I've seen the claim pop up in a number of places (on both the left and the right) that The Hurt Locker is a "conservative" film or that it has explicitly pro-Iraq War (or pro-occupation) political strands running throughout it.
I'm not buying it. This interpretation relies on basically forgetting about a key sequence in the film where WIlliam James invades someone's home on the cowboy suspicion that they've allowed their son to be used as a body bomb and winds up almost killing an innocent man. It's telling in a way that they leave this section out, as it is really the only extraneous/unnecessary part of the whole movie, it has no relevance to the plot of the film at all and is the one moment when the film gets digressive at all. That should be a pretty clear sign in a movie so clearly and relentlessly focused as The Hurt Locker that the filmmakers are doing something they want you to pay attention to.
And so I have to ask... is there any way you could make an argument that that sequence is "conservative" or "pro-Iraq War" or "pro-occupation"? I"m trying to and coming up short. It seem to me fairly obvious that it's an extended (and perhaps sanitized) metaphor for the occupation's night raid mentality, where soldiers would storm into people's houses (or simply go door to door) on hazy intel, wave guns in everyone's face, tie the men up and smash up the place looking for weapons.
Is it true that none of the Iraqis in the film are presented as human beings? Yes. Is it true that Kathryn Bigelow falls a little too in love with William James? Perhaps. But the movie also presents him as an addict/borderline psychopath, not a hero, and goes to great lengths to make that case (or to perhaps argue that they're really one and the same once you scratch away all the mythologizing we do).