Canadian army officer finds detainee policies ethically dubious

The National Post ferrets out a Canadian army officer’s surprisingly critical master’s thesis on Canada’s handling of Afghan detainees.

In an exhaustive critique, the author concluded Canada’s decision to hand over suspected insurgents to Afghan authorities with a history of abuse violated Canadian ethical values, could turn ordinary Afghans against foreign troops and likely increased the stress of this country’s combatants. The policy might even have contributed to the alleged mercy killing of a Taliban fighter by a Canadian soldier, she wrote.

Major Manon Plante’s thesis, completed this year as one of the requirements for a master’s degree from the Canadian Forces College, shows a level of candor the Harper government has thus far been unable to muster:

Based on the Afghan human rights track record and its primitive prison capacity, how the Government of Canada came to the conclusion that the Afghan authorities had the capacity to detain personnel is perplexing, The decision may have been legal but it appears that it may not have been the right ethical choice.

View Plante’s 122-page thesis in html, MSWord, or .pdf formats. Hat tip: Chris McCormick.