By Natalie Schachar and Thomas James Brennan
Geoff Heath first stepped foot in Iraq in 2005, during his first deployment with the U.S. Marines. He had been trained to show the enemy no mercy and to exploit, without hesitation, any weaknesses to prevail. Heath understood war to be a series of calculated moves to ensure the Marines kept the upper hand. He came to understand war as a game of attrition, and to see it as his job to use every type of warfare to force the enemy’s surrender, or death.
For Heath, civilian casualties feels unavoidable. To accomplish a mission, he said, it's about how far one is willing to go in order to prevail. However, many instances where “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques” were used against innocent civilians who were wrongfully detained by the Central Intelligence Agency have become a point of contention. Under no circumstances does Heath believe an innocent person should be tortured, but with no reasonable doubt of innocence, he believes "it should be no holds barred." He also feels conflicted about executing prisoners, but sees nothing wrong with the maltreatment of enemy combatants to gather necessary information during combat. “Anything less than showing the enemy ruthless violence will give their resistance hope to feed off of.”