Questions tagged [armed-conflict]

Questions about a conflict or conflicts either inside a country (commonly known as civil war) or between 2 or more countries (more commonly known as war)

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26 votes
2 answers
5k views

If a NATO member state enters a war, are other NATO members obligated to assist it?

Let's say Turkey enters a war that is going on in the Middle East. It does not matter against whom. Are other NATO members in the obligation to assist her? Normally they should have to, if Turkey is ...
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19 votes
5 answers
3k views

What exactly are the stated (political AND military) objectives of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine?

Edit:: The answers thus far show the political objectives, which are of course part of what I was asking, but what exactly are the military objectives of the invasion: like bomb certain buildings or ...
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11 votes
7 answers
3k views

What had the Russian government to gain from the late 2021 military build up and threatening possible invasion of Ukraine?

I tried to find a clear answer from the media (too many examples to list here, search for Russia-Ukraine conflict in the news), but could not quickly find good, comprehensive answer with non-...
14 votes
5 answers
2k views

What evidence did the Bush administration have that Iraq stored WMD?

The U.S. and its allies have justified the Iraq war, among other things, by citing the danger of weapons of mass destruction. According to wikipedia (emphasis mine) the U.S. stated that the intent ...
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24 votes
5 answers
5k views

Non-subjective definition of "terrorist", or widely used equivalent term?

Philipp comments: ...We all know that one side's terrorists are another side's freedom fighters... Suppose big Country X provides arms to little Country y's native "freedom fighters", who do ...
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22 votes
5 answers
10k views

What's the basis for preparations to imminent Russian invasion into Ukraine?

A follow-up to previously closed question. As of Feb 13th, there's still no Russian invasion into Ukraine, however, some countries are retracting their air traffic to Ukraine and even de-leasing ...
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14 votes
2 answers
6k views

Did the USA ever officially apologize for shooting down "Iran Air Flight 655" in 3 July of 1988?

Iran Air Flight 655 was a civilian jet airliner shot down by U.S. missiles on 3 July 1988 as it flew over the Strait of Hormuz at the end of the Iran–Iraq War. 290 innocent civilians (252 Iranians ...
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8 votes
1 answer
552 views

What proportion of recognised countries have their foundation through violence?

On what grounds are countries considered sovereign? had part of its question as By what means is a country considered legitimate or sovereign, even if [its] foundation were through violence or ...
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9 votes
3 answers
648 views

Are there any official or stated end conditions for US/EU sanctions on Russia?

When the US or EU placed economic sanctions on Russia for their invasion of Ukraine, were there any official or stated ending conditions upon which sanctions would be lifted? Or are the sanctions ...
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3 votes
4 answers
2k views

What is the purpose of the siege of the Ukrainian city of Mariupol by the Russian invaders?

What are the geopolitical, military and humanitarian objectives that will be achieved following a successful siege of the civilian population of the Ukrainian city of Mariupol by the Russian military ...
70 votes
19 answers
29k views

Why does the US not just accept North Korea's nuclear ambitions and attempt to mend relationships?

Many experts propose that it is not practically possible (without engaging in war and endangering the lives of many civilians, in both US and ally territory) to prevent North Korea from building ...
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35 votes
4 answers
9k views

What is the meaning of the Z and V symbols being sported by the Russians in the current Russo-Ukrainian conflict?

There are these two symbols (Z & V) which are considered as Russian prowar symbols which are appearing on Russian Army vehicles and being worn by Russians supporting the war. There is some ...
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49 votes
3 answers
13k views

What would Ukraine gain by joining the European Union rapidly?

President Zelensky of Ukraine urged the European Union today to grant his country immediate accession to the EU bloc. Would joining the EU bloc rapidly allow the European Union members to help more ...
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38 votes
13 answers
5k views

What makes the war in Ukraine exceptional?

I would like to state beforehand that the war Ukraine is tragic and I hope the conflict will end soon (preferably resolved via negotiations). However it is hard to ignore that it receives a lot more ...
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21 votes
4 answers
8k views

Why does Russia not declare war on Ukraine in order to incorporate their conscripts into the war?

Russia has been saying that there is no war in Ukraine, just a "Special military operation". Their laws prohibit them from sending conscripts to military operations outside Russia. The war ...
20 votes
5 answers
4k views

Why don't Russia and Ukraine enter an official state of war?

Since 2014, it's clear that Russian troops have invaded Ukrainian territory. Crimea was fully annexed and the Donbass is in a state of perpetual conflict. However, officially speaking, Russia and ...
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18 votes
2 answers
833 views

Is there any proof that Ukraine was planning military deployment into the self-proclaimed republics in Donbass prior to 24 February 2022?

