No progress in civilizing behaviour

The use of rape as a weapon of war was conscious and emphatic. On every side, proud tales were told of the degradation of enemy women. Thousands of women were abducted, forcibly married to their assailants, and bundled away to the other side of the border. Many never saw their families again. Thousands more were simply used and then thrown back into their villages. There were accounts of women who had been held down while their breasts and arms were cut, tattoed or branded with their rapists’ names and the dates of their attacks. (Indian Summer, 260).

The quotation describes what happened nearly 70 years ago when India and Pakistan became independent states. Nothing much has changed. Similar actions are repeated today by ISIS/ISIL fighters in the Middle East. While Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs attacked each other in 1947, today it is mainly different branches of Muslims fighting each other. When people of other religions get in the way, such as western journalists, they too suffer atrocities.

The rules of war, developed over the past 200 years, mainly apply to states and not to terrorist groups which may operate in or outside a state. Current technology which encourages the use of things like drones, cyber attacks and the use of poison gases facilitateĀ the use of violence by fighters who may deliberately operate within civilian communities. Guerilla warfare is becoming the norm where states are largely impotent to affect what action takes place.

Countries like Canada have in the past offered peace-keepers, but these can do little in non-traditional fighting venues. How countries structure their military/defense budgets will have to be revised.

 

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