Why are chemical weapons outlawed by the Geneva Conventions?


Why are chemical weapons outlawed by the Geneva Conventions?

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Chemical weapons are relatively unprecise, their usage cannot distinguish between military and civilian targets and depending on the type of chemical weapon used they are not designed to achieve a military goal, but only to increase unneeded suffering.


Some weapons are so hated we stopped using them by mutual agreement. Chemical, gas, nukes, we all decided that weapons that kill in a large area of effect are off limits.

Of course we still drop big giant bombs, but that’s because the countries that have em are dropping them on countries that don’t. When both sides have the big bad weapons, then we ban them.

The Geneva Conventions prohibits the use of “asphyxiating, poisonous or other gases, and of all analogous liquids, materials or devices” and “bacteriological methods of warfare.” In layman’s terms this is chemical weapons and biological weapons.

This was done in response to the widespread use of various chemicals during WWI, such as French use of tear has, German use of chlorine gas, and hydrogen cyanide. The issue was the use of gas not only had a physical effect on soldiers, but also a psychological effect. Additionally, the gas was used in close proximity to civilians, causing 100,000-300,000 deaths. Thousands of others died years after the war due to the effects of chemical exposure. Civilians, unlike military, did not have access to gas masks.

The ban on chemical weapons has only had an effect on nations that choose to follow it. Chemical weapons have been used and created numerous times since the ban went into effect in the 1920s.

Chemical weapons were banned shortly after WWI. At the time they were simply considered barbaric and psychologically devastating, however they also were known to be not really that effective, and their effectiveness was often grossly exaggerated by just about everyone. But everyone really hated them.

While they were banned in war, its more the stigma against them that keeps them from being used. No one is really willing to break what seems to be a pretty significant “rule” in the world for about 100 years.

In modern sense, any modern military can *easily* (and I mean VERY easily) defend against chemical attacks on their troops and train for it. They simply would not be particularly effective, outside of special cases. Pretty much all modern militaries have more or less silently agreed that since we can all defend against chemicals, there’s no reason to use them, so also at the same time, you generally don’t have to equip troops for defense of them– its one of those things that, yeah if you use it you may get one shot, then we’ll defend it, but its not worth it and everyone just said we’ll not use them.

1 painful death

2 mass death, instead of routing or capture the enemy battalion, you simply kill all of them. A bit overkill considering normally you kill 20% and capture the others.

3 it’s gonna kill civilians too and your own people too.

4 it is basically contact poison or acid. A near miss makes you blind and spitting blood for a week in enormous pain and you will never be able to run or work due to lung damage. Whoever wins will inherit thousand of cripples to take care of.

5 everyone left gonna have a super ptsd, including the winning side.

Read some ww1 books and you’ll see that.

They harm the environment. If they used them everyone else will and it will ruin both sides

The general principle is “even while fighting a war, don’t harm people unnecessarily; only harm them in ways that help you win”. Chemical weapons violate this principle in two main ways:

* They do harm *indiscriminately*: for example, they may kill non-combatants who are near the battlefield but not participating.
* The harm they do is frequently *delayed*: for example, exposure to chemical weapons may cause an enemy soldier to come down with a neurological disease ten years after the war is over.

The thought is that banning such weapons won’t change which side wins the war, but *will* decrease the total amount of harm done by the war. If a regime uses them anyway, we know that the regime has evil aims: it’s fighting its war *in order to* harm people, not just for resources, security, pride, or whatever other excuse it may have given.

Basically any somewhat competent army has all the equipment and training to fight in hazardous area. Only thing you can achieve with chemical weapons is to mass murder civilians