I heard an interesting call on talk radio this morning, pertaining to the events and photos from Abu Ghraib prison.
The gist of it was this: at least back in the Viet Nam era, soldiers were put through some training (called “SEAR”, I think he said) regarding what might happen if they were captured by the enemy. The first thing that happened in this training was that they were stripped naked. Then they were physically beaten. Then they suffered other humiliating experiences intended to “break” them (or since this was training, to help them prevent being broken).
Not that it excuses the atrocities here, but if this sort of training is taken to heart, then it also does the reverse and trains people in what to do when being put in charge of prisoners of war.
Understanding the causes of events like this is the best way to prevent them from recurring.
Updated on January 25, 2011
SERE Training: Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape