British Hostages Untrained In Rules Of Incarceration

British Hostages Untrained In Rules Of Incarceration
April 4th, 2007  
Team Infidel

Topic: British Hostages Untrained In Rules Of Incarceration

British Hostages Untrained In Rules Of Incarceration
Washington Times
April 4, 2007
Pg. 6
Sailors, marines weren't briefed on captivity, hostile interrogation
By Bill Gertz, Washington Times
The 15 British sailors and marines captured by Iran were not trained to withstand captivity in hostile hands, British defense officials said yesterday.
A navy spokesman at the British Defense Ministry said it is difficult to discuss the rules for the captives without helping the Iranians controlling the sailors and marines, who were seized March 23 by Revolutionary Guards forces.
A second British defense official said discussing such rules was a problem, since any official comments might endanger the captives.
"We wouldn't want to give away the game," this official said.
However, the navy spokesman said the sailors and marines were not engaged in combat operations and were conducting a search of a suspect vessel in a "friendly environment" when they were seized.
"We're not talking about people in a war environment," the official said. "Therefore, the level of training is different."
For example, special-operations commandos are trained in specific techniques for withstanding hostile interrogation and torture.
Some of the sailors and marines have made public "confessions" that British Prime Minister Tony Blair suggested were coerced, in violation of international conventions on handling prisoners of war.
The Third Geneva Convention states that captured military personnel are required only to provide their captors with name, rank, date of birth and service number.
"These are ordinary sailors that were doing a routine boarding operation who now find themselves in a very unusual situation," the British spokesman said. "They're living on their wits and common sense to survive."
A retired British colonel said the days of withholding all military-unit information are gone because the Internet often posts such basic data.
However, military personnel are discouraged from cooperating, and there is a strict prohibition on providing classified information, the former officer said.
A U.S. defense official said the Joint Chiefs of Staff upgraded the 1950s-era "code of conduct" for captured U.S. military personnel after the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis. The code provides moral guidance but is not applied to all captive or hostage situations. It is applied on a "situational basis," and misconduct can result in prosecution under military law, the official said.
Critics have said the British military's vague rules of engagement on when force can be used may have contributed to the capture and subsequent standoff.
U.S. forces in the region operate under stricter rules of engagement, which allow them to use force if hostile boats or ships come too close. It appears the British rules were lax in that the Iranians were able to get close enough to seize the sailors.
While technically not at war with Britain, Iran is required to follow international law in holding detainees, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
According to the ICRC, captured combatants or civilians detained by an "adverse party" are entitled to respect for their lives, their dignity and "their personal rights and their political, religious and other convictions."
The ICRC also states that they are to be protected against violence and allowed to communicate with families and "must enjoy basic judicial guarantees."
Robert L. Maginnis, a retired Army officer, said the American code of conduct is clear: Troops and officers will never surrender if they still have the means to resist.
"Had the captured sailors and marines been Americans, they should have fought and, if necessary, died resisting," Mr. Maginnis said. "Of course, that's likely why the Iranians went after Brits and not Americans."
April 5th, 2007  

Do you think USMC personnel would have fought back were they in that situation?

Is there any difference between UK's and Americans' ROEs?
April 5th, 2007  
Geezus. Anyone serving in the Middle East should get all the necessary training!!!!
British Hostages Untrained In Rules Of Incarceration
April 5th, 2007  
Originally Posted by phoenix80

Do you think USMC personnel would have fought back were they in that situation?

Is there any difference between UK's and Americans' ROEs?

According to the code of conduct:

Aside from that, as stated above, the US would never have allowed an enemy/hostile/unknown vessel close enough to conduct such an operation.

Keep in mind, US Military and foreign military many times have different Standard Operating Procedures for circumstances. In a situation such as this it would have been a "shoot first, ask questions later" as soon as hostile intent was noted.

As for USMC personnel fighting back . . . what fight? The people would never have been allowed to board ship.
April 5th, 2007  
Team Infidel
^^^ What he said... It is all about the code of conduct. Thanks Marinerhrodes...

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