Gaining rare access to wargames in the Mojave Desert and training exercises at Quantico and Fort Leavenworth, Human Terrain takes the viewer into the heart of the war machine and the shadowy collaboration between American academics and the armed services.
The second story is about a brilliant young scholar who leaves the university to join a Human Terrain team. After working as a humanitarian activist, Michael Bhatia returned to Brown University to conduct research on military cultural awareness and a year later, he left as a Human Terrain member in Afghanistan. On May 7, 2008, en route to mediate an intertribal dispute, his humvee hit a roadside bomb and Bhatia was killed.
Is this a genuine attempt at cultural awareness in the battlefield or a cynical new strategy to acheive the same ends? Human Terrain asks what happens when war becomes academic and academics go to war.