Business, Finance & Economics

U.S. takes census in Iraq

Part of America's counterinsurgency doctrine in Iraq is to engage more with the local population, and that has proved successful in this Iraqi village. Soldiers from this infantry patrol the streets but also are helping to conduct a census, something the Iraqi government hasn't done for decades. They're building a database of name, age, gender, and religious sect of everyone in their area of operation, but they're going further than any census could legally in America by taking iris and fingerprint scans of every man they interview. This sheikh says his people don't mind this data collection because the villagers know it'll help the army catch insurgents. But the American officers conducting the census know this would never happen in America. Iraqis don't mind getting fingerprinted says this corporal because it's a requirement for getting a job. The U.S. military has been using biometric scans in Iraq and Afghanistan to register prisoners and contracts as well as embedded journalists. It now appears that pilgrims visiting from Iran have also been subject to biometric scans. The commander of the local troops here says these scans are crucial to his counterinsurgency operations.

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