Collection 'Management by Crisis': Strategic Targeting and Interrogation at Guantanamo Bay

Forthcoming in Intelligence & National Security (2017)

33 Pages Posted: 9 Mar 2017

See all articles by Adam R. Pearlman

Adam R. Pearlman

United States Department of Defense

Date Written: June 9, 2016

Abstract

This article examines human intelligence collection in wartime, and offers a methodology to help determine the relative success or failure of the detainee interrogation mission at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (GTMO). It surveys the relevant background on GTMO, a brief history on interrogations during World War II and Vietnam, and draws comparisons among them to be considered in potential future mass-interrogation missions. Drawing from documentary research and two dozen original interviews, it argues that, to the extent an intelligence mission was one of the purposes of transferring detainees to GTMO, the relevant metric is whether collectors were able to obtain more or ‘better’ intelligence from the detainees than they would have been able to in-theater. At the strategic level, then, GTMO’s value to intelligence collectors is to be assessed at the margins, rather than the absolute value of the information educed.

Keywords: Guantanamo, intelligence, interrogation, detainee, GTMO, terrorism, counterterrorism, human intelligence, human collection, interrogator, World War II, WWII, Vietnam, Phoenix, CIA, FBI

Suggested Citation

Pearlman, Adam R., Collection 'Management by Crisis': Strategic Targeting and Interrogation at Guantanamo Bay (June 9, 2016). Forthcoming in Intelligence & National Security (2017), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2792510

Adam R. Pearlman (Contact Author)

United States Department of Defense ( email )

Arlington, VA 20301
United States

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