HAZARDS OF RHETORIC IN WAR—BLOUSES AND INSIGNIA: PRIVILEGES AND NON-PRIVILEGES OF ‘ENEMY’ POPULATIONS? POLICIES OF IRRESPONSIBILITY
Jackson Nyamuya Maogoto
In any military operation there is an obligation towards civilians even when regular combatants face irregular combatants enmeshed within a civilian population. In the 21st Century, an assorted mixture of irregular combatants (from militia and guerrillas to terrorist entities) now possess sufficient war-fighting abilities to not only conquer but hold territory through engaging regular military forces in symmetrical and asymmetrical warfare. Thus, the battlefield has undergone a retrogressive transformation as military doctrine by states scrambles to develop ‘counter-insurgency’ paradigms as a formal component of ‘traditional’ conflict management. This posture is generating the rhetoric of permissible malleable standards to mitigate the rigidity of the Laws of Armed Conflict (LOAC). Thus the conceptualisation is the ‘citizen’ soldier waging war afield in a climate of an ‘enemy population’ is influencing military policy frameworks of a number of States. This categorisation of ‘enemy populations’ places large segments of civilian conurbations at risk by ‘breaking down the flat rule of civilian immunity into a more complex construction that intertwines a soldier’s human right to life and the rights of members of the ‘enemy popula-tion’.