Major Fellowship Activities: Bhatia researched and wrote a book entitled “The Contemporary Environment of Peace Operations: A Global Survey of War and Intervention,” to be published by the Kumarian Press in January 2003. He also wrote “The Western Sahara Under Polisario Control: Summary Report of Field Mission to the Sahrawi Refugee Camps (near Tindouf, Algeria),” which appeared in the Review of African Political Economy in its June 2001 issue. The article was written as a result of a trip he took to the Western Sahara in April 2001.
Current Activities: Bhatia was killed on May 7, 2008 in Khost Province, Afghanistan where he was serving as a social scientist in consultation with the U.S. 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 was a Field Anthropologist in an Army Combat Brigade in Afghanistan working for BAE Systems. He was part of the Human Terrain Team initiative, which sought to improve the culture and political awareness of deployed Army brigades in Afghanistan. He trained in Fort Leavenworth, KS prior to deployment in December 2007. He was also pursuing a doctorate at St. Anthony’s College and the Department of Politics and International Relations at Oxford University as a 2001 Marshall Scholar. His doctoral research was an examination of individual motivations for combatant mobilization in cases of prolonged conflict. In 2006-2007 he was a Visiting Fellow at the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University where he taught a class on the American Military. He taught a course on “The Causes of War” at Carleton University in Ottawa, ON in Winter 2006. In summer 2004 he traveled to Kandahar to research a briefing paper on security in Afghanistan for the Afghan Research and Evaluation Unit, which was presented at the NATO Commander’s Conference. He edited a special issue of the Third World Quarterly In March 2005 on “The Politics of Naming: Rebels, Terrorists, Criminals, Bandits and Subversives.” After completing his Scoville Fellowship he traveled to northern Pakistan and Afghanistan as part of the Overseas Development Institute’s “Political Economy of War” research team, the results of which were published in the summer of 2002. His book War and Intervention: Issues for Contemporary Peace Operations (Kumarian Press; March 2003) was based on research he conducted during his fellowship.