A Troubling Silence on Prisoners of War

Contributing USMA Research Unit(s)

Mathematical Sciences

Publication Date

Spring 3-22-2022

Publication Title

Center for European Policy Analysis (Washington, D.C.)

Document Type



The Russian-Ukrainian War is the most significant ground war in Europe since World War II and a test of the treatment of prisoners of war (PoWs). With a few exceptions in the Balkans in the 1990s, Europe has not experienced a large number of captured personnel since 1945. The American experience is close to50 years away, ending with the War in Vietnam. Years of counterinsurgency operations have bred complacency; the notion that potentially thousands of soldiers could become prisoners of war (PoWs) has, until the events in Ukraine been seen as unlikely. Preparing soldiers for captivity, confinement, and interrogation has also lapsed, which risks mistakes and unnecessary harm in a conflict.

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