Saturday, November 29, 2014

DoD Renames “Unlawful Combatants” in Detainee Manual To…

Photo Credit: Joe Raedl - Getty Images
Photo Credit: Joe Raedl – Getty Images
In fact, captured terrorists went out of style a long time ago, so that’s not the actual change. Until recently — like, say, two weeks ago — the Department of Defense used the term unlawful combatant as the label for terrorists captured by American military and intelligence forces as a way to distinguish them from uniformed soldiers of a recognized state authority in a straight-up fight. Their new manual dispenses with that term, the Federation of American Scientists noticed today (via Steven Aftergood and Olivier Knox):
When it comes to Department of Defense doctrine on military treatment of detained persons, “unlawful enemy combatants” are a thing of the past. That term has been retired and replaced by “unprivileged enemy belligerents” in a new revision of Joint Publication 3-13 on Detainee Operations, dated November 13, 2014.

The manual even has this helpful chart for readers:
The only actual mention of the previous term comes in the Summary of Changes on page iii, which notes that the revision “[r]evises terminology, taxonomy, and definitions for unlawful enemy combatant, unprivileged belligerent, detainee, and detainee operations.” There is no particular explanation for why unlawful combatant no longer suffices, or why “unprivileged” makes for a clearer understanding between the categories of legitimate POW and everyone else.
Read more from this story HERE.


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