It represents an interesting challenge, both legally
Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:37am

and ethically...

In conventional warfare between nations with each nation adhering to Geneva Conventions standards when it comes to uniformed and identification carrying members of armed services, each side generally wants their people back at the end of the conflict...

But with this conflict, there are third party combatants, who are essentially religious extremists, who come from various nations around the region and the world, whose governments are all too happy to be rid of them. Because if they weren't fighting for ISIS, they would be at home advocating, or carrying out, the same kind of violent jihad. So, to me it is no surprise that they don't want them back...

And there lies the interesting questions. What to do? Should the Syrian or Iraqi gov't be responsible for feeding/housing these, now essentially stateless, individuals indefinitely? Can a nation of citizenship be FORCED to take them back?

IMO having them die on the battlefield is actually the easiest way out. It really does get interesting legally as well. Because while the Geneva Conventions offers certain protections to combatants in war, it does not speak to those who are not. And the definition of a combatant is quite clear. Uniformed, carrying ID, and openly armed are characteristics that define a combatant under the Geneva Conventions. So, what to do with those who do NOT fit that definition? Some argue that they can or should be treated through the existing judicial system as criminals, charging them with crimes ranging from attempted murder to treason. Others would argue that since they set themselves above the limitations of the laws (including Geneva Conventions), they are entitled to none of the protections of those laws, and as such their cases can be handled pretty much any way the captors see fit ranging from military trials, to special tribunals, all the way to summary execution without any sort of legal proceedings.

IMO if the world wasn't already full of people, the answer would be easy. Exile. Outlaws are cast out and forced to go and make their own way in the wilderness forfeiting the protections of the society whose standards they disregarded.

I have to wonder if it might not be such a bad idea to have the world's major nations get together, buy some large island somewhere in the Pacific, and dump EVERYONE's prisoners there. Let them survive, or not, on their own.

  • 'We don't want them back': No mercy for foreigners who joined ISIS The forces fighting the remnants of the Islamic State group in Syria have tacit instructions on dealing with the foreigners who... more
    • It represents an interesting challenge, both legally — Sprout, Mon Oct 23 9:37am