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Showing posts from April, 2014

Ethical Failures in the GWOT

3 policy-based ethical failures by the US in our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan

I’ve had the privilege to observe and interview hundreds of Soldiers at their combat outposts in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2003. As someone who cares deeply about ethical conduct in war, I can assure you that the conduct of the overwhelming majority of US Soldiers over the past decade has been nothing short of inspiring. Despite very challenging conditions, American Soldiers consistently maintain their humanity and act with justice and compassion. On numerous occasions, Iraqis and Afghans have told me they wish that their own security forces would treat them as well as US forces do.

Although our rank-and-file Soldiers on the ground have acted honorably, our senior decision makers have a more checkered record.  There have been moral failings that we ought to acknowledge, learn from, and never repeat.

1. Torture (aka, enhanced interrogation procedures). This was perpetrated primarily by non-military OGAs (other…