In my view the idea of war crimes, brought in after WW II, was a mistake. Although the allies management of the Axis powers post WW II, justified mostly by that idea, was generally beneficial, the legal precedent put us on a slippery slope that is inevitably weakening the Westphalian convention to the point where we now treat non state actors more like states but also treat states more like non state actors. In point of fact, the 'civilian' status of terrorists means that the presumption is typically against any state actors fighting them.dagbay wrote:I think that a pragmatic approach is required and it would be nice if Trump adopts it, after all he is a businessman and not an ideologue.
National survival must trump everything else. This includes reasonable condition for the citizens which allow prosperity and continuation of national political stability. With the national security in place then a nation can turn to like minded nations with similar view and national security and form an alliance. Next the allies can project support to other nations that wish make the transition to become part of the alliance. Any nation that does not wish to make the transition can be engaged with in trade and secondary agreements subject to the primary rules aforementioned.
This approach is unfortunately not acceptable to Liberals because it suggests that a Nation will stand on the sideline even when atrocities are performed in unallied parts of the world. Unfortunately however it is precisely the situation today and has been so for centuries in spite of all the cries for action. The basic premise is that any attempt to apply morality to international policy is doomed to bring harm or prove fatal to a Nation despite the noble intentions. This is similar to a bystander who must calculate his moves before attempting to block a bully from attacking a weaker opponent. One better make sure that the outcome will be better in the selected course of action and that the risks are manageable as far as one's survival. It is a sad reality.
This trend progressed from post war prosecution to the pre conflict "Duty to Protect". So now we (typically the countries who are rich) can interfere in other countries as invasively as we want, based on a suspicion!
War Crimes also inevitably led to "Peace Keeping", which led to "Peace Enforcement", which led to 'doing whatever we want, as long as we can say it's stopping something bad'.
So now our governments spend enormous amounts of resources to stop our enemies from killing each other, with the knock on effect that, unable to kill who they're really want, our enemies come here to kill us! Thus justifying more and more intrusion on our rights... Hmmm,, seems to work out from a certain point of view actually!