Moral Dilemmas of Modern War: Torture, Assassination and by Michael L. Gross

By Michael L. Gross

Uneven clash is altering the way in which that we education and look at struggle. Torture, rendition, assassination, blackmail, extortion, direct assaults on civilians, and chemical guns are all discovering their approach to the battlefield regardless of longstanding foreign prohibitions. This e-book bargains a pragmatic advisor for coverage makers, army officials, scholars, and others who ask such questions as: do guerillas deserve admire or lengthy reformatory sentences? Are there grounds to torture guerillas for info or assassinate them at the battlefield? Is there room for nonlethal guns to subdue militants and shield the lives of noncombatants? who're noncombatants in uneven struggle? what's the prestige of civilians who look after and relief guerillas? And, do guerillas have any correct to assault civilians, relatively those that relief and take care of contributors of the more advantageous military? If one facet can extend the scope of civilian vulnerability, then why can't the opposite?

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Extra info for Moral Dilemmas of Modern War: Torture, Assassination and Blackmail in an Age of Asymmetric Conflict

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Some are conventional (missiles and artillery) but many other means are unconventional and include torture, assassination, blackmail, terror, and nonlethal weapons. Combining these characteristics with the material, legal, and moral dimensions of asymmetry suggests four kinds of asymmetric Torture, Assassination, and Blackmail in Asymmetric Conflict 15 conflict: guerrilla wars and insurgencies, wars of intervention, the war on international terror, and proxy guerrilla wars. Guerrilla Wars and Insurgencies These are the classic asymmetric wars that Merom and ArreguinToft describe and include nationalist insurgencies by a nonstate group fighting against its own government and wars of national liberation fought by small guerrilla armies against a large, well-armed, and technologically superior occupying force.

Nevertheless, hard questions about criminality arise when guerrillas condone terrorism (Chapter 7). Do they, too, deserve a fighting chance? Some do because not all nonstate combatants are terrorists. Proxy guerrilla organizations using sophisticated weapons against military targets may harm civilians but cause damage that is only “collateral” and indirect. Many, but not all, Hezbollah attacks on Israeli civilians in 2006, for example, were proximate to military targets. 21 Even CAR guerrilla organizations that accept terrorism, the Palestinian Fatah, for example, garner firm respect for their right to a fighting chance.

There, the distinction between combatants and noncombatants turns on the simple notion of bearing arms, wearing uniforms, belonging to a military organization, and abiding by the rules of war. These conditions, spelled out clearly in Article 4 of the 3rd 1949 Geneva Convention, define combatant status. While Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions (1977) kept this framework, it made room for a significant exception that allows guerrillas to shed their uniforms when they fight an army of occupation.

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