About this blog...

I am a former leader of a Human Terrain Team in Iraq. My intent with this blog was to identify relevant, open-source materials on Iraqi culture, society, politics, religion and economics - just about anything on or about the Iraqi population in general.

I am continuing the blog now only sporadically, as a means of information distribution in support of efforts to improve a vital program hamstrung by failures in execution.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Back from Iraq

Hi all-

Just wanted to drop you a line and let you know I'm back from Iraq. A lot of you getting this email probably have no idea who I am -- sorry for that. Gmail automatically captures the address of anyone with whom you send or receive, which has left me with an address book that's far too large to manage. In my laziness, I'm just sending to all...

I'm currently demobilizing at Fort Leavenworth, and will be returning home to Charlottesville soon. Yes, for now, Charlottesville will be home. Zenia has one more semester of course work on the PhD, and I didn't make it back in time for UGA's semester anyway, so we'll be there at least until summer. After that, who knows? For now, I'm job hunting. We're still planning on finishing out the PhDs -- either at UGA, UVA or a player to be named later -- but for the right jobs we might put it off or walk away from it.

If you're curious, this article has a little about what I've done the last 8 months: http://www.usnews.com/articles/news/iraq/2007/11/30/the-pentagon-deploys-social-scientists-to-help-understand-iraqs-human-terrain.html

So that's it here. Thanks, all of you, for your thoughts and prayers, messages and care packages. They all meant a lot. It's been a really rough time for both of us, and we're still dealing with parts of it, but we're looking forward to a new start together. (If you don't know what I'm talking about, this is a brief intro to what Zenia's been going through, and what we're still dealing with as we try to repair what they did to her clearance: http://www.campus-watch.org/article/id/4586. The issues I dealt with in Iraq are something separate, and took a lot out of me in their own ways, but not in any way that will have an enduring impact on me.)


Well, I hope that this finds you all well, and I'll talk to you sometime!

cheers,

Matt.

4 comments:

emjay in VA said...

Thanks for doing the job, and being part of the "wetting down" for HTS. As an FAO educated at a civilian university Language and Area Studies graduate program during the Vietnam era, am happy to see HTS being developed. May or may not be too late for "significant" impact in Iraq, but if saved lives is a criterion, HTS is on time, anytime. Hope the perspective of a junior officer will prove to be valuable to you and others in the development of the military/social science rapprochement. And I'm sure Zenia's situation will improve after the damage from the Nadia Prouty case, and several similar penetrations, is repaired. She's probably a victim of the CI screening and investigative flaws revealed by those cases. Unfortunate, but that's life in the big city.

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Norman Rogers said...

Testing...is ths blog defunct?

Norman Rogers said...

Thank you for leaving the comments on your defunct blog open for me.

I am opposed to the Human Terrain System, but I do applaud the efforts of the people who have sacrificed a great deal to make it happen. I think that the ethical considerations weigh heavily against this type of program.

You may read about this here...