popupJust before Obama announced troop a 30,000 troop increase in Afghanistan, The New York Times covered the Army’s behind the scenes “cultural awareness training” at the Army’s Joint Readiness Training Center in Fort Polk, Louisiana. The imitation Afghan village with a gold-domed mosque, civilians and insurgent role-players simulates counterinsurgency warfare for troops deployed to Afghanistan and other theaters of the ‘Global War on Terror’ (GWOT). Human Terrain tracks the growth of cultural awareness training and counterinsurgency warfare drawing on research from The Cultural Awareness and the Military Project which began in 2004, as well as a series of embedded visits to film “cultural warfare exercises” first-hand. The filmmakers document behind the scenes preparations for counterinsurgency warfare in Iraq and Afghanistan from early 2006 cultural warfare exercises at the Twentynine Palms Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in California to urban warfare training at Marine Corps Base Quantico and finally to the Human Terrain System in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas in late 2008.