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Old 11-18-2007   #1
JamesM
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Default The Law of Occupation ?

In the SWJ Military Review: November - December 2007 Issue is a link to "The Law of Occupation and Post–Armed-Conflict Governance: Considerations for Future Conflicts – Colonel David A. Wallace, U.S. Army". http://usacac.leavenworth.army.mil/C...ngNovDec07.pdf

I have read the conventions he cites. Overall it is a reasonable introduction to the subject, but he omits several key points.

First and foremost he omits the rights of people detained in a war or occupation. Restoration of some civil orgs are good, but the rubber meets the road when you shoot at, or detain a person.

Second - He omits pointing out that in Iraq the US disbanding of the police was contrary to the continuance and support of the civil and legal orgs that the conventions require.

Third - he omits mention that under the conventions contractors supporting a military ARE considered part of the military and are therefore legitimate targets, as well as the responsibility of the occupying force, with regard to keeping tabs on them and issuing every last one of their contractors with identification cards. Claiming you don't know how many in country sub contractors you have is totally contrary to the conventions that REQUIRE an army to know, and REQUIRE that every last one of them be issued with identity cards.

The introduction and foundation were good, but the examples of US actions are just a set of well documented cherry picking of the laws of war and occupation. This is a "Cover my but with cherry picked legal snow".
It's not the laws you abide by that matter, it is the ones you fail to adhere to that bring you before a court.

As any person detained in WWII by any side can tell you, if they survived, two of the of the most important rights for civilians are to be able to flee, and to be correctly treated if detained.

(Oh, and according to the Geneva conventions and laws of war, every person in the occupied territory is considered a civilian first, until proven otherwise.)

Read "Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War" Adopted on 12 August 1949 >> Here >> http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu3/b/92.htm
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Old 11-18-2007   #2
Stan
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Hello JamesM !

As your first or second post herein, that’s an unfair and even naive assessment of Colonel Wallace’s paper. It’s a quick read and one of thousands of lessons learned.

The Geneva Convention is significant but at the same time very broad and often in my occupation, confusing as hell. I’ve attended more GC classes and seminars that I ever cared to. It took six professors 3 days to explain why and how we do our daily EOD-related tasks, and not one of the 45 attendees walked away with more than a miniscule of understanding. Rules and regulations are part of a Soldier’s everyday life, but serve no one if we don’t fully understand. COL Wallace’s paper is from a Soldier to Soldiers, and sufficiently references the GC in his notes.

I might have a better appreciation for where you going with this if you took a few minutes to complete your ‘additional information’ (versus just N/A), or at the very least, posted here and took a gander here.
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Old 11-18-2007   #3
Old Eagle
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Wallace's intent wasn't to give a class on the Geneva Convention. It was to introduce some of the lesser known requirements of "occupation." The "we only do kinetic" approach to warfare in general and regime change in specific doesn't cut it.
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Old 11-18-2007   #4
Stan
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Default Indeed...Thanks Colonel !

Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Eagle View Post
Wallace's intent wasn't to give a class on the Geneva Convention. It was to introduce some of the lesser known requirements of "occupation." The "we only do kinetic" approach to warfare in general and regime change in specific doesn't cut it.
I might add:
  • Leavenworth is not in the habit of dumping reams of paper
  • The US Army does not promote her folks to O-6 for nothin'
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