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The Rules of War

Soldiers firing guns

It has long been humans natural instinct to solve conflict with violence. And unfortunately, that conflict isn’t always a true threat. That being said, since the beginning, others have desperately tried to limit the damage and hurt war inflicts, and it was with this humanitarian spirit that the Geneva Convention was created.
The Geneva Convention was a sequence of diplomatic discussions about protecting the innocent during warfare, and essentially, to keep everything as ‘humanely possible’. In 1864, agreements were a product of these meetings, and then they were revamped in 1949 after the second World War. How these agreements came to be is something quite remarkable, as one man, Henry Dunant, proposed a ‘solution’ to those affected in war, after witnessing the aftermath following a business proposition for land.

The Red Cross was formed with delegates from 16 countries, with military medical personal travelling to Geneva to discuss the terms of a wartime humanitarian agreement – also known as the rules of war.

The act of war has rules, which may come a surprise to some. There are five fundamental principles that the laws of war are based on; Military necessity, Unnecessary suffering, Proportionality, Distinction, and The prohibition on attacking persons outside the fight.

In a nutshell, these rules guide on who is allowed to be targeted, who must not be and also what must not be.

The Principle of Distinction

The principle of distinction is used to distinguish between military objectives and civilian objectives. Only military objectives can be targeted and to do otherwise is a war-crime.
Every possibility must be taken to avoid hurting civilians or, destroying things that are essential to their survival such as running water.

 

Men running in military gear with guns

Unnecessary Suffering

It is forbidden to cause any unnecessary suffering or also to cause harm greater than that unavoidable to achieve legitimate military resolutions.
This rule was initially put in place to protect combatants, ensuring that no further harm comes to them once they are rendered hors de combat “outside the fight”.

Military Necessary

Military Necessity is essentially defined as the prerequisite in any given circumstance, for the use of armed force (following the other rules of the law) to achieve genuine, legitimate military objectives. The only legitimate military purpose in armed conflict is to weaken the military capacity of the enemy, and certainly not to annihilate them.

A man shooting a military gun with a bullet flying into the sky

Proportionality

Proportionality is in reference to the act of war itself.
This rule notes that belligerents may only use the just amount and kind of force necessary to defeat the enemy. The law is also in place so military act to limit unnecessary collateral damage.

The prohibition on attacking persons hors de combat (“outside the fight” in French)
Attacking anyone outside of the fight is against the rules. This includes anyone in the power of an adverse party, who is defenceless because of sickness, wounds, or even unconsciousness. This prohibition is also in place for others who express an intention to surrender.

Military Simulation

Military simulation, (also known as ‘wargames’) is where ‘war-like’ scenarios with various degrees of realism are acted out. It first spouted popularity around the 1980s in East Asia, notably Japan, and airsoft plays a prominent part.
Military Simulation is seen to practice and refine skills and techniques without the actual need for hostilities.

A man shooting a military gun with a bullet flying into the sky

Here at Surplus Store, violence is never advocated. Airsoft is fantastic for exercise, mental focus, being out in nature, and has many more positive
benefits. Have a browse of our airsoft guns in our store and find out more about this enjoyable, harmless sport.

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