Paper Title

[2.3] Concentration Camps Today: Comparing Military Detention Centres in the British Empire and the Global War on Terror

Location

International Building 1014, Moderated by Dr. Wilson Bell

Start Date

19-1-2019 10:30 AM

End Date

19-1-2019 11:15 AM

Disciplines

American Politics | Defense and Security Studies | European History | History | Holocaust and Genocide Studies | International Relations | Peace and Conflict Studies | Policy History, Theory, and Methods | Political Science | Terrorism Studies | United States History

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

After the Second World War, the United States began developing clandestine state-detention programs to apprehend, interrogate, and often assassinate politically-targeted persons. As part of the ‘Global War on Terror’ (GWOT), the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) Rendition, Detention and Interrogation program (RDI) expanded their network of secret prisons and military compounds and developed a curriculum of “advanced interrogation techniques” to advance American intelligence-gathering and counter-terrorism operations. The clandestine interrogation centers called ‘black sites’ – facilities like Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay, and Afghanistan’s’ Bagram detention site, codenamed COBALT – became notorious for the systematic violation of the Geneva Conventions and other statutes of international law. Yet the use of covert detention facilities is an established practice in modern military strategy. Beginning with the Anglo-Boer War (1900-2), and then against the Kikuyu people in Kenya (1952-64), the British Empire’s use of concentration camps in the management of its colonies and the suppression of anti-colonial insurgencies are definitive examples. Between these camps and the American-led RDI program, a developmentally related connection is evident. The purpose of this essay is therefore to compare the procedural and qualitative features of the British concentration camps in South Africa and Kenya, with findings from contemporary reports and legal cases on the situations at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay, and the ‘Salt-Pit’ prison operating near Kabul, Afghanistan. In conclusion, comparative evidence supports the claim that the US RDI program has consciously perfected concentration camp-model, with a regiment of torture and violence meticulously designed to exceed that of past examples.

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Jan 19th, 10:30 AM Jan 19th, 11:15 AM

[2.3] Concentration Camps Today: Comparing Military Detention Centres in the British Empire and the Global War on Terror

International Building 1014, Moderated by Dr. Wilson Bell

After the Second World War, the United States began developing clandestine state-detention programs to apprehend, interrogate, and often assassinate politically-targeted persons. As part of the ‘Global War on Terror’ (GWOT), the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) Rendition, Detention and Interrogation program (RDI) expanded their network of secret prisons and military compounds and developed a curriculum of “advanced interrogation techniques” to advance American intelligence-gathering and counter-terrorism operations. The clandestine interrogation centers called ‘black sites’ – facilities like Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay, and Afghanistan’s’ Bagram detention site, codenamed COBALT – became notorious for the systematic violation of the Geneva Conventions and other statutes of international law. Yet the use of covert detention facilities is an established practice in modern military strategy. Beginning with the Anglo-Boer War (1900-2), and then against the Kikuyu people in Kenya (1952-64), the British Empire’s use of concentration camps in the management of its colonies and the suppression of anti-colonial insurgencies are definitive examples. Between these camps and the American-led RDI program, a developmentally related connection is evident. The purpose of this essay is therefore to compare the procedural and qualitative features of the British concentration camps in South Africa and Kenya, with findings from contemporary reports and legal cases on the situations at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay, and the ‘Salt-Pit’ prison operating near Kabul, Afghanistan. In conclusion, comparative evidence supports the claim that the US RDI program has consciously perfected concentration camp-model, with a regiment of torture and violence meticulously designed to exceed that of past examples.