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... threat. But, the U. S. Army knows that mistreating POWs does not produce reliable information. Interrogators reach a point where prisoners will say anything, true or not, just to end the interrogation.
Additionally, the use of force is not necessary to gain the cooperation of sources as prisoners are more likely to cooperate when they feel a sense of trust and respect for the interrogator (FM, Ch 1). Since the United States does not negotiate with countries when they are at war, POWs would never be traded outside the guidelines of the Geneva Convention, so they are of no real value for bargaining. Lastly, using torture as a means of reducing local threats has proven not to work. Knowing that they will be subject to humiliation and physical abuse makes local insurgents fight harder to avoid capture and has increased their dislike for coalition Forces. It also results in retaliatory acts as occurred with the beheading of United States citizen Nicholas Berg. How then, should occupying forces obtain information?
There are several alternatives to abuse and intimidation, most of which are already outlined in the Army's official field manual for Intelligence Interrogations. The manual states that interrogators should establish and maintain control and rapport and should "manipulate the source's emotions and weaknesses to gain cooperation. " Offering immediate rewards such as cigarettes, food, or long term incentives such as political asylum are approved and proven methods of gaining cooperation (FM, Ch 3). During the Korean Conflict, the biggest problem with POWs was that they did not want to return to North Korea. Interrogators offered them citizenship in exchange for their cooperation, which worked well (Corvisier, 238). Another means is for the interrogator to gain the trust and respect of the POWs. Prisoners are more likely to cooperate with someone they respect than someone they fear (FM, Ch 1).
By respecting the religious and social beliefs of the country being occupied, coalition forces will gain the trust and respect of the local community (FM, Ch 1). Offering cash or material rewards may motivate some citizens to provide information. Also, the use of drugs, commonly referred to as truth serums, weakens ones ability to resist and could be of benefit during questioning. It is difficult for members of the U.
S. armed forces to control their anger and frustration when television news crews show the bodies of U. S. personnel being dragged through the streets of Iraq, dismembered and burned. But, the United States forces should be held to a higher standard than the rest of the world for several reasons. First, we are a successful nation and a certain amount of responsibility accompanies that success.
The United States is the most powerful nation in the world, and moral responsibility accompanies that power. We have the most money, we have the largest arsenal of weapons, we have the highest standard of living; we have the most advanced technology. Senator John McCain agrees, stating that American values are important in unifying our country and orienting our relations with the rest of the world. (McCain, 54). Second, as a nation, we presented ourselves as having a higher moral standard than Saddam Hussein. When we entered into this war President Bush repeatedly referred to Saddam Hussein as an evil man, ruling via torture, murder and rape (Sifry, 494 - 497).
He thus presented himself and the U. S as the 'good guys' who would end Saddam's evil rule. When we bomb targets, we choose them carefully so as to not injure civilians thus demonstrating that we are a nation with morals. We have presented ourselves as moral leaders, and have gone to war to ensure morality. Throughout our history, we have fought wars against communist states because communism directly threatened our values. (McCain, 55).
Third, we, as citizens of the United States, expect our armed forces and our leaders to act ethically and morally. Our armed forces are voluntary, not mandatory, so it is assumed that people join because of their firm believe in the United States and all that our nation stands for. We stand for freedom, we stand for justice, we stand for fairness, and we stand for truth. Our officer training schools are full of intelligent men and women with letters of reference from senators and the 'upper crust' of society who have an assumed superiority. Fourth, coalition forces have a responsibility to their detainees that was assumed the moment they signed the Geneva Convention.
The Geneva Convention, which the United States signed, dictates that prisoners of war "Shall be protected against acts of violence or intimidation and against insults and public curiosity." Our signature is our pledge to the rest of the world to treat all POWs humanely and with respect. We cannot become a nation of empty promises. We cannot replace Saddam Hussein with soldiers who commit worse acts of abuse. We must lead by example.
Above and beyond the reasons stated above, coalition forces have a moral and ethical obligation assumed by civilized societies. The Iraqi government abused, raped, mutilated, oppressed, and murdered its own citizens for years. Countries all over the world routinely oppress, harass, abuse, and even murder their own citizens on a daily basis. The coalition forces that occupy Iraq must lead by example.
This example should show the Iraqi people how democracy works, the benefits of a democratic society, and show how the Iraqi people are better off without Saddam Hussein. WORKS CITED Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, G. A. res. 39 / 46, [annex, 39 U. N.
GAOR Supp. (No. 51) at 197, U. N. Doc. A/ 39 / 51 (1984) ], entered into force June 26, 1987. [in text reference TOC] Corvisier, Andre. A Dictionary of Military History. Basil Blackwell. 1994.
Cambridge, MA Department of the Army. Intelligence Interrogation. Field Manual 34 - 52. Headquarters, Department of the Army. Washington, DC, 8 May 1987. [in text reference FM] "The Gulf War, An in-depth examination of the 1990 - 1992 Persian Gulf Crisis. " Frontline, Public Broadcasting Service. 2004.
Lieber, Francis. Instructions for the Government of the Armies of the United States in the Field (aka Lieber Code). U. S. Adjutant General's Office. 1863.
General Orders No. 100. McCain, John. 'Renewing American Foreign Policy: Values and Strategy, ' Brown Journal of World Affairs (Summer/Fall 1998) O'Brien, Tim. How to Tell a True War Story. The Bedford Introduction To Literature. Ed. Michael Meyer. 6 th ed.
New York: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2002. 548 - 557. Sifry, Micah. The Iraq War Reader, History, Documents, Opinions.
Simon and Schuster, New York, NY 2003 U. S. Department of Defense. Principal Wars in which the US Participated: US Military Personnel Serving and Casualties prepared.
Washington Headquarters Services, Directorate for Information Operations and Reports. 2001
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