Re: Ref to Counterinsurgency in SE Asia

janis silva (jsilva@SPARC1.CASTLES.COM)
Tue, 24 Jan 1995 07:55:19 -0800

There has been a discussion on the board about the 1970 AAA meeting in San
Diego concerning counterinsurgency and ethics. I attended that meeting.
Project Camelot was discussed. This was a project funded by the U.S. Army
to fund anthropologists in Asia, Latin America, Europe, and Africa. These
anthropologists were to study civil unrest and to provide solutions. The
project blew up when a group of Chilian officials complained to the
U.S.that the anthropologists were secretly interfering in Chilean politics.
At the 1970 AAA meeting a motion was made to set ethical guidelines for
anthropologists. Anthropologists were not to be used as spys. They pointed
out that the US government had funded many anthropological studies in
Vietnam-- before the US became politically involved in Vietnam. However,
even at the AAA meeting it was stated there probably would be some
anthropologists who would still accept funding for the wrong reasons. They
emphasized a stronger set of ethical guidelines for anthropologists in the
field. Margaret Mead was involved in the discussion. This is an overview
of the general meeting.

Janis Silva

>As promised last night, here is the reference to a book that documents
>activities of some anthropologists in SE Asia during the Vietnam war years.
>Wakin, Eric 1992. _Anthropology Goes to War: Professional Ethics and
>Counterinsurgency in Thailand_. Madison, WI: U. of Wisconsin Center for SE
>Asian Studies, Monograph No. 7.
>The book talks about Vietnam related activities.
>Phil Young

Janis silva Solano Community College Anthropology Department
Fax 707 427-0109 707 864-7000 ext. 470