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Books > 0615332749
  1. The Fight for the High Ground: The U.S. Army and Interrogation During Operation Iraqi Freedom, May 2003 - April 2004
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  2. The Fight for the High Ground: The U.S. Army and Interrogation During Operation Iraqi Freedom, May 2003 - April 2004

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Drawing upon an active-duty counterintelligence officer s perspective as well as more than 150 interviews, investigations, and other primary source documents, U.S. Army Major Douglas A. Pryer provides a detailed look at how mounting U.S. casualties became the catalyst for a moral dilemma in how prisoners were interrogated in Iraq in 2003-2004. Pryer walks us down both sides of the issue, explaining how deficiencies in Army doctrine, force structure, and training enabled harsh interrogation policies to sometimes trump traditional values. The United States, he says, will likely suffer the damage done by abusive interrogations for years to come, and much work still needs to be done to ensure such damage never recurs. Pryer's work reminds us that U.S. soldiers should not torture because Americans aspire to higher ideals. Our fight for the moral high ground was nearly lost . . . and continues on.


1st Edition
CGSC Foundation Press
CGSC Foundation Press
CGSC Foundation Press
CGSC Foundation Press
Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Major Doug Pryer's "The Fight for the High Ground" is more than just a compelling read for its detailed historiographical content (which is quite good and well annotated). This book is definitive in portraying the efficacy of strong ethical leadership and the failures that result when we compromise our values and allow desired ends to justify the means. As General George S. Patton suggested, "Compared to war all other forms of human endeavor shrink to insignificance." In war professional soldiers are charged with the controlled application of violence to achieve a military end-state which then achieves the political and strategic objectives of the nation which has so charged these soldiers to apply said violence. In the United States Army we are indeed professionals but we are also citizen soldiers, a reflection of the highest morals and values of our nation. In war, we must consistently strive to apply violence (as soldiers do) with the constant consideration of our actions as they... Read more
Major Douglas A. Pryer is an active duty U.S. Army military intelligence officer with extensive "real world" professional experience, not merely some sheltered academic professor or noisy journalist whose writings can be dismissed as overly idealistic and impractical. Thus, when he argues in "Taking the High Ground: The U.S. Army and Interrogation During Operation Iraqi Freedom May 2003 - April 2004" that the application of "enhanced interrogation techniques" (the popular clinical euphemism for prisoner treatment at least bordering on outright torture) was a serious error in violation of our deepest held traditions as well as being against good professional intelligence practice, we owe it to ourselves to listen carefully to what he has to say.

Pryer's book originated as a Masters thesis for the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College; as such, it is a work by a military intelligence professional aimed primarily at other military professionals. But it is a work also... Read more
In his foreword to The Fight for the High Ground, retired Army Col. Stuart A. Herrington writes that Maj. Douglas A. Pryer's work "is like a dose of strong medicine -- not pleasant to contemplate, but essential in order to heal." That is exactly the right metaphor for this comprehensively researched and voluminously documented look at a sad piece of recent American history -- the wide-ranging, brutal abuse of detainees in the custody of the U.S. Army in Iraq during the first year of American occupation there. Major Pryer's achievement is not just in compiling a factual record that conclusively establishes the scale of shameful acts by American jailers (not just shameful but futile as well, since Pryer also shows beyond any reasonable doubt that abusive interrogations produced virtually no worthwhile information of any kind). His study also commands respect for its forthright recognition that the "fundamental reason" for illegal and immoral practices was not lapses by a few low-ranking... Read more
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