War crimes and terrorism threat to national security

War crimes and terrorism threat to national security

Author- Ms. Pallav vats, Geeta Institute of Law, Panipat.

Introduction: – 

War crimes and terrorism are all incidents caused by people’s specific intentions. These events are just like accidents and natural disasters, are greatly influenced by the development of scientific technology and social structures of political disagreement and economic disparities. This Article will overviews structures and what are special about war, crimes, and terrorism. Nobody argues with the fact that war, crimes, and terrorism are threats to national security. War crimes can be defined as unwarranted acts of violence or brutality, violations of treaties, or violating customs that govern military conflicts. War crimes are most often committed by military personnel but can also be committed by politicians and civilians.

War crimes can be divided into three categories:                                          

  • Traditional war crimes – acts that violate customary wartime practices
  •  Crimes against peace – acts of hostile military action against a sovereign country that is not in self-defense
  •  Crimes against humanity – acts that involve the enslavement, persecution, brutality or murder of non-combatants or the extermination of certain groups of people.          

The first approach is to eliminate motivations to start war crimes or terrorism. For example, one of the fundamental reasons to start terrorism or war is economic, religious, or ideological conflict among countries or groups involved. If we can resolve such conflicts peacefully, we can avoid the breakout of war and terrorism. Crime rates, also, are known to have high correlations with economic poverty and disparity in the societies. Thus, if we develop the economy to remove the disparity, we should be able to reduce crimes. For these approaches to make actual effects, they will take long times and enormous efforts.

Is Terrorism a War Crime?    

It is categorized as either war or crime but not a war crime. Often referred to as War of the Weak / Proxy War when there is seemingly involvement of other nation-state or have aspirants of another nation in waging terrorism. Most often the initial responses to terrorism are given as towards serious crime. In fact, most nations have used legal framework to view as a crime but their approaches differed. I have been reiterating this that it all begins from organized crime whether it is within national or international boundaries. The nexus of organized crime helps terrorism. So it is been viewed as a crime. Many of the actions undertaken by terrorists would be considered war crimes had they been committed by a national army, but because terrorists are irregular forces, they are not seen as part of an army. Terrorism, if you mean the act of targeting civilians to express a political point and receive media attention, is a war crime, yes. The willful targeting of civilians is a war crime and has been recognized as a violation of the laws of war since at least the 1907 Hague Convention, and is reaffirmed in the Geneva Conventions and the Rome Statute.

Laws governing war                                                                                          

Law of war, that part of international law dealing with the inception, conduct, and termination of warfare. Its aim is to limit the suffering caused to combatants and, more particularly, to those who may be described as the victims of war—that is, non-combatant civilians and those no longer able to take part in hostilities. Thus, the wounded, the sick, the shipwrecked, and prisoners of war also require protection by law.                                       

Roots of the international law of war

  • Law by Treaty

The development of modern weapons that could cause unnecessary suffering to combatants, and the great strides made in battlefield medical care, led to a growing awareness that international cooperation was required to protect the wounded and sick. Henri Dunant, a Swiss citizen and founder of the Red Cross, was preeminent in leading a number of states to conclude the first Geneva Convention in 1864 to protect the wounded and sick. But the first attempt to codify the laws of war was drafted by Francis Lieber, a college professor in New York City. Promulgated to Union forces by President Abraham Lincoln during the American Civil War, the Lieber code was to have a profound effect on subsequent codifications of the laws of war. In 1868 the Declaration of St. Petersburg prohibited the use of explosive projectiles weighing less than 400 grams, while in 1899 two major treaties were concluded at The Hague, one concerning asphyxiating gases and another concerned with expanding bullets. The second Hague conference, in 1907, proved to be a milestone, producing 13 separate treaties. In 1925 the Geneva Gas Protocol was signed, prohibiting the use in war of asphyxiating, poisonous, or other gases and of bacteriological methods of warfare. This was followed in 1929 by two further Geneva Conventions, dealing with the wounded and sick and with prisoners of war. Following World War II yet another conference produced the four 1949 Geneva Conventions dealing, respectively, with the wounded and sick on land, with the wounded, sick, and shipwrecked at sea, with prisoners of war, and with civilians. Further treaties followed, including the 1954 Hague Convention on the Protection of Cultural Property, the 1977 United Nations Convention on Military or Any Other Hostile Use of Environmental Modification Techniques, and the two 1977 Protocols to the Geneva Conventions of 1949, extending the terms of the conventions to wars of national liberation and civil wars.

  • Law by custom

Some areas of the laws of war are not covered by treaty provisions, making it necessary to turn to other sources of international law. However, it may be that a particular point has never arisen before. In this case, the Martens Clause, which first appeared in one of the 1899 Hague Conventions. Judicial decisions are also a source of the international laws of war. The International Military Tribunals at Nürnberg and Tokyo following World War II laid down many general principles that became widely accepted.

Conclusion: –                                                                                                      

War crimes and terrorism are a major threat for any nation or simply we can say for all nations hence it very necessary to eradicate it as soon as possible through treaties or international levels of diplomacy. These problems rise due to the economic, religious, or ideological conflict among countries or groups. If we can resolve such conflicts peacefully, we can avoid the breakout of war and terrorism.

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