Discussion in 'World Assembly Proposals' started by Maowi, Nov 19, 2019.
I'd be very grateful for any feedback on this. Thank you in advance! NSGA forum thread is here.
It seems this resolution would not prohibit member nations from declaring non-civilians in a hostile zone as under care of medical personnel and then permitting medical personnel to use light arms to protect them.
Thanks for the feedback
By the definition of "patient," the member nation wouldn't be able to declare any non-civilian as under care of medical personnel on a mere whim; they need to be "a non-civilian suffering from a medical ailment requiring the attention of medical professionals." So I don't think there should be a problem there.
(Edit: That is; yes, it would not ban member nations from doing that, but it does not provide any more protections to such so-called patients than exist for any other non-civilian)
I'm sure creative compliers would be willing for their non-civilians to suffer from a medical ailment requiring the attention of medical professionals if that would let their medical personnel use light arms to protect them.
So, your point is that member nations would purposefully injure their non-civilians so that they qualify for protection?
Perhaps I could add a requirement for them to be unable to partake in the fighting as a result of their ailment in order to qualify for protection?
Yes, and protection in the form of their medical personnel using light arms.
That would address most cases but not all. For example, if their non-civilians are in a strategically poor position and unable to partake in fighting as a result of their ailment I would imagine they would still be willing to purposefully injure their non-civilians to the extent of being unable to partake in the fighting so that medical personnel would be able to go and retrieve them.
Hmm ... or maybe it would be better to add a clause explicitly banning the deliberate injury of non-civilians on your own side in order to qualify them for protection. Perhaps a bit of an idealistic view of the situation, but it would cover all circumstances. And things like good-faith compliance would help in the context of the GA.
I think that would cover it.
Updated with that change and an edit to clause 2.
In the end I removed that clause, as explained on the NSGA thread:
Submission in around 1 week if no major problem comes up, so last minute feedback would be very much appreciated
This new draft seems to exacerbate the problem...
Could you expand on that? The only substantive change has been removing that added clause.
"aww man, I got a papercut, guess I gotta head to the hospital" ~a soldier surrounded by the enemy
I think the definition of a patient - a non-civilian suffering from a medical ailment requiring the attention of medical professionals - wouldn't include someone with a papercut. That doesn't require the assistance of medical personnel. And anyway, there is only a ban on preventing a patient from accessing a medical facility "where this would endanger the patient's life." I think that should cover it?
Naught but an example of the easy ways that this resolution could be exploited.
I'm still a bit confused about the point you're trying to make. Are you disagreeing that the draft doesn't let people do what you described in the situation above??
Thought on it and made an edit to 3b. which I think solves the problem.
Not really. For starters, there is no 3b.
Also, this resolution is putting restrictions on member nations' engagement with non-member nations.
Yeah, sorry, it's 3b on the NS site but I couldn't figure out how to make nested lists with letters here so I'm talking about 3.2.
And yes, it is. I've tried to avoid placing WA member nations at a military disadvantage to non-member nations as far as possible but I still think patients and medical personnel in non-member nations deserve protection just as much as those in member nations do.
I don't believe that is appropriate.
A very similar thing has been done for civilians. There is precedent for this.
I wasn't aware precedent extended to the GA.
Not entirely sure what you mean by that. I'm just making the point that the GA has, in the past - and still does - protected citizens of non-member nations from war crimes and I don't really know why you think it's a problem?
I'll go clause by clause.
The disadvantage provided by clause 2 is that member states can't retaliate in the same manner if non-member states attack their medical facility. I don't think medical facilities - and the patients and personnel within them - should be used as bargaining chips in war. And there's that exception for facilities used for military acts of war - so in those cases there would be no disadvantages at all.
Throughout all of clause 3, the patient is not an active threat to the member state and nothing there stops them being taken a prisoner of war. So I don't see any huge disadvantage there.
Clause 4 would be irrelevant in a war between a member state and a non-member state.
