Procurement: October 24, 2002


While it's easy to appreciate the technological lead the American military has over the rest of the world, it's easy to forget that the U.S. also has a significant edge on the rest of the world in the "soft" sciences (sociology, psychology, even comparative literature). But America has failed to mobilize these other advantages effectively. There have been attempts. The marines always manage to get some media attention like when they send officers to Wall Street to see what they can learn from the trading techniques developed by American financial firms. The U.S. Army Special Forces have occasionally sought help from anthropologists and sociologists. But there has never been a sustained effort to have military officers keep an eye on developments in the "soft sciences" for possible military applications. That is beginning to change, but quietly. The soft sciences also contain a large number of rabid anti-military activists. 


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