of bitter criticism — but not from the uniformed forces after all they have helped the military to conquer countries economically, socially and culturally by studying the countries ways, means and culture. After four years of a war that was supposed to last approximately four months, the military is now listening to McFate’s ideas — and committing money and manpower to make them a reality. Understanding that war is never ok (McFate) being an anthropologist comes the understanding that war is a human impulse and since anthropology also includes problem solving socially, economically and politically anthropologist attempt to find practical solutions to all problems including war. I think that using anthologist and allowing them to use their influence to achieve a result will help to deter wars by giving us an alternative as to how we can solve the problems. (Mcfate, Anthropology and the war, April 2007) Can you come up with a compelling argument based on examples given in the text, your understanding of the ethical requirements of anthropologist, and from your own experiences /understanding of past and present military actions to take a stance on this issue? My understanding of the ethical requirement of an anthropologist is...
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