"Human geography is a multi-discipline study of the Earth and how people move across it, where they gather and how they interact there. It combines numerous fields including history, political science, economics, geology, urban studies and anthropology. Studying human geography can be very important for soldiers, Lohman said, noting on-the-ground knowledge can indicate what is normal and what is out of place in a society, a province or a village.
In five deployments to Iraq with Special Forces, Lohman said, “we learned everything about an area before going there.” The important part of that learning, wasn't just the facts like what percentage of the populations was urban or who the local power players were, but “how is this going to affect what we're doing when we're there.” In short, area analysis and mission analysis, he said.
While human geography isn't a panacea for every military challenge, “it can provide a greater understanding of this world we live in and hopefully, we'll make fewer mistakes,” he said.