July 21, 2019
United States Army Field Manuals  

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Field Manual 2-22.3 Human Intelligence Collector Operations


This manual provides doctrinal guidance, techniques, and procedures governing theemployment of human intelligence (HUMINT) collection and analytical assets insupport of the commander’s intelligence needs. It outlines

  • HUMINT operations.
  • The HUMINT collector’s role within the intelligence operating system.
  • The roles and responsibilities of the HUMINT collectors and the roles of thoseproviding the command, control, and technical support of HUMINT collection operations


FM 2-22.3 FM 34-52 (Superseded)

History of the Field Manual

Interrogations during the 'global war on terror'
During the American war on terror the Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld issued "extended interrogation techniques" that went farther than those authorized in the Army Field Manual. The extended techniques stimulated debate, both within the Bush administration, and outside it. And various revisions of the extended techniques were issued.

Rumsfeld intended the extended techniques to be used only on the captives the United States classified as "illegal combatants." But extended interrogation techniques were adopted in Iraq, even though captives there were entitled to protection under the Geneva Conventions. General Geoffrey Miller, who was then the director of interrogation of detainees held in Guantanamo Bay, and some of his staff were sent to Iraq to help transfer their interrogation experience. Military Intelligence troops who had been using extended techniques in Afghanistan, notably Captain Carolyn Wood. General Ricardo Sanchez, the CO of American forces in Iraq, after input from Miller and his team, and from Captain Wood, issued his own set of extended techniques.

Tension with U.S. military tradition and training
Since it was issued by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who took office shortly after the famous Nuremberg Trials that prosecuted prominent German officials for alleged war crimes committed in World War II involving treatment of detainees and prisoners of war, U.S. military forces have been trained to follow a General Order known as the Code of the U.S. Fighting Force. It provides in relevant part

a. When questioned, should I become a prisoner of war, I am required to give name, rank, service number, and date of birth. I will evade answering further questions to the utmost of my ability. I will make no oral or written statements disloyal to my country and its allies or harmful to their cause.

b. When questioned, a prisoner of war is required by the Geneva Convention and this code to give name, rank, service number (Social Security number) and date of birth. The prisoner should make every effort to avoid giving the captor any additional information. The prisoner may communicate with captors on matters of health and welfare and additionally may write letters home and fill out a Geneva Convention "capture card."

c. It is a violation of the Geneva Convention to place a prisoner under physical or mental duress, torture or any other form of coercion in an effort to secure information.

As a General Order, violation of the Code is a prosecutable offense under various provisions of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Although intended to the duties of captured members of the U.S. military, the Code provides U.S. combatants with an understood definition of the rights of prisoners under the Geneva Convention. It is therefore understandable that members of the military—who are themselves subject to the occupational hazard of being taken prisoner might resist political pressure to depart from the Geneva Convention's ethic of reciprocity regarding warring powers' treatment of those captured on the battlefield.

Detainee Treatment Act
On July 25, 2005 Senator John McCain -- a former prisoner of war for some 5-1/2 years during the Vietnam War who was reportedly tortured repeatedly during his captivity -- tabled an amendment to a military spending bill, intended to restrict all US government interrogators from using interrogation techniques not authorized in the Army Field Manual.

On October 20, 2005 Vice President Dick Cheney met with McCain to try to convince him to agree that his amendment should only apply to military interrogators. Cheney wanted to continue to allow civilian interrogators, working for US intelligence agencies, to use more extended interrogation techniques. McCain did not agree.

McCain's amendment passed, and is now called the Detainee Treatment Act.

Plans to revise the manual to allow extended techniques

On April 28, 2005 Rumsfeld announced that the Army would be revising the manual. The revised manual would have spelled out more clearly which interrogation techniques were prohibited.

On December 14, 2005, the New York Times reported that the Army Field Manual had been rewritten by the Pentagon. Previously, the manual's interrogation techniques section could be read freely on the internet. But the new edition's includes 10 classified pages in the interrogation technique section, leaving the public no indication about what the government considers not to be torture.

On June 5, 2006 the Los Angeles Times reported that the Pentagon's revisions will remove the proscription against "humiliating and degrading treatment", and other proscriptions from article 3 of the third Geneva Convention.The LA Times reports that the State Department has argued against the revisions because of the effect it will have on the world's opinion of the United States.

As of July 5, 2006, there is an ongoing debate over whether the interrogation section should be classified. The New York Times has reported that the Pentagon is considering making the interrogation section public once again, but the Pentagon has made no formal announcement of its intentions.

On September 6, 2006, the U.S. Army announced the publication of Field Manual (FM) 2-22.3, "Human Intelligence Collector Operations." The Army's news release stated that Field Manual 2-22.3 replaces Field Manual 34-52 (published in 1992).

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