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Unformatted text preview: Allison Mickel September 27, 2007 FR SEM: Ethnic Cleansing Military Necessity in Ethnic Cleansing International humanitarian law, like any code attempting to articulate a uniform set of ethical guidelines, has certain loopholes that provide a moral shelter for governments committing war crimes. The idea of military necessity is one such refuge. Its definition includes three specific stipulations: that the attack must be toward the military goal of defeating an enemy, the attack must be focused on a military objective (Geneva Conventions, Article 52), and the harm caused to civilians must be proportional to the threat anticipated. Certainly, it is easy to see that these three provisions are highly subjective and easily arguable. Any government committing a crime against its citizens could defend a standpoint of military necessity. Perhaps this is the reason that historians such as Naimark, Akam, and Prunier all avoid the term. Still, it is impossible to discuss the conflicts in the Soviet Union, Prunier all avoid the term....
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- Fall '07