Methods for Predicting and Influencing
Social Change & Internal War Potential
Project Camelot was the code name of a counterinsurgency study begun by the United States Army in 1964. The full name of the project was Methods for Predicting and Influencing Social Change and Internal War Potential.
The project was executed by the Special Operations Research Office (SORO) at American University, which assembled an eclectic team of psychologists, sociologists, anthropologists, economists, and other intellectuals to analyze the society and culture of numerous target countries, especially in Latin America.
The goal of the project was to enhance the Army's ability to predict and influence social developments in foreign countries. The motive was described by an internal memo on December 5, 1964: "If the U.S. Army is to perform effectively its part in the U.S. mission of counterinsurgency it must recognize that insurgency represents a breakdown of social order and that the social processes involved must be understood."
Controversy arose around Project Camelot when professors in South America discovered its military funding and criticized its motives as imperialistic. The US Department of Defense ostensibly canceled Project Camelot on July 8, 1965 but continued the same research more discreetly.