Discrimination For Combatants

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Throughout centuries of wars, there has been much blood shed and territory gained. Although these were particularly gruesome times, laws and guidelines were starting to take effect in order to limit the destruction countries can inflict upon one another. Larger nations would maintain the ability to wipe out smaller nations, but the use of unethical weapons was outlawed. This was a large step in how wars were fought because it gave order to a chaotic activity. Among these rules were laws that combatants would need to abide by in order to maintain the ability to fight a just war. But, like everything, there are those who refuse to follow rules. Terrorists are not only a threat to a nation, but to all the citizens that occupy it as well. In recent …show more content…
In 1949, The Geneva Convention drafted a document that outlined the qualifications of a combatant. The first of which is that a person must be part of a hierarchal group, such that there is recognizable chain of command. This states that there needs to be one person held accountable for ordering a group of people to fight. This highlights that a person is not acting on their own while causing damage to others. This is the most important discrimination for combatants because when a combatant is killing enemy combatants on behalf of higher commands they are not prone to any criminal charges. As long as they are following orders, they are protected. As soon as they start to act on their own, they can be liable for any and all damage caused. Having a chain of command ensures that there is scope for punishment and discipline. The next qualification is that combatants must wear a distinctive emblem that is visible from a distance. In wearing an emblem, they mark themselves as legitimate targets. When wearing an emblem they decrease the chances of harming non-combatants. This can sometimes be tricky because emblems and uniforms can be copied by the enemy combatants and used against you. This would be particularly be a problem in guerilla warfare. In guerilla warfare, enemies will try to blend in with non-combatants or the environment in order to successfully ambush combatants. This tactic was …show more content…
These qualifications aren’t as black and white as those that qualify a combatant, but it’s important to have these in place. There are two forms of terrorism that the United States has identified which include domestic and international. “Domestic terror involves acts dangerous to human life that violate federal or state law; Appear intended (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the U.S.” These guidelines remain the same for international terrorism except international terror occurs outside of US territories. Terrorists don’t have any military objectives, their only aim is for political change and inciting terror amongst civilians by killing innocent people. In fact, many terrorists consider themselves “freedom fighters”. Their freedom is very abstract, in most instances they are fighting for political freedom. They like to do what they want, and laws prohibit them from acting in ways they find reasonable, so they exploit citizens fears in order to further their movement. Bin Laden told the American people, “We fight because we are free men who don’t sleep under oppression. We want to restore freedom to our nation.” In

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