Report from the Field: Skin-in-Solutions: Militarizing Medicine and Militarizing Culture in the United States Military



The US military's creation and deployment of “Human Terrain Teams” and the use of anthropology as a weapon in counterinsurgency operations bears a disturbing similarity to militarized forms of medicine and biotechnology currently in development for US military personnel. Through the mobilization and instrumentalization of health, the US military intends to manipulate the bodies of soldiers while claiming that this manipulation is to protect the well-being of the soldier. This sort of deployment of health has little to do with the health of the individual, and is directly linked to “improving” the combat abilities of the individual, and of creating better and more encompassing means of control of the individual. As I see it, the Human Terrain System, and attempts to deploy a militarized anthropology to aid in counterinsurgency operations utilize a similar rationale, a rationale directly at odds with the AAA code of ethics and what I think it means to be an anthropologist.