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Western Civilization Series Addresses the Law of War

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Dr. Michael Lewis of the Pettit College of Law addressed students on the law of war Tuesday afternoon. Lewis has published on the subject and also served in the U.S. Navy as a fighter pilot during the Gulf War (1991) before earning his law degree.

Lewis outlined the evolution of the law of war from St. Augustine's theory of a just war to the Geneva Accords and the United Nations Charter. In addition to the theoretical background, he discussed how the law of war had been observed, or ignored, in various wars, including the Battle of Verdun in World War I, the Rape of Nanking, and the Battle of Stalingrad in World War II. He also told students that the United States has had difficulty accepting the Geneva Accords in the past due to those accords failure to define who a combatant is.