On March 16, 1968, American soldiers killed as many as five hundred Vietnamese men, women, and children in a village near the South China Sea. In My Lai William Thomas Allison explores and evaluates the significance of this horrific event. How could such a thing have happened? Who (or what) should be held accountable? How do we remember this atrocity and try to apply its lessons, if any? My Lai has fixed the attention of Americans of various political stripes for more than forty years. The breadth of writing on the massacre, from news reports to scholarly accounts, highlights the difficulty of establishing fact and motive in an incident during which confusion, prejudice, and self-preservation overwhelmed the troops. Son of a Marine veteran of the Vietnam War—and aware that the generation who lived through the incident is aging—Allison seeks to ensure that our collective memory of this shameful episode does not fade. Well written and accessible, Allison’s book provides a clear narrative of this historic moment and offers suggestions for how to come to terms with its aftermath.
An American Atrocity in the Vietnam War
Author: William Thomas Allison
Publisher: JHU Press
A concise look at how military justice during the Vietnam War served the dual purpose of punishing U.S. solders' crimes and infractions while also serving the important role of promoting core American values democracy and rule of law to the Vietnamese."
The Rule of Law in an American War
Author: William Thomas Allison
An in-depth look at American POW policy and practice from the Revolutionary War to the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Argues that U.S. treatment of prisoners has been improvised at best in almost every American conflict, due to a chronic failure to record and learn from practices in previous conflicts.
Treatment of POWs from the Revolutionary War to the War on Terror
Author: Paul J. Springer
The dramatic story of the 1945 war crimes trial of General Tomoyuki Yamashita, who was charged with atrocities he neither committed nor ordered and of which he likely had no knowledge. Even so, he was convicted and, following a Supreme Court review, executed for having failed to control his troops."
War Crimes, MacArthur's Justice, and Command Accountability
Author: Allan A. Ryan
It has been termed an insurgency, a revolution, a guerrilla war, and a conventional war. As David J. Silbey demonstrates in this taut, compelling history, the 1899 Philippine-American War was in fact all of these. Played out over three distinct conflicts—one fought between the Spanish and the allied United States and Filipino forces; one fought between the United States and the Philippine Army of Liberation; and one fought between occupying American troops and an insurgent alliance of often divided Filipinos—the war marked America's first steps as a global power and produced a wealth of lessons learned and forgotten. In A War of Frontier and Empire, Silbey traces the rise and fall of President Emilio Aguinaldo, as Aguinaldo tries to liberate the Philippines from colonial rule only to fail, devastatingly, before a relentless American army. He tracks President McKinley's decision to commit troops and fulfill a divinely inspired injunction to "uplift and civilize" despite the protests of many Americans. Most important, Silbey provides a clear lens to view the Philippines as, in the crucible of war, it transforms itself from a territory divided by race, ethnicity, and warring clans into a cohesive nation on the path to independence.
The Philippine-American War, 1899-1902
Author: David J. Silbey
Publisher: Hill and Wang
The third edition of Ingrid Detter's authoritative work explores the changing legal context of modern warfare in light of events over the last decade. The new edition covers post 9/11 events and the resulting changes in the ethos of war. It analyses the role of military companies sometimes authorised by States to act in war-like situations and examines what their legitimacy means for international society. The edition also discusses certain ‘intrinsic’ rules such as rules giving individuals the right to be spared genocide, torture, slavery and apartheid and assure them basic democratic rights.
Author: Em Prof Ingrid Detter
Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.
From 1946 to 1949, the Dutch prosecuted more than 1000 Japanese soldiers and civilians for war crimes committed during the occupation of the Netherlands East Indies during World War II. They also prosecuted a small number of Dutch citizens for collaborating with their Japanese occupiers. The war crimes committed by the Japanese against military personnel and civilians in the East Indies were horrific, and included mass murder, murder, torture, mistreatment of prisoners of war, and enforced prostitution. Beginning in 1946, the Dutch convened military tribunals in various locations in the East Indies to hear the evidence of these atrocities and imposed sentences ranging from months and years to death; some 25 percent of those convicted were executed for their crimes. The difficulty arising out of gathering evidence and conducting the trials was exacerbated by the on-going guerrilla war between Dutch authorities and Indonesian revolutionaries and in fact the trials ended abruptly in 1949 when 300 years of Dutch colonial rule ended and Indonesia gained its independence. Until the author began examining and analysing the records of trial from these cases, no English language scholar had published a comprehensive study of these war crimes trials. While the author looks at the war crimes prosecutions of the Japanese in detail this book also breaks new ground in exploring the prosecutions of Dutch citizens alleged to have collaborated with their Japanese occupiers. Anyone with a general interest in World War II and the war in the Pacific, or a specific interest in war crimes and international law, will be interested in this book.
