Saturday, June 14, 2008

U.S. Supreme Court ruling

The recent ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court will impact the battlefield.

In general, you want to take prisoners first. It gets the enemy out of the way, sometimes without risking or losing any more of your men. In a more general way, it can be advantageous because of the potential for information. In the war against terrorism, the information gained can be VERY valuable. The ability to gain information is enhanced regarding captured terrorists because the enemy does not have a rank and serial number to work with. Giving captured terrorists rights granted to civilians will change the thought process.

Capturing prisoners in combat can be tricky. Sometimes you must take a certain amount of risk in order to save the enemy’s life. I know of many cases where soldiers risked their own life in order to help enemy soldiers survive. Giving the terrorist rights would not encourage this type of action. In fact, quite the opposite. Part of the reason for "A good Jap is a dead Jap" was because Japanese soldiers would attempt to kill you even when their position was hopeless. You finished them off whenever you had the opportunity. (Unless they were out cold) In the war on terror, our soldiers will be tempted to finish off the enemy whenever they have the opportunity as well. After all, in a civilian court, just about anyone can get off if given the proper defense. Let them go free after you knew they had killed a good friend of yours? This would be difficult in a ‘clean’ war, such as the U.S.-German wars, both 1917-1918 and 1941-1945. In an irregular war, forget it. And the cost is even higher than this.

The potential loss of future information would be great. Captured Japanese soldiers did not withhold information well. They had never been trained in what to do or say if captured. Likewise, captured terrorists don’t withhold information well either. As a direct result of this ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, some terrorists will end up dead instead of being taken prisoner. And those who are taken prisoner will be advised to shut up. This is the opposite of what is needed.

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