13 July 2015

The Product of a Mentality of Lawlessness and Impunity

Are we the baddies?
I do understand that, historically at least, the primary purpose of a military pistol is for officers to shoot deserters.

These days, in addition to marking a bag of rank, they do have uses for people like rear echelon troops and tankers.

They will never be a major force on the battlefield, but the fact that the blithe way in which the US Army is considering introducing Dumdum bullets in its new pistol:
The Army is considering the use of expanding and fragmenting ammunition, such as hollow point bullets, to increase its next-generation handgun's ability to stop an enemy.

This bit of news was revealed Tuesday, during the service's fourth industry day for its Modular Handgun System.

After a recent legal review within the Pentagon, the Army can consider adopting "special purpose ammunition," said Richard Jackson, special assistant to the Army Judge Advocate General for Law of War, according to an Army news release. This marks a departure from battlefield practices over a century old.

Jackson told Army Times that while this isn't the first approved use of such bullets in the military, the stance represented "a significant re-interpretation of the legal standard" for ammunition. He also said a lot has changed since the initial movements against the round, especially with the increased prevalence of asymmetric warfare.

"There's a myth that [expanding/fragmenting bullets] are prohibited in international armed conflict, but that doesn't make any sense now," Jackson said.


On the battlefield, the U.S. has generally observed the 1899 Hague Convention rule barring expanding and fragmenting rounds, despite the fact that it never has been signatory to that particular agreement, Russell said.

The U.S. reserved the right to use different ammunition where it saw a need. For example, Criminal Investigations Command and military police use hollow points — as do law enforcement agencies around the country — in part to minimize collateral damage of bullets passing through the target. Special Forces also uses expanding/fragmenting rounds in counter-terrorism missions.

"The use of this ammunition supports the international law principles of preventing excessive collateral effects and safeguarding civilian lives," an Army statement said.
So, not only are they choosing to ignore a bit of international which has been observed by basically everyone since the early 1900s, but they are declaring that a direct violation of the convention is actually just fine, because. ……… Well, just because.

The US state security apparatus y did the same thing with the Geneva conventions on the treatment of prisoners of war, despite the fact that the Third Geneva Convention specifically requires that signatories apply the standards to non-signatories.

Even if one dismisses the humanitarian considerations,  the fact that this sort of breakdown in professional ethics frequently presages the end stage of a declining empire.


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