Ethical Landscapes of the Human Terrain System
Clawson, Jenna Lark
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This thesis addresses current controversy over ethical practices in the Human Terrain System. In the past decade the Department of Defense has adopted a cultural approach in the science of military control consequently creating the controversial HTS program. The HTS employs anthropologists to create ethnographic data sets on target populations, which has created ethical concerns for the anthropology discipline. This phenomenon is situated in the context of anthropologists’ roles in colonial population control, prior military engagements, and the discipline’s reactions to late 20th century ethics issues. This ethical dilemma is analyzed using discourse of the military, academics, and the public. Themes found are contextualized in an analysis of ethics standards and practices for anthropology and the military and the AAAs opposition to the HTS. Findings are explained through application of Hoffman’s cultural response to disaster model. Based on this research, I make some initial suggestions for resolving this ethical dilemma.