Author: Fred L. Borch
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Describes the political events leading to and during the war in the Philippines, highlighting Theodore Roosevelt's role in initiating the war in order to claim an American empire in the Pacific.
Theodore Roosevelt, War in the Philippines, and the Rise and Fall of America's Imperial Dream
Author: Gregg Jones
Revelations of abuse at Baghdad’s Abu Ghraib prison and the U.S. detention camp at Guantánamo Bay had repercussions extending beyond the worldwide media scandal that ensued. The controversy surrounding photos and descriptions of inhumane treatment of enemy prisoners of war, or EPWs, from the war on terror marked a watershed moment in the study of modern warfare and the treatment of prisoners of war. Amid allegations of human rights violations and war crimes, one question stands out among the rest: Was the treatment of America’s most recent prisoners of war an isolated event or part of a troubling and complex issue that is deeply rooted in our nation’s military history? Military expert Robert C. Doyle’s The Enemy in Our Hands: America’s Treatment of Prisoners of War from the Revolution to the War on Terror draws from diverse sources to answer this question. Historical as well as timely in its content, this work examines America’s major wars and past conflicts—among them, the American Revolution, the Civil War, World Wars I and II, and Vietnam—to provide understanding of the United States’ treatment of military and civilian prisoners. The Enemy in Our Hands offers a new perspective of U.S. military history on the subject of EPWs and suggests that the tactics employed to manage prisoners of war are unique and disparate from one conflict to the next. In addition to other vital information, Doyle provides a cultural analysis and exploration of U.S. adherence to international standards of conduct, including the 1929 Geneva Convention in each war. Although wars are not won or lost on the basis of how EPWs are treated, the treatment of prisoners is one of the measures by which history’s conquerors are judged.
America's Treatment of Prisoners of War from the Revolution to the War on Terror
Author: Robert Doyle
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
A timely, provocative account of how military justice has shaped American society since the nation’s beginnings. Historian and former soldier Chris Bray tells the sweeping story of military justice from the earliest days of the republic to contemporary arguments over using military courts to try foreign terrorists or soldiers accused of sexual assault. Stretching from the American Revolution to 9/11, Court-Martial recounts the stories of famous American court-martials, including those involving President Andrew Jackson, General William Tecumseh Sherman, Lieutenant Jackie Robinson, and Private Eddie Slovik. Bray explores how encounters of freed slaves with the military justice system during the Civil War anticipated the civil rights movement, and he explains how the Uniform Code of Military Justice came about after World War II. With a great eye for narrative, Bray hones in on the human elements of these stories, from Revolutionary-era militiamen demanding the right to participate in political speech as citizens, to black soldiers risking their lives during the Civil War to demand fair pay, to the struggles over the court-martial of Lieutenant William Calley and the events of My Lai during the Vietnam War. Throughout, Bray presents readers with these unvarnished voices and his own perceptive commentary. Military justice may be separate from civilian justice, but it is thoroughly entwined with American society. As Bray reminds us, the history of American military justice is inextricably the history of America, and Court-Martial powerfully documents the many ways that the separate justice system of the armed forces has served as a proxy for America’s ongoing arguments over equality, privacy, discrimination, security, and liberty.
