The latest tactic in Iraq: anthropology

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As David Matsuda tells it, he's probably the last person you'd expect to see in a U.S. military uniform climbing out of an armored vehicle in Iraq.

An anthropology professor from the East Bay campus of California State University near San Francisco, he's a self-described peacenik who opposed the war in Iraq, did his academic research in Guatemala and never carries a gun.

"I'm a Californian. I'm a liberal. I'm a Democrat," he says. "My impetus is to come here and help end this thing."

Matsuda is part of the U.S. military "Human Terrain Team" (HTT) program, which embeds anthropologists with combat brigades in Iraq and Afghanistan in the hope of helping tactical commanders in the field understand local cultures.

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Bryan F Vaughan - 1/10/2008

I think it is a fine idea. There are so many historical records and sites in both regions that have gone unexplored to too long. Maybe if the pople of those contries see us trying to help them perserve their past will end this very soon