In an interview with CNN's Christine Amanpour (transcript), the Russian president's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, has claimed that there have been "strong indications" that Ukraine had been ...
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4 votes
2 answers
460 views

Legality of attacking an occupier by third-party forces within partially-occupied state

Suppose state A is (illegally, militarily) occupying some of the territory of state B (denote the occupied part B1 and the unoccupied part B2). Suppose also that state B is allied with state C, and ...
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4 votes
2 answers
2k views

How has Pakistan managed to defeat the US in Afghanistan?

It is very clear that the US is finding it extremely difficult to strike a win in Afghanistan and could even said to be losing, seemingly in part due to the rigid and intricate network of the Haqqanis ...
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17 votes
2 answers
3k views

Does the Geneva Convention with respect to prisoners of war apply to mercenaries?

There are people of different nationalities fighting as part of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in the current ongoing conflict. If they are captured, would the Geneva Convention's principles on giving ...
10 votes
1 answer
461 views

What characterizes an act of war as "war crime?"

With the Israel-Gaza tension going on, I hear a lot of talk about "war crimes" by the UN. However, to me the war going on doesn't seem different at all from any other war, and leaves me to wonder how ...
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8 votes
3 answers
803 views

What are some non-partisan sources about the relative balance of power in the Russia-Ukraine conflict?

Before the war everyone was saying Russia would just walk right in; now everybody makes a big kerfuffle about every Ukrainian tactical victory. What are good analyses on what the strategic situation ...
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8 votes
2 answers
890 views

Does international regulation forbid a country to kill children in a conflict if the other part uses them as human shields?

The question is motivated by the Israel-Palestine conflict, but it may be asked/answered in general. I am wondering if Geneva conventions or any other international regulation forbid a country (Israel ...
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6 votes
6 answers
2k views

Would defense based only on nuclear weapons work? [closed]

There's an article in the Japanese constitution forbidding the country from going to war. The country nonetheless maintains a substantial self-defence force. I'm wondering if Japan can feasibly ...
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4 votes
4 answers
4k views

Why doesn't the Indian government hold a referendum in Kashmir?

On 21 April 1948, a resolution on Kashmir was adopted by the UNSC. According to that resolution, India should hold a referendum in Kashmir. Given the current chaotic situation in Kashmir, why doesn't ...
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4 votes
1 answer
187 views

Which damage specifically at Zaporizhzhia NPP is of contested origin?

As I understand it, both Russia and Ukraine have admitted carrying out some limited shooting in the vicinity of the reactors. Russia admitted shooting on some nearby "training buildings" in ...
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0 votes
2 answers
569 views

Why doesn't Russia assassinate Zelenskyy with a rocket? [closed]

Remember Dzhokhar Dudaev? He led the Chechens during their first uprising against Russia in die 90s and was assassinated by Russia in 1996 who used a rocket to kill him in the streets of Grozny. ...
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28 votes
5 answers
3k views

What are the historical claims to Kashmir from India and Pakistan?

A current map of the world shows that Kashmir within India's borders. However some parts of Kashmir are claimed by Pakistan. What historical claims do Pakistan and India make to Kashmir?
64 votes
5 answers
20k views

Is Japan still bound by the terms of its surrender in WWII?

After Japan surrendered to Allied forces in 1945, the Potsdam Declaration required Japanese military forces to be disarmed, limited Japanese sovereignty to specific islands, and prohibited Japanese ...
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45 votes
10 answers
17k views

How is Russia able to maintain the 2nd most powerful military in the world at a fraction of the cost of the US & China?

The 2020 Military Strength Rankings list Russia's military as #2 in strength: United States Russia China However, their defense budget rankings show that Russia's only #8 in spending: United States ...
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40 votes
14 answers
15k views

Why are chemical weapons such a big deal?

Trump seemed to be a big supporter of the current Syrian regime up until the recent chemical weapons attack. But why are chemical weapons such a big deal? What's the difference between killing 100 ...
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79 votes
11 answers
21k views

We will never surrender! Why would a country have this policy?

Background A few months ago the Swedish government sent a small booklet to all Swedish households titled "If crisis or war comes" which contains official information on how to prepare for and react ...
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35 votes
9 answers
9k views

Pacifist position on Ukraine

What/who are the prominent pacifist movements/organizations/thinkers in XXI century and what is their position on the conflict in Ukraine? Much of the public and political discussion about the ...
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30 votes
2 answers
8k views

Have the US or Chinese governments indicated a point at which they would invade North Korea?

