War crimes are violations of the laws of war (or international humanitarian law) committed by military personnel (individually or collectively), which incur criminal responsibility. Only when considered in the complex realities of war and the modern world does the definition become problematic. What are the accepted laws of war and do they vary by conflict, by nation-states, and by participants? What are military personnel? In today’s environment of international terrorism are nonstate actors such as al-Queda (Khorosan Group) and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) military or quasi-military actors and are their acts war crimes? As nation-states vary, so do criminal codes of law. Not all war crimes are comparable or of equal severity. By definition, and by conventions and protocols, war ...

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