Created By: DracMonster on June 16, 2012
Nuked

Rules Of War

War has rules of conduct. Their purpose may or may not be to protect innocents.

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Trope
Do We Have This One?? (The Laws and Customs of War is a specific Real Life example.) I was surprised when I couldn't find it.

Many historical cultures have had rules and customs for warfare, either unspoken or explicitly spelled out. The Laws and Customs of War is a current Real Life example whose intent is to minimize the danger to civilians, but this was not always the case. Historically, such codes have more often had rather the opposite purpose: insuring that the poor peasants suffered the brunt, so the nobles actually starting the wars wouldn't have to.

Examples:
  • In Dune, warfare has a ton of regulations and etiquette, that are supposedly there to protect civilians, though in practice all they really do is help the nobles stay in power.
  • The Guild in Last Exile regulates warfare to the point that countries have to request permission to fight each other. This is mainly to keep the Guild in power by preventing any country from getting strong enough through conquest -- they find civilian casualties entertaining.
Community Feedback Replies: 5
  • June 17, 2012
    captainsandwich
    I noticed The Laws And Customs Of War only covers modern rules. I think Chivalry was like this back in the day.
  • June 17, 2012
    Bisected8
    Interestingly, chivalry didn't protect civilians as much as require knights to show courtesy to other knights (captured commoners were usually slaughtered after battles and treated as part of a captured knight's forfeit, but woe betide anyone who treated said knight like a prisoner before they were returned home for ransom).
  • June 17, 2012
    Sligh
    Followed (or expected to be followed) on A Song Of Ice And Fire.
  • June 17, 2012
    zarpaulus
    The rules of warfare in Dune are called The Great Convention, they only allow warfare between nobles under a declared feud or kanly and atomics are absolutely forbidden for use on human targets (Paul's demolition of the shield wall was barely legal).
  • June 17, 2012
    randomsurfer
    In The Mouse That Roared General Snippet knows the Geneva Conventions by heart and insists on getting the proper treatment, such as getting the proper sized prison cell and his meals on a tin plate. Meanwhile, four NYC policemen (who don't insist on that) who were also taken prisoner are housed in the palace and dine in grand style with the Duchess.
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