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Technology & Innovation

Query Over Army’s Social Science Experts

Hundreds of Army social scientists are unqualified, a former boss says. He also claims some defense contractors charge exorbitant prices for "the lowest common denominator of people."

Five years after the Army began a controversial program to embed social scientists in combat units, the former director and chief bureaucratic force behind the program (until he was ousted in June), says that a third of those researchers were not qualified. Steve Fondacaro says the Defense contractor struggled to find people physically and intellectually fit to operate in Iraq and Afghanistan, and flexible enough to work with the military.” Wired says: “Simply put, if the U.S can’t understand the populations it deals with in complex, irregular wars like Afghanistan — their traditions, their social structures, their power dynamics — then American counterinsurgency efforts are in deep trouble.”


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