That point doesn't matter if precedent doesn't apply then. The detriments of an actor being able to engage in an action while another actor is prohibited from doing so are quite evident and makes this proposal a non-starter without even getting into the ways the proposal may be violated in spirit.
Why doesn't precedent apply in the GA? (May well be a GA "thing" I'm just not aware of ...)
And could you name these specific detriments in context of this draft? I've gone through and specifically tried, at least, to address them, but discussing generalities makes it quite hard for me to figure out what I want to change. Same thing for "the ways the proposal may be violated in spirit." I would've thought the updated 3.2. would have addressed your concern, so it would just be really helpful to hear what you specifically find problematic.
Why would it apply?
A member nation being able to be threatened by a non-member nation without the ability for retaliation is unacceptable.
And as I previously stated, I don't believe the updated 3.2 solves my concern. How would it do that?
I'm not trying to say that there's any such thing as "binding GA precedent," whatever that would mean ... just that it isn't such a crazy thing as you're making it out to be, because the GA does do it already. I can't see a justification to responding to war crimes with war crimes. There are other ways of retaliating.
- You don't get a free pass to a hospital if you just have a papercut. A patient is only allowed unhampered access to a medical facility "where inability to receive medical treatment or triage would endanger the patient's life."
- Because of this, there is no incentive to purposefully harm your soldiers to get them unhampered access to a medical facility because you'd have to harm them in a way that endangers their life. Then you'd have to try save their life in a hospital. I don't think a reasonable nation would use that strategy. It's better to have a soldier risking their life on the battlefield than risking their life taking up space and resources in a hospital.
I dislike the notion of precedent. Let your argument stand on your own merits—not that "we did it this way the previous time so we should do it again". Furthermore, it is not responding to war crimes with war crimes—this proposal has not yet passed.
There may very well be other ways of retaliation but none which the enemy would also not have access to. There is a reason there is not a complete ban on nuclear weapons.
A papercut is a simple example—another example is as follows: a soldier ingests a chemical compound (provided by their government) for which they do not have the antidote for and if untreated, can prove fatal. Thus, they would meet the condition to receive unhampered access. The government of course would have ample supply of medical treatments at their medical facilities.
A situation in which a soldier would be willing to go to such lengths was already explained. However, in case it was misunderstood/missed, imagine a Dunkirk sort of situation.
Fair enough, re:precedent - but I still think it's valid to bring up passed resolutions with relevance. Just as you argue there is a reason for a lack of a complete ban on nuclear weapons, I argue there is a reason civilians are protected from war crimes irrespective of their nation's WA status. There is also a reason member nations have to comply with a biological weapons ban, and can't fund terrorist organizations, use child soldiers, or kill and torture POWs, while non-member nations are allowed to do those things - because they're pretty horrific. (Yep, my bad, "war crime" was the wrong terminology - I mean something more like "atrocity" generically.)
I just don't see any justification for using hospitals and the patients inside them as bargaining chips in war. Bombing another nation's hospitals doesn't stop them bombing yours. And yes, maybe the threat that you would do that could have some impact but there will always be another way of threatening military damage without the humanitarian disaster factor. I'd argue a nation on board with flattening your hospitals would be more concerned with the military damage than the loss of civilian or patient lives. I think I'll have to respectfully disagree with you on this instance; I've discussed with Araraukar and we don't wish to change it.
The thing is, not preventing a soldier getting to a hospital doesn't mean you can't take them as a prisoner of war while they're in the hospital or heading there, so it's not like giving yourself a life-endangering injury gives you a free pass to escape and then fight again later.
The circumstances are notably different—many of the actions you listed (eg. child soldiers, terrorist organization funding, etc.) are premeditated on a scale that targeting medical personnel is not always (i.e. the targeting can be rather spur of the moment). However, since you are not willing to debate this, there seems to be no purpose so continuing this line.
Reverting back to my first point, the issue is that the other nation may not be able to provide proper medical treatment, as such, by this treaty, they would be required to let the prisoners go such that they may receive treatment.
Separate names with a comma.