Law National Security

Why do we care about international standards?

Why do we care about international standards? Because for more than one hundred years, beginning after our own Civil War, the United States has been at the forefront of setting international standards for the conduct of warfare….These are not simply “diplomatic” or”foreign policy” issues; the US military and our Defense Department were at the forefront of developing these standards….Surely one of the most basic rights is the right to be treated humanely and in accordance with legal rules.

John Bellinger, legal advisor to Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, in a memo to policy-makers in the Bush administration on July 17, 2005, according to Barton Gellman in The Angler.