Belgium’s Challenge to War’s Ancient Calculus

Belgium’s Challenge to War’s Ancient Calculus

For millennia, the stark calculus of war, eloquently expressed by Thucydides, has held that “the strong do as they will, while the weak suffer as they must.” As the world tensely awaits the start of a US-led war on Iraq, an unexpected challenge to this ancient adage emerged in Belgium last week, offering a reminder of the important — though neglected — role of international humanitarian law for resolving conflicts and punishing war crimes non-violently.