|Birth: ||Aug. 23, 1976|
|Death: ||May 7, 2008, Afghanistan|
Michael Bhatia, 31 years old, Anthropologist, was killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan on Mary 7, 2008, while working for the Department of Defense.
Mr. Bhatia is survived by his parents Manik and Linda Bhatia and sister Tricia Bhatia and many aunts, uncles and cousins; including, Edward and Betty Dolback of Crown Point and Charlene Dreimiller and William Dolback of Ticonderoga.
He was an Eagle Scout and served as Lodge Chief in the Order of the Arrow.
Bhatia attended Brown University and graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in International Relations in 1999. He was the recipient of the Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellowship and a Marshall Scholarship to study at the University of Oxford where he earned his M.Sc. in International Relations in 2002. He was a Visiting Fellow at the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown
University and a lecturer at Carleton University, Ottawa.
Bhatia was killed while serving as a social scientist in consultation with the US Defense Department. On May 16, 2008, by order of the Secretary of Defense of the United States, Michael was awarded the Secretary of Defense Medal for the Defense of Freedom posthumously.
Bhatia's work concentrated on conflict resolution in war-torn countries. His research and humanitarian work brought him to the Sahrawi refugee camps in western Algeria, East Timor, Kosovo, and Afghanistan.
Bhatia published several works, including the edited volume "War and Intervention: Issues for Contemporary Peace Operations" (2003), and the coauthored "Afghanistan, Arms and Conflict: Armed Groups, Disarmament and Security in a Post-War Society" (2008). He had also published a photo-essay, "Shooting Afghanistan: Beyond the Conflict". Bhatia was working on his doctoral dissertation, "The Mujahideen: A Study of Combatant Motives in Afghanistan,
1978–2004" when he died.
Bhatia's field work had taken him to Khost Province, where he was working on resolutions to inter-tribal conflicts concerning land rights as part of the pilot Human Terrain System (HTS) program with the U.S. Army's 82d Airborne
Division. A 5 to 8 person Human Terrain Team (HTT)consists of social scientists and anthropological experts(sometimes called "academic embeds"), and trained military personnel.
Bhatia was assigned to the Afghanistan Human Terrain Team #1, in support of Task Force Currahee based at Forward Operating Base Salerno, Khost Province. His team was making an initial mission into a remote area of Khost Province where they intended to initiate a negotiation process between tribes. He was killed when the Humvee he was riding in was struck by an improvised explosive device (IED). Two soldiers from Task Force Currahee were also killed in the attack, and two others were critically injured.
Commentary: "The Army didn't go looking for him to ask for his service – he came looking for us because he was committed to make things better. Our nation is better, as are the people of Afghanistan, because of his devotion and
brilliance. He will not be forgotten." General William S. Wallace, Commanding General, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command.
Valley View Cemetery
New York, USA
Created by: Carol Bestick
Record added: May 10, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 26732517
Virginia Lee Brown
Added: Nov. 8, 2011
Mike knew you when you were in scouting before you got your Eagle. This is a large loss for all of us that knew you.|
Added: May. 10, 2008