Accession Number:

ADA502914

Title:

Human Terrain: A Tactical Issue or a Strategic C4I Problem?

Descriptive Note:

Conference paper

Corporate Author:

INSTITUTE FOR DEFENSE ANALYSES ALEXANDRIA VA

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2008-05-20

Pagination or Media Count:

17.0

Abstract:

The term human terrain was coined recently by the Army in response to critical needs for information about the individuals, groups and the workings of the society in general in Iraq. The call for help and the response to date has focused on tactical operations, but it is essential to consider the possibility that the tactical need points to a strategic issue for the C4ISR community. In this paper I will consider some of the similarities and differences between physical terrain and human terrain and how that has contributed to the rift between the military and some vocal members of the social science community - notably anthropologists. Having alluded to the possibility of a strategic issue, I will attempt to make that case using an analogy from more familiar topics. Finally, I will attempt to point out disconnects and problem areas where the perspectives and capabilities of the C4ISR community could provide a foundation for creating a bridge from the current tactical solution space to the development of a valuable strategic capability for the military now and in the future.

Subject Categories:

  • Sociology and Law
  • Unconventional Warfare
  • Command, Control and Communications Systems

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE