SHEEHAN: Trump’s Torture Stance is Bad Counterterrorism Policy | The Hill | Op-Ed

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SHEEHAN: Trump’s Torture Stance is Bad Counterterrorism Policy | The Hill | Op-Ed | 1 July 2016

In the aftermath of terrorist attacks in Istanbul on June 28, Dr. Ivan Sascha Sheehan – Associate Professor of Public and International Affairs – questions the wisdom of Donald Trump’s embrace of torture as an appropriate counterterrorism tool. The criticism is situated in the context of studies Dr. Sheehan has undertaken over the past ten years on matters related to evidence-based counterterrorism policy. #PDF #PR


When force disintegrates into barbarism in asymmetric conflicts, as it was shown to do in footage released in 2003 depicting abuse and humiliation of Iraqis at Abu Ghraib prison, the negative effects are magnified. The photographs of U.S. soldiers and CIA personnel abusing Iraqi prisoners was not simply, as Fareed Zakaria (2005) put it, just “bad public relations”:

Ask any soldier in Iraq when the general population really turned against the United States and he will say, ‘Abu Ghraib.’ A few months before the scandal broke, Coalition Provisional Authority polls showed Iraqi support for the occupation at 63 percent. A month after Abu Ghraib, the number was 9 percent.

The lesson: When you brutalize the enemy, there are negative consequences.

Dr. Sheehan is the Director of the graduate programs in Negotiations & Conflict Management and Global Affairs & Human Security in the College of Public Affairs at the University of Baltimore.

For additional research or media related updates or to learn more about Dr. Sheehan, follow him on Twitter @ProfSheehan or link to his research profiles.

*PRESS RELEASE via University of Baltimore*

Social Media: @ProfSheehan / @PublicAffairsUB

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