Ends and Means – the Great Game is not “Defeating” the Taliban

Underpinning former US President George Bush’ admission of ordering the water boarding of terror suspects, is the assumption that the end justifies the means. Especially when combating terrorism and fighting an asymmetric war, this is dangerous and counterproductive.

Despite water boarding one of the suspects 183 times, no useful intelligence was produced – as most professional interrogators would expect.

This is a very specialised war, and UK’s new Chief of Defence Staff is right to say we cannot beat the Taliban militarily. British soldiers in Afghanistan know that, and are courageously carrying out operations to bring the Taliban leaders to the negotiating table – a long, drawn-out and painful process.

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Warfighting and Torture

Torture is not permitted in full-on war by the Geneva Conventions. In asymmetric warfare, resorting to torture indicates a government unable to cope with terrorism without breaking its own laws, and abandoning the values it’s trying to preserve in its counter-terrorist campaign. In countries like Afghanistan and Iraq, already well-used to brutality, this is a slippery slope down which we shouldn’t even be looking. (This is a brief summary. Please click the link to read the full article)

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