War Ethics In Iraq Essay

1244 words - 5 pages

Lieutenant Colonel Allen B. West of the U.S. Army 4th Infantry Division is a leader doing what a leader is required to do; to lead and protect those in which he leads. LTC West was charged with communicating a threat and aggravated assault. These are serious war crimes charged to a leader who was undeserving of such implications. The villains here are the politicians who prevent soldiers like LTC West from efficiently fighting the war in Iraq.

LTC West a battalion officer in Iraq during on or about January of 2003 to October of 2003; made a controversial decision. LTC West and his battalion of artillery and infantry was a fighting unit in Iraq. Fighting units are the units that are actually at the point of attack; "on the front line" in other words. LTC West's men (who were being continuously subjected to ambushes throughout the Iraqi region) finally caught a break. A willing informant gave information to LTC West as to the where bouts of a particular Iraqi policeman. The policeman apparently had deep involvement with Saddaam Hussein's regime, and happened to know where and when attacks on U.S. soldiers had and would take place. The policeman was brought in by two of LTC West's soldiers. After hours of unsuccessful interrogation from the soldiers, LTC West took over the interrogation. LTC West felt the Iraqi policeman could have important information as to the where bouts of an ambush that could potentially wipe out his soldiers. The policeman was clearly not going to release any information with the conventional methods of interrogation. LTC West feeling the pressure of saving his soldiers proceeded to use harsher interrogation tactics. He shot two rounds in the air with his 9mm pistol to scare the policeman into releasing information. The first round was shot in the air away from the policeman. The second and most controversial shot was shot right next to the policeman's head (with LTC West between the 9mm pistol and the head of the policeman). After the second shot was fired the policeman disclosed all information having to do with a sniper ambush. LTC West pursued this invaluable information. The information the policeman gave up was accurate. LTC West and his soldiers wiped out the ambush before it could cause them harm.

It is unfortunate that soldiers have to fight with their hands behind their back in Iraq. And there is no doubt about it; soldiers have to do just that. Soldiers in Iraq are fighting under a dangerous environment where the next step could be their last, as loyalists of Saddam Hussein's regime attack them relentlessly. The enemy is wearing civilian clothes and hiding behind women and children. So when you ask battalion and company commanders to stop the violence against the Iraqi people and against soldiers, the pressure to use aggressive interrogation techniques seems to be reasonable. LTC West simply put his soldiers first and in doing so saved a countless number of lives. LTC...

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