Forbidden Actions that are Illegal in War | Summary and Q&A

August 24, 2023
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Forbidden Actions that are Illegal in War


The laws of war govern the conduct of warfare, aiming to minimize suffering and damage. They cover the treatment of civilians, medics, and prisoners, as well as the prohibition of certain weapons and tactics.

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Key Insights

  • 😷 The laws of war seek to protect civilians, medics, and other non-combatants from unnecessary harm and suffering.
  • 🌸 Rules on weaponry, such as the prohibition of chemical and biological weapons, aim to prevent indiscriminate destruction and loss of life.
  • 😒 The use of symbols, uniforms, and distinguishing markings helps designate combatants and non-combatants on the battlefield.
  • 👥 Illegal actions include hostage-taking, use of human shields, torture, and persecution against certain groups.
  • 🔫 Weapons like lasers, landmines, and flamethrowers are heavily regulated or prohibited due to their potential for unnecessary suffering and destruction.
  • 🤕 Cluster bombs are banned by many countries due to their indiscriminate nature and the risk of unexploded ordnance.


the rules of War illegal acts in Warfare far from the free-for-all many believe it to be Warfare is actually governed by extensive sets of rules but breed upon by the International Community in order to limit the damage and suffering that inevitably follows a conflict these rules cover many aspects of war from the designation of non-combatants the ... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: What is the purpose of the laws of war?

The laws of war aim to limit the damage and suffering caused by conflict, protecting civilians and those who are not actively involved in fighting.

Q: Are all nations bound by the same treaties?

Not all nations acknowledge or interpret the same treaties. However, there are general guidelines followed by the majority of nations.

Q: What protections are given to medical personnel?

Medical personnel are considered non-combatants and are granted full protection under international law. Hospitals and treatment areas should be marked with the appropriate symbols.

Q: Are there rules regarding the use of landmines?

Landmines are heavily regulated due to their indiscriminate nature. They should be marked and kept away from civilian areas. Some countries ban their use entirely.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The laws of war have existed for centuries, but the first formal codification occurred in 1863 with the Lieber code during the American Civil War.

  • Various treaties, such as the Hague and Geneva Conventions, outline the treatment of wounded soldiers, civilians, and the use of weapons on the battlefield.

  • There are guidelines followed by the majority of nations, but interpretations and adherence may vary.

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