Tactical questioning, according to the U.S. Department of Defense dictionary, is "[d]irect questioning by any Department of Defense personnel of a captured or detained person to obtain time-sensitive intelligence information, at or near the point of capture or detention and consistent with applicable law."
It is a term used to describe the action of "talking to the local population and initially questioning" Enemy Prisoners or War (EPWs) and/or detainees. Both "actions normally occur with the help of an interpreter." 
"Tactical questioning is the expedient initial questioning for information of immediate value. When the term applies to the interaction with the local population, it is more conversational in nature. This task can be designed to build rapport as much as to collect information and understand the environment.
"Tactical questioning should not be confused with HUMINT operations and does not include running sources—that is dangerous in many ways. Soldiers conduct tactical questioning based on the unit commander's priority intelligence requirements (PIRs) and mission." 
"The information that soldiers report as a result of tactical questioning forms a vital part of planning and operations. Careful and quick handling of EPWs/detainees and documents also helps the intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) effort." 
- Department of Defense Directive: DoD Intelligence Interrogations, Detainee Debriefings, and Tactical Questioning, U.S. Department of Defense, November 3, 2005. (Posted on Federation of American Scientists website.) Change 1, May 10, 2006.
- "Detainee Treatment Act of 2005," White House (Jurist), December 31, 2005.
Related SourceWatch Resources
- Abu Ghraib
- Congressional Action: Ban on Torture
- Dispatches: Kidnap and Torture American Style
- enemy combatant
- Enemy Prisoner of War
- extraordinary rendition
- Geneva Conventions
- global detention system
- Global detention system: Stopping the Torture
- Guantanamo Camp Xray
- Independent Panel to Review Department of Defense Detention Operations
- Iraq War Crimes Tribunal
- Iraqi detainee abuse scandal
- Legal Arguments for Avoiding the Jurisdiction of the Geneva Conventions
- Military Commissions Act of 2006
- New Iraq / Post-war Iraq
- President's Military Order of November 13, 2001, Detention, Treatment, and Trial of Certain Non-Citizens in the War Against Terrorism
- The Constitution in Crisis; The Downing Street Minutes and Deception, Manipulation, Torture, Retribution, and Coverups in the Iraq War, and Illegal Domestic Surveillance
- War on Terror detainee legislation
- war on terrorism
- "Detainee Treatment Act" in the Wikipedia.
- James A. Marks, "Always out front," Military Intelligence Professional Bulletin (FindArticles.com), January-March 2004.
- Paul Sperry, "Army training memo reveals neglect for human-rights law. Complying with Geneva rules not 'critical' part of new crash course in prisoner interrogations," WorldNetDaily, May 12, 2004.
- Jason Vest, "Implausible Denial," The Nation, May 4, 2004.
- Jim Garamone, "New DoD Directive Sets Detainee Interrogation Policy," American Forces Press Service, November 8, 2005.
- Matthew C. Paul, "Tactical questioning: human intelligence key to counterinsurgency campaigns," Infantry Magazine (FindArticles.com), January-February 2006; Trackpads, March 9, 2006.
- "U.S.: Missing soldier wasn't authorized to leave," CNN, October 25, 2006: "The U.S. military and Iraqi forces on Wednesday apprehended an unspecified number of people for 'tactical questioning' in raids as the search for a missing U.S. soldier stretched into a third day, the military said."