GENEVA SCHMENEVA?

John Hawkins of Right Wing News asks a good question: given that nobody we fight adheres to the Geneva Convention, why don’t we scrap it?

My two cents’ worth (a shorter version of which I posted in his comments section): The Geneva Conventions pretty much ARE our set of rules. And we adhere to them 1) because they comport with our moral code and sense of honor and, 2) because it is advantageous to do so.

To use a real example, given the events of the past weekend, who is more likely to surrender to the enemy, ceteris paribus, an American soldier or an Iraqi soldier? I’d think an American would rather take his chances in a firefight, even against seemingly hopeless odds, than be captured by these murderous thugs. An Iraqi soldier knows that he will immediately be given an upgrade in living conditions upon being taken an American prisoner of war. Indeed, that has been borne out in past experiece. See
this for example.

For those interested: The actual text of the Geneva Conventions. The most relevant to recent discussions is Article III.

FILED UNDER: Iraq War
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.