Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people. ~W.C. Fields
No matter how cynical I become toward politicians, it's never enough.
Americans are so enamored of equality that they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.
Alexis de Tocqueville
But I'll play along. Combatants will fight harder if they believe that they will be tortured if they are captured, and will surrender easier if they believe they will be well cared for. Obviously you know this, because it's something a 5 year old could figure out.
Which of course is why someone like John McCain would be against torture. Torture always results in a net negative for the side that does it.
And also, lets stop pretending that anyone cares about the effectiveness or the ethics of torture. This isn't about intelligence, it's about revenge. If there were a painless truth drug that made a suspect give up every shred of information, the same people demanding torture now would still support torture. And what's worse, these same people would support it without being able to actually go through with it themselves. I find it hard to respect that.