The Pentagon’s Law of War Manual

The US Department of Defense published its “Law of War Manual” in June and now the World Socialist Web Site dissects some of the more controversial provisions:

The new US Department of Defense Law of War Manual is essentially a guidebook for violating international and domestic law and committing war crimes. The 1,165-page document, dated June 2015 and recently made available online, is not a statement of existing law as much as a compendium of what the Pentagon wishes the law to be.

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According to the manual, the “law of war” (i.e., the law of war according to the Pentagon) supersedes international human rights treaties as well as the US Constitution.

The manual authorizes the killing of civilians during armed conflict and establishes a framework for mass military detentions . Journalists, according to the manual, can be censored and punished as spies on the say-so of military officials. The manual freely discusses the use of nuclear weapons, and it does not prohibit napalm, depleted uranium munitions, cluster bombs or other indiscriminate weapons.

The manual might have more properly been titled A Manifesto for Total War and Military Dictatorship.

The manual is an expression of the incompatibility of imperialist militarism and democracy. In the 25 years since the liquidation of the USSR, and especially over the 14 years since the launching of the so-called “war on terror,” the United States has been almost perpetually at war, seeking to offset its economic decline by threats and military violence around the world…

[continues at the World Socialist Web Site]

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