Should war be waged without rules

When does war start?

The Hamburg Working Group on Research into the Causes of War (AKUF) defines war qualitatively as a violent mass conflict that must have three characteristics:

At least one of the two conflicting parties must be a regular armed force of a government. The conflicting parties must be at least partially organized centrally and the struggles must show a certain degree of continuity.

The "Correlates of War" project at the University of Michigan uses a quantitative approach to define: the number of combatants killed in violent clashes must exceed 1,000 per year. Uppsala University in Sweden also includes civilian deaths from direct physical violence in its definition. Collecting precise data on victims is often difficult. In Ukraine and Gaza, for example, these thresholds have now been exceeded. In Syria they have been that way for a long time. According to scientific definition, one can therefore speak of war in these countries. The legal definition is different, however.

Is there a difference between "war" and "armed conflict"?

In terms of international law, a conflict is only a war if at least one of the warring parties has declared it to be a war. In practice this rarely happens. The concept of war has therefore been almost completely replaced by the concept of armed conflict in international law practice. The principles enshrined in the Geneva Conventions and the Hague Land Warfare Regulations should also apply without a formal declaration of war being made. The rules of martial law impose restrictions on the warring parties with regard to the manner of waging war and serve to protect people who do not or no longer participate in the hostilities, for example civilians or captured soldiers.

Has the war changed?

Classical interstate wars occurred primarily in the past centuries. In the meantime, they are often referred to as the "historical obsolete model". But the war has not disappeared. Nowadays, conflicts dominate in which state armed forces and insurgents confront each other within a state. These conflicts are fought both domestically and across existing national borders. There are also conflicts between non-state actors that are conducted independently of existing borders.

How many armed conflicts are there now?

The International Institute for Strategic Studies currently counts 41 armed conflicts in the world. These include the conflicts in Ukraine, Israel and Palestine and Syria, but also, for example, those in Libya, Central Africa and Afghanistan.