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Unformatted text preview: a Conventions should still apply under customary
international law of principles. In an international armed conflict involving the United States, the Geneva
Conventions typically entitle U.S. Soldiers to POW status. However, certain conduct may cause U.S.
Soldiers to lose that protected status, primarily through concealing their status as U.S. Soldiers using
nonstandard uniforms or civilian clothing, or committing acts of treachery or disloyalty. In a
noninternational armed conflict, under customary international law, Common Article 3 should entitle
U.S. Soldiers with its minimum protections. However, SF units planning and engaging in UW operations
should understand the possibility that, depending on their particular circumstances, a given nation may
subject them to ordinary criminal jurisdiction. LEGAL STATUS OF IRREGULAR FORCES
3-103. Legal status of irregular forces is a fluid and fact-specific determination that can change during the
course of UW operations. Commanders should work closely with their legal advisors regarding the
determination of legal status for any irregular forces with whom SF interact.
3-104. In general, the full protections under the Geneva Conventions do not apply to irregular forces.
Protections depend on the type of conflict and the type of person at issue. Members of irregular forces are
not automatically given the protections of the Geneva Conventions.
3-105. Under the Geneva Conventions, several factors influence the determination of protected status for
irregular forces. Typically, when protections apply to irregular forces under the Geneva Conventions, the
protections are those of Common Article 3. However, in certain instances, higher protections than
Common Article 3 may apply. The factors for determining if and what protections apply under the Geneva
Conventions are nonbinding, and no specific checklist applies. Any determination of protections for
irregular forces under the Geneva Conventions should be based on a totality of the circumstances, focusing
on the listed f...
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This document was uploaded on 01/15/2014.
- Winter '14