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Anthropologist Dr. Marcus Griffin briefs Lt. Col. Curtis Carson - deputy commanding officer of 2nd Brigade 101st Airborne Division which has responsibility for much of Northwest Baghdad - on his findings after conducting a field survey of residents of Baghdad's Ghazaliyah District. The controversial program which has brought Dr. Griffin and other social scientists to America's conflict zones saw its first combat anthropologist on the ground in Afghanistan in 2006.  Last September, Defence Secretary Robert Gates authorized $40 million to expand to program to 20 so-called Human Terrain Teams, with nine members each. The idea to invite social scientists into war zones is rooted in the military's counter-insurgency (COIN) manual, which sums up necessary civil considerations with the acronym ASCOPE ? areas, structures, capabilities, people and events.  The job of the anthropologist on the ground is essentially to flush out these categories with social and cultural information that will help sensitise soldiers to local differences and norms, eventually reducing the need for combat operations.
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