The Human Terrain System: Operationally Relevant Social Science Research in Iraq and Afghanistan
U.S. Army War College Carlisle
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To avoid the footpaths which may have been mined with improvised explosive devices IEDs, Ryan Evans, a U.S. federal civilian, was walking across a wheat field in Babaji, Helmand Province, in the spring of 2011. Evans was attached to the Royal Highland Fusiliers 2 Scots, C Company, a heavy infantry patrol tasked with providing security in the vicinity. Begun 2 years earlier, the Helmand Food Zone Program was a form of development intervention which offered subsidies, seed, and fertilizers to farmers who replaced lucrative opium cultivation from poppies with growing and harvesting wheat and vegetable crops. Babaji had been in the control of insurgents until a few months earlier and had not received any assistance from the program during the previous year consequently, there were tensions between the community and British forces.