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Is it ever rational for a country to undertake to abide by "rules of war", such as the Geneva Conventions? One could argue certain advantages to be gained as long as a country can expect reciprocity, e.g.,

  • decent treatment for one's prisoners in exchange for like treatment of enemy prisoners
  • avoidance of the use of certain weapons knowing that the consequences could be devastating if the enemy responded in kind

By their nature, such rules are only enforceable by self-policing (except by the victors after the war), yet in certain theaters (e.g., the Western Front in World War II), they were to a large degree observed.

asked Nov 01 '12 at 20:29

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El Manantial

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Asked: Nov 01 '12 at 20:29

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Last updated: Nov 01 '12 at 20:29