The Geneva Convention was first signed by 12 nations way back on August 22, 1864. Some 18 years later it was ratified by America. It was meant as a guideline as to how nations should conduct themselves when fighting a war; it’s no problem if two nations want to kill each other’s military personnel, but now there were rules stating exactly how you were allowed to do it. The Geneva Convention has been rewritten and amended over the years to prohibit such things as the inhumane treatment of prisoners, prohibit the use of chemical weapons and also prohibits biological warfare. There are some other protocols in there which military lawyers say we may be getting close to violating if such things as stealth capabilities keep improving.
If the American military has its way, in the next 15 – 30 years the “Klingons” from the show “Star Trek” will not be the only ones that have a cloaking device anymore. Such agencies as DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) have been working on ways to make our soldiers and equipment invisible and these things may not be that far off from becoming reality. Squid proteins are being developed for use in hiding soldiers from infrared detection and a Canadian firm recently developed a camouflage material they said not only hides the soldiers from sight but also shields them from infrared detection and night vision devices. Even devices that blend such large objects as tanks in with their surroundings are being experimented with. The question military lawyers ask is: if we make soldiers completely invisible, are we then in violation of such pacts we have agreed to as the Geneva Convention?
So why might these things be illegal under the Geneva Convention? There are provisions in there that state an attacking force must openly carry weapons so as not to be confused with the civilian population and blend in. Experts argue that such things as stealth technology may be prohibited by these protocols depending on exactly how they are interpreted.
Adhering to the Geneva Convention not only brings into question if some of our new military technologies may be crossing a line but if it also hurts the development of some possibly beneficial things too, such as a gas that renders people immobile but does not kill them. Weapons like this are prohibited under the convention’s chemical weapons protocol. Experts argue that gases such as these are needed more than ever in this day and age of rampant terrorism. An example of this is the hostage situation in Moscow in 2002, where Chechen separatists held many people prisoner in a crowded theatre. The Russian Spetsnaz teams were able to get close enough undetected to deploy an experimental gas through the air vents; it did render the terrorists unconscious but they subsequently died from exposure to the gas along with 130 prisoners because the gas was never fully tested. Experts argued that the gas would have been tested more thoroughly if such things were not banned under the Geneva Convention.
I don’t think the USA will stop trying to develop new types of camouflage or stealth technologies anytime soon, but it will be interesting to see if any country tries to challenge these technologies in an international court of law in the future.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.
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