Thursday, February 23, 2006

It shouldn't need saying....

...but apparently it does:
The Geneva conventions’ core protections to soldiers and civilians remain vital, but they do not address the continuum of conflicts that exist today. The Bush administration may be correct in asserting that the Geneva conventions in their present form cannot effectively serve their intended purpose. Yet, its solution, simply rejecting the utility of the conventions, is not the answer, nor should the solution focus solely on the terrorist threat. Instead, the United States and the international community should revitalize the conventions to take into account the full range of challenges posed by modern wars.
You can read the rest here (pdf). Not all of the problems in applying the Geneva Conventions to modern warfare are really modern, nor are they Iraq-specific.

I suspect that this is kind of a Rorshach-test article: folks who believe in the power of a system of international treaties and agreements to create processual protections that benefit everyone even as they limit state action will find it convincing. I'm not sure that those who believe that we are better off long-term acting independently in our own short-term interests irrespective of international opinion and procedure will find it convincing, though.

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