The Laws of War: A Comprehensive Collection of Primary Documents on International Laws Governing Armed Conflict

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The Laws of War: A Comprehensive Collection of Primary Documents on International Laws Governing Armed Conflict

Edited by W. Michael Reisman and Chris T. Antoniou
Vintage, 1994
448 pp. $13.00
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When military officers began planning the Gulf War, they had uniformed lawyers with them to provide advice and impose caution from the beginning. In many states, international law restricts military operations or provides them a framework. Reisman and Antoniou, a professor and a former student at Yale Law School respectively, have put together a handy anthology. They cover a wide variety of subjects, from the use of mines and the rights of occupied populations to environmental warfare and war crimes. Although pre-1945 material (particularly the Hague conventions) appears, the volume leans heavily on more recent agreements and declarations. Particularly valuable is the inclusion of texts of actual rules of engagement from the Vietnam War, which give a good feel for the tactical consequences that attempts to apply the law of war can have. Despite some curious omissions, such as the writings of Hays Parks and a more thorough treatment of the Persian Gulf War, the editors have produced an excellent anthology.

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