Posted by White Rabbit,

Bill, your post made me remember that many of the French officers in Algeria--which I think includes Trinquier although I have to double-check that--often were resistant during the Second World War. Accordingly, some of them were tortured.

While not justifying the use of torture, it might explain their use of it. If they saw it as a technique which worked on them, it is likely that they came to the conclusion that it will work on others.

If I remember correctly in the Army of Shadows, Jean-Pierre Melville--who was himself a resistant--even depicts the use of torture by resistant on fellow resistant.
I suspect many of the paras were WWII vets of sort (resistance or otherwise) and coming from a nation that was recently occupied by the Nazis for years which must have strongly shaped their views on what is acceptable in combat. Additionally a proud nation that lost face when the Germans defeated them was once again facing another humiliation by losing another colony. Different cultures have different values (pardon another statement of the obvious), and in many torture is an acceptable way of acquiring information, or simply terrorizing their opponents (an attempt at deterrence). It really doesn't matter if we're shocked by the behavior.

What we have been trying to encourage/enforce in recent years (two or more decades) are internationally accepted (by many, not all nations) laws and human rights, but we have no ability to force others to abide by these rules.

Regarding the questions on whether we should or shouldn't engage with those who practice torture, the real question in my view is can we afford not to? What is the risk of not engaging?

As Dayuhan stated it is very hard to shape others behavior when you're not engaged. We also leave an opportunity for others to displace our influence.