For nearly 150 years the binding nature and transnational recognition of the Geneva Convention has meant that each and every signatory understands the full legal determinants that they are ultimately beholden. Begun in 1864, subsequent addendums to the Geneva Convention have…
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As a function of this dynamic, this brief analysis will seek to discuss the ways in which non-state combatants are viewed within the modern context, the ways in which the letter of the law of the Geneva Convention’s framework necessarily deals with such individuals, and the outlook for the future that will likely exist with relation to a more widespread inclusion of non-state combatants within the umbrella of human protection and recognition that the Geneva Convention necessarily affords.
With respect to the first topic, one need not look far in order to recognize the way in which al Qaeda most certainly fulfills the role of a non-state combatant within the current geo-political model (Zelikow 6). As such, countries such as the United States have had more than a difficult time determining in what ways captured al Qaeda fighters should be dealt with. Due to the fact that al Qaeda fighters are intrinsically related to terrorism and the non-state struggle of radical Islamic ideology, nations that capture their fighters do not have clear options for which to deal with these individuals. For the most part, rehabilitation is not an option. In the same way, keeping them confined without trial is openly problematic (Yoo 141). Likewise, trying them under martial or civilian court systems prove to be highly problematic due to the fact that by doing so, the state in question (prosecution) would have to engender the defendants with a degree of rights and privileges that are inconsistent with the forces they represent or the jurisdiction that they ultimately engaged in the act of violence/theater of war.
With regards to the way in which the Geneva Convention deals with such individuals as have been described, the fact of the matter is that it does not. Naturally, if a codicil to the Geneva Convention had been included that specified the way in which states could and should deal with non-state actors and members of
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