Captured Medical Facilities and Supplies of the Armed Forces. (FM 27-10, para. 234). Fixed facilities - May be
used by captors for other than medical care, in cases of urgent military necessity, provided proper arrangements are made
for the wounded and sick who are present. Mobile facilities - Captors may keep mobile medical facilities, provided they
are reserved for care of the wounded and sick. Medical Supplies - May not be destroyed.
Medical Transport. Transports of the wounded and sick or medical equipment shall not be attacked. (GWS, art. 35.)
Under the Geneva Conventions of 1949, medical aircraft were protected from direct attack only if they flew in accordance
with a previous agreement between the parties as to their route, time, and altitude. GP I extends further protection to
medical aircraft flying over areas controlled by friendly forces. Under this regime, identified medical aircraft are to be
respected, regardless of whether a prior agreement between the parties exists. (GP I, art. 25.) In "contact zones,"
protection can only be effected by prior agreement; nevertheless, medical aircraft "shall be respected after they have been
recognized as such." (GP I, art. 26 - considered customary international law by U.S.) Medical aircraft in areas controlled
by an adverse party must have a prior agreement in order to gain protection. (GP I, art. 27.)
Cultural Property. Prohibition against attacking cultural property. The 1954 Cultural Property Convention elaborates,
but does not expand, the protections accorded cultural property found in other treaties (HR, art. 27; FM 27-10, para. 45,
57.) The convention has not been ratified by the U.S. (treaty is currently under review with a view toward ratification
with minor understandings). (See GP I, art. 53, for similar prohibitions.) Cultural property includes buildings dedicated
to religion, art, science, charitable purposes, historic monuments, hospitals, and places where the sick and wounded are
collected. Misuse will subject them to attack. Enemy has duty to indicate presence of such buildings with visible and
Works and Installations Containing Dangerous Forces. (GP I, art. 56, and GP II, art. 15.) The rules are not U.S. law
but should be considered because of the pervasive international acceptance of GP I and II. Under the Protocol, dams,
dikes, and nuclear electrical generating stations shall not be attacked - even if they are military objectives - if the attack
will cause the release of dangerous forces and cause "severe losses" among the civilian population. (U.S. objects to
"severe loss" language as creating a different standard than customary proportionality test - "excessive" incidental injury
or damage.) Military objectives that are nearby these potentially dangerous forces are also immune from attack if the
attack may cause release of the forces (parties also have a duty to avoid locating military objectives near such locations).
May attack works and installations containing dangerous forces only if they provide "significant and direct support" to
military operations and attack is the only feasible way to terminate the support. The U.S. objects to this provision as
creating a standard that differs from the customary definition of a military objective as an object that makes "an effective
contribution to military action." Parties may construct defensive weapons systems to protect works and installations
containing dangerous forces. These weapons systems may not be attacked unless they are used for purposes other than
protecting the installation.
Objects Indispensable to the Survival of the Civilian Population. Article 54 of GP I prohibits starvation as a method
of warfare. It is prohibited to attack, destroy, remove, or render useless objects indispensable for survival of the civilian
population - such as foodstuffs, crops, livestock, water installations, and irrigation works.
Protective Emblems.(FM 27-10, para. 238.) Objects and personnel displaying emblems are presumed to be protected
under Conventions. (GWS, art. 38.)
Medical and Religious Emblems. Red Cross, Red Crescent, Lion and Sun. Red Star of David: Not mentioned
in the 1949 Geneva Convention, but is protected as a matter of practice.
Cultural Property Emblems:
"A shield, consisting of a royal blue square, one of the angles of which forms the point of the shield and of a
royal blue triangle above the square, the space on either side being taken up by a white triangle." (1954 Cultural Property
Convention, art. 16 and 17).
Hague Convention No. IX Concerning Bombardment by Naval Forces in Time of War (art. 5). "[L]arge, stiff,
rectangular panels divided diagonally into two colored triangular portions, the upper portion black, the lower portion
Law of War