Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Sunday, August 06, 2006


This is coolbert:

The U.S. military too has a program to teach soldiers how to "endure", survive, resist, etc., if they are captured by the enemy.

This is the SERE program.


* Survivial. Wilderness type of techniques to survive. Provide for yourself food, water, shelter where none is available and none is provided for your. How to find clean potable water or make same. Subsist on plants, nuts, berries, roots, etc.

* Evasion. How to elude the enemy if you are "behind" enemy lines, and they are in pursuit. How to PREVENT capture.

* Resistance. How to prevent the enemy from "breaking you". Describes all the "bad" methods the enemy [usually a cruel enemy] will use on you as a means of interrogation. NOT ONLY to get information, but to destroy your spirit and will to further resist as well.

* Escape. How to "break out" if the enemy has captured you and has had you in their custody. Whether in a POW camp or in a prison or in a bamboo cage.

This stuff is taught to U.S. military personnel who run a much higher risk of being captured by the enemy in time of war. Primarily airmen [pilots, aircrews, etc.] or special operations type personnel such as Special Forces [Green Berets] who normally operate "behind enemy lines" as a normal part of their duty.

Some of the training for resistance and escape portions of the course is classified at the secret level. However, some of the techniques involved in this part of the training has become common knowledge. Especially with regard to resistance.

For instance:

[some of this "training" sounds like it really gets rough.]

* extreme temperatures.

[naked in either hot or cold conditions. A. Solzhenitsyn mentions the use of hot cells and cold cells for holding prisoners as being a technique used by the Soviet secret police. Create unbearable conditions.]

* waterboarding - being tied to a board with the feet higher than the head and having water poured into the nose.

[this has been mentioned in a previous blog. A mostly psychological technique. You experience the sensation of drowning, but are not drowned. Just have the application done over and over and over.]

* noise stress - playing very loud and dissonant music and sound effects. Recordings have been reported to include babies wailing inconsolably, cats meowing, female orgasms, and irritating music (including a record by Yoko Ono)

[this sort of thing was done to the Panamanian dictator Noriega when he was holed up in the Vatican legation. Also was done at Waco as well. Harassment.]

* sexual embarrassment.

[making a man stand naked in front of a bunch of women. Having a man masturbate in front of others. Threaten homosexual rape.]

* religious dilemma - given the choice of seeing a religious book desecrated or revealing secrets to interrogators.

[where have we heard this before? Guantanamo and the alleged flushing of the Koran down a toilet.]

* flag desecration.

[this presumably would be something that would work well on an American??]

* prolonged cramped or restrictive confinement.

[Colonel Rowe and his compatriots were kept locked in bamboo crates the size of coffins for MONTHS on end.]

* sleep deprivation/starvation.

[the Soviet secret police made a habit of conducting interrogations at night and starving the prisoners. The prisoners were not expected to survive a ten year sentence anyhow. Starvation was ONE way of putting on the track for death!!]

* excrement familiarization/humiliation.

[Colonel Rowe and his compatriots had to lay in their own solid and liquid wastes for prolonged periods of time. NOT allowed to clean themselves. This HAS to be especially bad for an American who prides himself on personal cleanliness. In the movie "Rambo" there is a scene of where Rambo has been placed in a "tiger" hole and is having buckets of crap dumped on him!!]

* mock execution.

[the American hostages being held by the Iranian "students" were quite often subjected to mock executions.]

* overcoming food aversion (eating bugs, roadkill, dumpster diving, urine drinking)
height/water/enclosed spaces.

[if you as a prisoner are fed, you might be fed maggoty rice and not much of that. The many prisoners held for years in Lebanon were chained to walls for months on end and fed just that sort of diet.]

* physical beating.

[being beaten and NOT being able to respond is traumatic of itself. Professionals working you over can beat you and not do damage. There is supposed to be a spot on the body where if struck, will not leave injury, but all you will know is that you are in big time pain for fifteen minutes or so. Then it starts over.]

* "stress inoculation".

[I am not sure what this includes.]

With regard to waterboarding, is reputed that Navy SEALS are subjected to waterboarding as a part of their training. It is also reputed that CIA field officers had to be waterboarded as part of their training too. To teach them what it is like to have this happen to you. The sensation.

I think that this sort of training also serves well as a FILTER MECHANISM. Even if the troop does NEVER have to use any of the techniques or methods as taught in the SERE course, ONLY the most dedicated and committed troops is likely to even subject themselves to this stuff in the first place. Sort of like the parachute qualification course. A FILTER MECHANISM. ONLY the most committed, nervy and self-motivated soldier will get through this sort of training.



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home