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DoD Publishes a Laws of War Manual

June 22, 2015

The Department of Defense (DoD) has published a manual covering the laws of war. The behemoth of a book is set to be the US military’s bible of what’s legal and what’s not in warfare across land, air, sea, and anywhere else you can get to fighting.

The 1,204-page tome covers hundreds of possible scenarios commanders in the field might face, from the “Human Treatment of Detainees” to how to tackle “Ruses of War and Other Lawful Deceptions.” It helpfully informs commanders which weapon systems are legal (standard guns, rockets, etc.), which fall into a gray area (nukes, cluster bombs, depleted uranium), and which are definitely illegal (lethal chemical weapons, biological weapons, and “blinding lasers”).

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