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History records many examples of peoples waging war for loot, women, slaves, and territory for its booty and future taxes. Others dreamed of times when there would be no war, and people would live amicably with their neighbors. Perhaps the Hebrew prophet Isaiah voiced that vision most eloquently when he declared that God would “judge among the nations and arbitrate for the many peoples, and they will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks: Nation shall not take up sword against nation; they shall never again know war” (Isaiah 2:4). Twentieth and 21st century negotiations regarding disarmament and abolishing chemical and biological weapons are seen by many as representing a step toward the realization of Isaiah’s vision.

The Law of War and ...

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