Every time North Korea tests a rocket or gets closer to building a nuclear bomb, both China and the Western governments release a series of statements about how they're deeply concerned and ...
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23 votes
7 answers
4k views

Why is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict such a big issue?

In terms of casualties at least, the conflict isn't that important - there were around twice as many casualties in the last year due to the ongoing Somalian civil war as Israeli casualties in the last ...
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22 votes
2 answers
909 views

What incentive could Assad have to use chemical weapons?

For the recent chemical attack in Syria, most claim Assad did it, some claim it was an accident, and some claim it was a false flag operation. However, what realpolitical reasons could Assad have in ...
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21 votes
8 answers
6k views

Why doesn't PRC help install a new leadership or stage a coup to preserve DPRK -- or even take it over altogether before the US does?

I realize the title of this question is a bit odd and apparently counter-intuitive, and might give someone a good chuckle, but bear with me for a second. The People's Republic of China and the ...
14 votes
3 answers
2k views

Why is there no call for Hamas to protect and reduce civilian casualties?

In a recent report in the Washington Post, the article indicates that the UN is placing the entire onus of reducing civilian casualties in its war with Hamas on Israel. In Washington, the Pentagon ...
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13 votes
5 answers
2k views

Was there any war Russia has ignited that was NOT explained by its "support" of a newly-created "People's Republic"?

This excerpt of a Russian newspaper says: On December 4 {1939}, comrade Molotov has telegraphed to Avenol. In his answer, he stated that there are no reasons for raising "Finnish question", since ...
12 votes
3 answers
867 views

How does one oppose a dictatorship, with no resources? [closed]

Imagine the following situation: you live in a large country that has been ruled for a whole generation by a dictator. There is only a semblance of civil institutions, but in fact all courts follow ...
22 votes
6 answers
9k views

Why does Russia view missile defense as a strategic threat?

A key hurdle in the talks has been Russia’s demand that the U.S. stop resisting limits on its missile defenses, which the Russians view as a long-term threat and the Americans see as a deterrent to ...
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8 votes
6 answers
1k views

What is the rationale of Russian troops not allowing civilians to evacuate from the encircled cities?

According to Aljazeera, civilians have a hard time evacuating from Mariupol which was surrounded by the Russian troops: Previous attempts to establish evacuation corridors to allow civilians to ...
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20 votes
7 answers
9k views

What is the basis for the Western leaders to believe that harsh economic sanctions will not lead to a nuclear war with Russia eventually?

It is clear at the moment that no Western countries will send troops to Ukraine or set up a non-fly zone in Ukraine because they worry that will lead to a WWIII. But Putin already said Western ...
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20 votes
3 answers
9k views

Would a (nuclear) strike that hits an NATO member state embassy/extraterritoriality in Ukraine be considered a (nuclear) strike against NATO?

The NATO website has an article about Collective defence - Article 5 which reads The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an ...
17 votes
3 answers
2k views

When may the President of the United States order military action without congressional approval?

The USA has many times in the past taken military action with only the President's order to back it up legally. It was Jefferson that set the precedent of using the military to enforce foreign policy ...
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6 votes
3 answers
745 views

Would mutually assured destruction help or hinder occupation of minor, non-nuclear countries?

Assume the following hypothetical scenario: There are only three relevant nations, two large ones (A, B) both with nuclear weapons sufficient to destroy everyone (MAD) and a smaller one without ...
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5 votes
1 answer
278 views

Does a policy of mutually assured destruction favor rogue states?

I wondered if a policy of mutually assured destruction favors rogue states. I think it is fair to assume that a rogue nuclear state would have less regard for its people and their life and wellbeing ...
4 votes
3 answers
706 views

What law compels countries to take prisoners who are NOT trying to surrender?

This arose around some comments on "Is it true that the US president can execute anyone without a trial?" Under the traditional rules of war you are not allowed to simply kill all of your ...
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-1 votes
4 answers
610 views

How much lives could they've saved if they would have used war money in health?

I'm not sure about how much money they've spent in war as a result of the 9/11 attacks, but it seems to be a few trillions. I'm even less sure about how much lives would they have saved if they would ...
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25 votes
4 answers
3k views

Can a jet fighter "wave a white flag"?

If a group of soldiers is outpowered in combat, they can wave a white flag to signal that they surrender, and by this attempt to save their lives. It is an agreed symbol that, as far as I know, is ...