Interrogation and “psychological intelligence”: the construction of propaganda during the Malayan Emergency, 1948-1958

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This conclusion presents some closing thoughts on the concepts discussed in the various chapters of this book. The book demonstrates the 'harsh techniques', in other words brutality, ill-treatment, and plain torture, in connection with interrogation in twentieth-century conflicts were used both by totalitarian regimes and by liberal democracies when these were involved in counterinsurgency operations, and when there was a lack of adequate resources. Although they are used in the context of interrogation, 'harsh techniques' rarely have the specific purpose of extracting information. The history of interrogation in war and conflict in the twentieth century shows that three things have a significant impact on practices of interrogation as a military intelligence event: the different states of war, the regime type, and the type of institutions involved. Complex systems of intelligence networks, professional intelligence officers or highly specialized prosecutors, and the existence of various centres and cross-checking systems made the collection of information effective during the twentieth century.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInterrogation in War and Conflict
EditorsChristopher Andrew, Simona Tobia
ISBN (Electronic)9781315882154
ISBN (Print)9780415828031
Publication statusPublished - 22 Apr 2014

Publication series

NameStudies in Intelligence


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