Pentagon erases Geneva rule from Army field manual

In summary, the Pentagon has decided to omit language from the Army Field Guide that explicitly bans "humiliating and degrading treatment" of prisoners of war, potentially undermining the strict adherence to international human rights standards. This decision has faced strong opposition from the State Department and raises questions about the legality of ignoring provisions of a signed convention. The lack of specificity in the language of the convention may lead to interpretation of what constitutes as "humiliating and degrading treatment" by prisoners themselves.
  • #36
BobG said:
All in all, when undeclared wars are fought against ideological groups instead of declared wars against national armies, the rules seem to get a little fuzzy.
Indeed!

The last bit you mentioned about civilians taking up arms against an invading army only applies to them after they've mounted an armed defense. It gives them the same protection and requirements as regular military. It isn't justification to round up anyone who could conceivably mount an armed defense.
Thanks for the clarification. Is there a plain English translation somewhere? How do they expect regular enlisted personnel to understand all these rules? :confused: I'm having a devil of a time understanding some of it myself with the way it's all written.
 
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  • #37
BobG said:
All in all, when undeclared wars are fought against ideological groups instead of declared wars against national armies, the rules seem to get a little fuzzy.
Anything is fuzzy if you squint your eyes not wanting to see it. :frown:

Moonbear said:
Thanks for the clarification. Is there a plain English translation somewhere? How do they expect regular enlisted personnel to understand all these rules? :confused: I'm having a devil of a time understanding some of it myself with the way it's all written.
We have to ingrain respect for human rights through every ounce of our solders training. Every part of human rights must be Thoroughly. explained by the instructors, shown respect for in every exercise, and enforced without accept ion. That is the only way we can hold to the standards which those who lived though the last World War set before themselves, and those peoples' beliefs are exactly what we are giving up on by striping their words from the field manuals.
 
  • #38
Moonbear said:
(snip)The Geneva Convention seems awfully weak and seems to offer a lot of ways to circumvent it without much in the way of repercussions. (snip) Did I miss something? Surely if it came to forcing a nation to release prisoners for violating the Convention, there should be some sanction or penalty involved. Is it truly possible to just scapegoat a few POW camp guards and everyone else is off the hook?

Grotius. Jus gentium. Jus in bellum.

You've missed nothing. Hague and Geneva state goals for conduct; sanctions don't really go beyond "group" censure or approval among signatories, extending or withholding moral support in the post=war kangaroo courts (Nuremberg, Milosevic); Doenitz wasn't crucified for unrestricted sub warfare because everyone engaged in the same thing; Abu G. was a disaster for a couple dozen bright young attorneys in the AG's office --- they busted their asses putting together cases for the Hague and a half dozen retarded, white-trash reservists squandered the option to prosecute assorted Iraqi prisoners for unacceptable conduct by behaving in equivalently unacceptable fashion.

Gitmo? POWs? Or, criminals? Quantrill? Crips? Bloods? It's been 300 years since the Royal Navy has hanged, drawn, and quartered pirates --- Geneva and Hague don't address stateless criminal activity --- might sit down and look at it as a result of the current situation.

kyleb said:
(snip)That is the only way we can hold to the standards which those who lived though the last World War set before themselves, ...(snip)

Bismarck Sea? "Right stuff" Yeager? That's the short list; full list has never been put together. The "standards" of Studs Terkel's "Last Good War" never existed, never have, and probably never will.
 
  • #39
I am not talking about the events WW2 or any claims of any author's book here. I am talking about what those who survived the horrors of the war came together and agreed upon, the Geneva Conventions. Those are the standards that the people who fought to end WW2 put in place, and those are the standards which we are turning away from now.
 

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