Author: Chris Bray
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
At the start of the Second World War, Britain was at the height of its imperial power, and it is no surprise that it drew upon the global resources of the Empire once war had been declared. Whilst this international aspect of Britain’s war effort has been well-studied in relation to the military contribution of individual dominions and colonies, relatively little has been written about the Empire as a whole. As such, An Imperial World at War makes an important contribution to the historiography relating to the British Empire and its wartime experience. It argues that the war needs to be viewed in imperial terms, that the role of forces drawn from the Empire is poorly understood and that the war's impact on colonial societies is barely grasped at all in conventional accounts. Through a series of case studies, the volume demonstrates the fundamental role played by the Empire in Britain’s war effort and highlights some of the consequences for both Britain and its imperial territories.Themes include the recruitment and utilization of military formations drawn from imperial territories, the experience of British forces stationed overseas, the use of strategic bases located in the colonies, British policy in the Middle East and the challenge posed by growing American power, the occupation of enemy colonies and the enemy occupation of British colonies, colonial civil defence measures, financial support for the war effort supplied by the Empire, and the commemoration of the war. The Afterword anticipates a new, decentred history of the war that properly acknowledges the role and importance of people and places throughout the colonial and semi-colonial world.’ This volume emanates from a conference organized as part of the ‘Home Fronts of the Empire – Commonwealth’ project. The project was generously funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and led by Yasmin Khan and Ashley Jackson with Gajendra Singh as Postdoctoral Research Assistant.
The British Empire, 1939–45
Author: Ashley Jackson,Yasmin Khan,Gajendra Singh
This book looks at the evolving relationship between war and international law, examining the complex practical and legal dilemmas posed by the changing nature of war in the contemporary world, whether the traditional rules governing the onset and conduct of hostilities apply anymore, and how they might be adapted to new realities. War, always messy, has become even messier today, with the blurring of interstate, intrastate, and extrastate violence. How can the United States and other countries be expected to fight honourably and observe the existing norms when they often are up against an adversary who recognizes no such obligations? Indeed, how do we even know whether an "armed conflict" is underway when modern wars tend to lack neat beginnings and endings and seem geographically indeterminate, as well? What is the legality of anticipatory self-defense, humanitarian intervention, targeted killings, drones, detention of captured prisoners without POW status, and other controversial practices? These questions are explored through a review of the United Nations Charter, Geneva Conventions, and other regimes and how they have operated in recent conflicts. Through a series of case studies, including the U.S. war on terror and the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Gaza, Kosovo, and Congo, the author illustrates the challenges we face today in the ongoing effort to reduce war and, when it occurs, to make it more humane.
Rethinking Rules for an Unruly World
Author: J. Martin Rochester
Category: Political Science
Neutrality is a legal relationship between a belligerent State and a State not participating in a war, namely a neutral State. The law of neutrality is a body of rules and principles that regulates the legal relations of neutrality. The law of neutrality obliges neutral States to treat all belligerent States impartially and to abstain from providing military and other assistance to belligerents. The law of neutrality is a branch of international law that developed in the nineteenth century, when international law allowed unlimited freedom of sovereign States to resort to war. Thus, there has been much debate as to whether such a branch of law remains valid in modern international law, which generally prohibits war and the use of force by States. While there has been much debate regarding the current status of neutrality in modern international law, there is a general agreement among scholars as to the basic features of the traditional law of neutrality. Wani challenges the conventional understanding of the traditional neutrality by re-examining the historical development of the law of neutrality from the sixteenth century to 1945. The modification of the conventional understanding will provide a fundamentally new framework for discussing the current status of neutrality in modern international law.
From the Sixteenth Century to 1945
Author: Kentaro Wani
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
In the spring of 1968, a group of Catholic antiwar activists barged into a draft board in suburban Baltimore, stole hundreds of Selective Service records, and burned the documents in a fire fueled by homemade napalm. The bold actions of the ''Catonsville Nine'' quickly became international news, and they remained in the headlines throughout the summer and fall of 1968, when the activists were tried in federal court. Shawn Francis Peters tells the fascinating story of this singular witness for peace and social justice.
