Much attention has been given in philosophical discussion and legal practice to the idea of the immunity of noncombatants and its implementations. Issues of who is immune from military attacks and under what circumstances have been thoroughly discussed. Much less attention has been paid to the idea of regarding, during an armed conflict, every person in military uniform of an enemy State as a legitimate target of attack. The present paper first reviews several aspects of the commonly held permissive attitude towards combatants, then outlines a proposal for an alternative conception and makes some constructive suggestions.
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