Sources report that Senior Social Scientist Montgomery McFate resigned her post with the US Army Human Terrain System (HTS) within the last ten days. Observers say the “category of resignation is similar to that of former HTS program manager Steve Fondacaro in that all assume it was a ‘forced revision’ or ‘let go’ as is common within the HTS program when an employee is released. McFate’s position is now advertised as vacant said sources.
Observers express concern that some individuals who were appointed/hired by Fondacaro and McFate at Oyster Point, Virginia–to act on their behalf in the Social Science Directorate—will not function in the best interests of the program.
Meanwhile, others report that in the HTS training class known as “Research Methods” some instructors have told students that it is acceptable “to distribute blank journals to Afghan villagers and to have them note their impressions of what is going on in their country.” The problem is, according to sources, that the journal instructions are in English and, of course, most Afghans do not speak English and are often illiterate even in their own language.
Observers say Social Scientists are in such short supply in HTS, that they are being jumped ahead of their designated training classes and are being deployed early minus proper training to survive in a war zone. Uniformed military personnel who have “done the time” in country express bewilderment at command decisions that lead to “field training” conducted by inexperienced National Guardsmen such as the Texas Army National Guard.
Some in the “Guard” have done tours in Afghanistan and Iraq and have the credentials for training. But some have just arrived in-country and are not qualified for the effort
Sources say, “active duty personnel find HTS is useless, and only serves to extend the line to the DFAC (Dining Hall).”
JOHN STANTON is a Virginia based writer specializing in national security matters. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org