A Story of Faith and Resistance in the Vietnam Era
Author: Shawn Francis Peters
Publisher: Oxford University Press
As governmental and non-governmental operations become progressively supported by vast automated systems and electronic data flows, attacks of government information infrastructure, operations and processes pose a serious threat to economic and military interests. In 2007 Estonia suffered a month long cyber assault to its digital infrastructure, described in cyberspace as ‘Web War I’. In 2010, a worm—Stuxnet—was identified as supervisory control and data acquisition systems at Iran’s uranium enrichment plant, presumably in an attempt to set back Iran’s nuclear programme. The dependence upon telecommunications and information infrastructures puts at risk Critical National Infrastructure, and is now at the core of national security interests. This book takes a detailed look at these new theatres of war and considers their relation to international law on the use of force. Except in cases of self-defence or with the authorisation of a Security Council Resolution, the use of force is prohibited under the UN charter and customary international law. However, the law of jus ad bellum was developed in a pre-digital era where current technological capabilities could not be conceived. Jackson Maogoto asks whether the law on the use of force is able to deal with legal disputes likely to arise from modern warfare. Key queries include how one defines an armed attack in an age of anti-satellite weaponry, whether the destruction of a State’s vital digital eco-system or the "blinding" of military communication satellites constitutes a threat, and how one delimits the threshold that would enliven the right of self-defence or retaliatory action. The book argues that while technology has leapt ahead, the legal framework has failed to adapt, rendering States unable to legally defend themselves effectively. The book will be of great interest and use to researchers and students of international law, the law of armed conflict, Information Technology and the law, and counter-terrorism.
New Security Challenges in the Twenty-First Century
Author: Jackson Maogoto
Britain’s main imperial possessions in Asia were granted independence in the 1940s and 1950s and needed to craft constitutions for their new states. Invariably the indigenous elites drew upon British constitutional ideas and institutions regardless of the political conditions that prevailed in their very different lands. Many Asian nations called upon the services of Englishman and Law Professor Sir Ivor Jennings to advise or assist their own constitution making. Although he was one of the twentieth century’s most prominent constitutional scholars, his opinion and influence were often controversial and remain so due to his advocating British norms in Asian form. This book examines the process of constitutional formation in the era of decolonisation and state building in Asia. It sheds light upon the influence and participation of Jennings in particular and British ideas in general on democracy and institutions across the Asian continent. Critical cases studies on India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Nepal – all linked by Britain and Jennings – assess the distinctive methods and outcomes of constitution making and how British ideas fared in these major states. The book offers chapters on the Westminster model in Asia, Human Rights, Nationalism, Ethnic politics, Federalism, Foreign influence, Decolonisation, Authoritarianism, the Rule of Law, Parliamentary democracy and the power and influence of key political actors. Taking an original stance on constitution making in Asia after British rule, it also puts forward ideas of contemporary significance for Asian states and other emerging democracies engaged in constitution making, regime change and seeking to understand their colonial past. The first political, historical or constitutional analysis comparing Asia’s experience with its indelible British constitutional legacy, this book is a critical resource on state building and constitution making in Asia following independence. It will appeal to students and scholars of world history, public law and politics.
Decolonisation and State-Building in the Aftermath of the British Empire
Author: H. Kumarasingham
With formal ethics education programmes being a rarity in most countries' armed forces, there is a growing importance for servicemen to undergo additional military ethics training. But how do we ensure that soldiers learn the right lessons from it? Furthermore, how can we achieve a uniformity of approach? The current lack of uniformity about what constitutes ethical behaviour and how troops should be educated in it is potentially a cause for serious alarm. This book advances knowledge and understanding of the issues associated with this subject by bringing together experts from around the world to analyze the content, mode of instruction, theoretical underpinnings, and the effect of cultural and national differences within current ethics programmes. It also explores whether such programmes are best run by military officers, chaplains or academic philosophers, and reflects whether it is feasible to develop common principles and approaches for the armed forces of all Western countries. This is an invaluable volume for military academies and staff colleges to enhance understanding of a matter which requires much further thought and which is becoming a vital force in influencing outcomes on the battlefields of the twenty-first century. The book will primarily be of interest to military officers and others directly involved in ethics education in the military, as well as to philosophers and students of military affairs.
