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Human Capital: Lessons From Fort Hood

00221917dead0c639b0548 I couldn't help but thinking about Virginia Tech and Columbine when hearing about the Fort Hood massacre last week, though of course in those cases it was students not adults who were doing the killing.  What resonated for me even more, however, was the sad narrative of how Dr. Hasan ended up being where he was.  In the case of Dr. Hasan, as in the case of too many ineffective educators, there were a series of nagging questions about his competence without any definitive action or coordination, resulting in a series of assignments chosen for convenience and what was thought to be the least possibility of doing any damage.  (This article in Salon addresses some of these issues, including the weight given to  short-term staffing needs and the tendency to promote uniformly rather than individually.) I'm not saying bad teachers are psychotic, or that the military and education systems work identically.  I'm just saying that the military's ability to assess, support, and intervene on personnel evaluation issues seems as bad if not worse than many school districts'. And that putting questionable employees off in a corner is a common, unfortunate, and in this case tragic, decision


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We have read with concern the many signs Major Hasan provided which would indicate an unstable and potentially dangerous frame of mind. Our concern is that those who actually saw and heard the signs and those to whom the signs were reported did not act upon them. From Hasan’s contact with a radical imam, to the initials SoA (Son of Allah) on his business card, to his comment that he was a Muslim first and a soldier second – there is no doubt the signs that he was potentially dangerous were there for all to see.

Furthermore, he was under surveillance by two Terrorist Task Forces, one with Department of Defense oversight and the other with FBI oversight. So why wasn’t he stopped?

The answer is quite simple – The military does not have an objective and culturally neutral system that collects information and evaluates it to determine the degree (or level) of aggression an individual is displaying, nor has it people who have a clear responsibility to observe and report this information within an objective system nor a team who is responsible to evaluate it and respond. The military does not have the AMIS solution and it desperately needs it! Major Hasan has illustrated out vulnerable we are, learn more about the problem and the solution by reading our Blog: http://Blog.AggressionManagement.com

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