The Fight for the High Ground: The U.S. Army and Interrogation During Operation Iraqi Freedom I, May 2003 – April 2004

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


During Operation IRAQI FREEDOM I (OIF I), US soldiers waged a desperate war against a growing insurgency. Mounting US casualties became the catalyst for a hidden" war within the war." Arrayed on one side of this secret conflict were leaders who believed that the" ends justify the means." Opposing this camp were those who believed that US soldiers do not torture because of the higher ideals to which all Americans should subscribe. This clandestine conflict was waged at every level of command, from the fields of Iraq to Washington, DC In this history, the adverse influence of the ends-justify-the-means camp in Iraq is charted. Conversely, interrogation operations within the largest division task force and brigade combat team of OIF I are explored to explain why most interrogators treated detainees humanely. Those deficiencies of Army doctrine, force structure, and training that enabled harsh interrogation policies to sometimes trump traditional virtues are explained. Lastly, the Army's recent dramatic improvements with regard to interrogations are summarized and still-existing deficiencies are noted. This history concludes that the damage done by abusive interrogations will be felt for years to come--and that much work still needs to be done to ensure such damage never recurs.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherFight for the High Ground
Publication statusPublished - 16 Nov 2009

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