Author: Nigel de Lee
Category: Political Science
On the early morning of March 16, 1968, American soldiers from three platoons of Charlie Company (1st Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 11th Brigade, 23rd Infantry Division), entered a group of hamlets located in the Son Tinh district of South Vietnam, located near the Demilitarized Zone and known as "Pinkville" because of the high level of Vietcong infiltration. The soldiers, many still teenagers who had been in the country for three months, were on a "search and destroy" mission. The Tet Offensive had occurred only weeks earlier and in the same area and had made them jittery; so had mounting losses from booby traps and a seemingly invisible enemy. Three hours after the GIs entered the hamlets, more than five hundred unarmed villagers lay dead, killed in cold blood. The atrocity took its name from one of the hamlets, known by the Americans as My Lai 4. Military authorities attempted to suppress the news of My Lai, until some who had been there, in particular a helicopter pilot named Hugh Thompson and a door gunner named Lawrence Colburn, spoke up about what they had seen. The official line was that the villagers had been killed by artillery and gunship fire rather than by small arms. That line soon began to fray. Lieutenant William Calley, one of the platoon leaders, admitted to shooting the villagers but insisted that he had acted upon orders. An exposé of the massacre and cover-up by journalist Seymour Hersh, followed by graphic photographs, incited international outrage, and Congressional and U.S. Army inquiries began. Calley and nearly thirty other officers were charged with war crimes, though Calley alone was convicted and would serve three and a half years under house arrest before being paroled in 1974. My Lai polarized American sentiment. Many saw Calley as a scapegoat, the victim of a doomed strategy in an unwinnable war. Others saw a war criminal. President Nixon was poised to offer a presidential pardon. The atrocity intensified opposition to the war, devastating any pretense of American moral superiority. Its effect on military morale and policy was profound and enduring. The Army implemented reforms and began enforcing adherence to the Hague and Geneva conventions. Before launching an offensive during Desert Storm in 1991, one general warned his brigade commanders, "No My Lais in this division--do you hear me?" Compelling, comprehensive, and haunting, based on both exhaustive archival research and extensive interviews, Howard Jones's My Lai will stand as the definitive book on one of the most devastating events in American military history.
Vietnam, 1968, and the Descent into Darkness
Author: Howard Jones
Publisher: Oxford University Press
The epic story of one of America's greatest soldiers, Ranger Hall of Fame member Gary O'Neal, who served his country for forty years Chief Warrant Officer Gary O'Neal is no ordinary soldier. For nearly forty years, he has fought America's enemies, becoming one of the greatest Warriors this nation has ever known. Part Native American, O'Neal was trained in both military combat and the ways of his native people, combining his commitment to freedom with his respect for the enemy, his technical fighting skills with his fierce warrior spirit. From his first tour in Vietnam at seventeen to fighting in both Gulf wars, O'Neal was nothing less than a super soldier. A minefield of aggression bordering on a justice-seeking vigilante, O'Neal kept fighting even when wounded, refusing to surrender in the face of nine serious injuries and being left more than once. O'Neal earned countless military honors as a member of the elite Army Rangers corps, a founding member of the legendary first Department of Defense antiterrorist team, a member of the Golden Knights Parachuting Team, and more, devoting his life to training the next generation of soldiers. His unbelievable true stories are both shocking and moving, a reminder of what it means to be a true American hero. In O'Neal's own words, he "wasn't born a warrior"—life made him one. American Warrior will serve as inspiration for American men and women in uniform today, as well as appeal to the countless veterans who served their country alongside O'Neal.
The True Story of a Legendary Ranger
Author: Gary O'Neal,David Fisher
Category: Biography & Autobiography
A startling exposé of the CIA's development and spread of psychological torture, from the Cold War to Abu Ghraib and beyond In this revelatory account of the CIA's secret, fifty-year effort to develop new forms of torture, historian Alfred W. McCoy uncovers the deep, disturbing roots of recent scandals at Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo. Far from aberrations, as the White House has claimed, A Question of Torture shows that these abuses are the product of a long-standing covert program of interrogation. Developed at the cost of billions of dollars, the CIA's method combined "sensory deprivation" and "self-inflicted pain" to create a revolutionary psychological approach—the first innovation in torture in centuries. The simple techniques—involving isolation, hooding, hours of standing, extremes of hot and cold, and manipulation of time—constitute an all-out assault on the victim's senses, destroying the basis of personal identity. McCoy follows the years of research—which, he reveals, compromised universities and the U.S. Army—and the method's dissemination, from Vietnam through Iran to Central America. He traces how after 9/11 torture became Washington's weapon of choice in both the CIA's global prisons and in "torture-friendly" countries to which detainees are dispatched. Finally McCoy argues that information extracted by coercion is worthless, making a case for the legal approach favored by the FBI. Scrupulously documented and grippingly told, A Question of Torture is a devastating indictment of inhumane practices that have spread throughout the intelligence system, damaging American's laws, military, and international standing.
CIA Interrogation, from the Cold War to the War on Terror
Author: Alfred McCoy
Publisher: Metropolitan Books