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The Soldier and His Golf Clubs

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses some aspects of the principles of international humanitarian law relating to the choice of weapons of war. The principles enunciated in the preamble of the St. Petersburg Declaration of 1868 proved far more durable than the specific rule they preceded; indeed, they were very much in the minds of those participating in the weapons conference of 1974. It should be noted that the Mines Protocol actually provides some language which aims to protect combatants as well as civilians. While the Protocol on Non-Detectable Fragments amounts to a very modest result indeed, some more significant results were scored with respect to two classes of weapon: mines and booby-traps, and incendiary weapons. A combatant simply cannot be equipped with a wide array of weapons for all kinds of situations, as the golf player is with his bag of golf clubs.

Keywords: golf clubs; incendiary weapons; international humanitarian law; St. Petersburg Declaration



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