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Chapter 5 examines the international law rules governing the mobilization of people to fight in wars. The chapter examines Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) programmes in the context of UN peace operations, the internatinoal crimes of forced conscription, and child soldier recruitment. The chapter summarizes attempts to regulate the global private military and security industry, including through self-regulation, and the increasing attempts by states to criminalize foreign fighters under counterterrorism laws.
Part I outlines the international law applicable to economic activity both for the war and in the war zone. It begins by briefly outlining the difference between premodern and modern international law norms governing the acquisition of labour and property in war. The two sets of norms were radically different. As systems of warfare in Europe changed from premodern plunder-based warfare to modern industrial-based warfare, international law overturned and replaced norms regulating plunder and the taking of slaves, with norms that sought to protect labour and property from appropriation and exploitation in war.
I look at India’s role as a hub of circulation of military personnel. During the second half of the eighteenth century, India was a battlefield between the British, the French and Indian powers, in which soldiers of various provenance were mobilised, but most important was the rise of the sepoy armies of the East India Company. Apart from contributing to the establishment of British preponderance in India, the sepoys were also used in expeditions abroad, starting with their participation in an assault against Spanish Manila in 1762. Eschewing an exclusive focus on the military aspect, I scrutinise the archive of sepoy deployments outside India for information about how ‘ordinary’ Indians dealt with foreign lands and foreign people. I pay particular attention to the role of Indian soldiers in the two world wars. I present a case study based on the censored mail of the Indian expeditionary force soldiers sent to France in 1914–15, a rich trove of observations sometimes bordering on ethnographic reportage. After independence, India’s armies continued to play a global role as the largest manpower contributor to UN peacekeeping. I also look at India’s contribution to world peace.
The history of Italian warfare from 1300 to 1500 has been dominated by discussion of mercenary soldiers. Italian states used them throughout the Middle Ages and by the fourteenth century the practice evolved into a species of “system,” characterized by reliance on preformed bands of substantial size, containing also foreign soldiers from outside of the peninsula. The era of the “companies of adventure” (compagnie di ventura), as it is known, lasted from roughly the second decade to the end of the fourteenth century. It was followed by the emergence in the fifteenth century of individual native mercenary captains, condottieri, who settled into regular service with states and were the precursor to more permanent armies by the middle of the century. The reliance on mercenaries rendered Italian warfare out of touch with developments elsewhere in Europe, and left the peninsula unprepared for the onslaught of the armies of France and Spain and the Italian Wars in the sixteenth century. The invasion of Italy in 1494 by the French king Charles VIII was the signal event that revealed the weakness of Italian military institutions and more generally the strength of the rising nation state over its evolutionary predecessor, the city-state.
The Fourth Crusade (1199–1204), culminating in the sack of Constantinople and the conquest of most of the Byzantine empire, is a textbook example of a noble plan gone awry. The original intent was to attack the Ayyubids in Egypt, but along the way financial and other considerations diverted the French and Venetian crusaders to Constantinople where they restored the deposed emperor Isaac II Angelos (r.1185–95, 1203–4) to power. According to an earlier agreement, Isaac was to provide the crusaders with military and financial aid, but fiscal problems within the empire made this impossible. As time passed, anti-Latin sentiment within the city led to a palace coup which overthrew Isaac. The crusaders then seized the city and the empire itself. The Fourth Crusade and the subsequent Latin conquest intensified the anarchy that already existed within the provinces, providing the grace blow to an empire which had become increasingly fragmented to the point of disintegration.
Examination of the art of war among the nomad peoples of the steppe could easily lead to archetypes. Indeed, the sustained similarities between the different descriptions that have survived, from the Xiongnu to the Mongols, are certainly very strong: the type of weapon, the tactic of the ‘Parthian shot’, the small horses, the decimal organisation of the army – over a long period these various elements have contributed to a unified pattern of nomadic warfare. Yet despite these undoubtedly important points of resemblance, the analysis should not be limited to them by ignoring developmental variations and interaction with different contexts and societies. One way to resolve this impasse is to identify the historically coherent periods individually within this continuum, and to restrict sources to this specific group of periods. The Turkish period is one such historical era: the expanses of the steppe were indeed unified during the second half of the sixth century, part of the framework of the trans-Asiatic Turkish empire and its tremendous prestige. At its heart, and then at the heart of the political organisations which it inspired and which succeeded it, we can imagine the existence of political and social lines of transmission which influenced military practices in this geographical zone as a whole. Sooner or later, all the later nomad empires were its descendants; the accent here will therefore fall on military life, in order to tease out the specific characteristics of the Turkish period from the archetype, without recourse to Xiongnu or Mongol sources. But elements of comparison with the Uighur empire which followed it in Mongolia, the Khazar empire which followed it in the western steppes, and finally the Khitan empire which dominated the extreme east from the tenth century, are identified.
Early modern European warfare features prominently in several important discussions of early modern violence, notably the debate on the Military Revolution and its variants, as well as forming part of the standard narrative of state formation and the emergence of an international order based on sovereign states. While the dominant trend was towards establishing the state as a monopoly of legitimate violence, the patterns and practices of European warfare remained diverse, as were the ways in which they interacted with state and ‘international’ structures. The creation of permanent forces was slow and uneven, while their implications varied depending on whether they were navies or armies. This chapter contests conventional conceptual models, such as that of ‘limited war’ waged by allegedly disinterested ‘mercenaries’. It argues that efforts to impose tighter discipline arose from multiple political, cultural, social and religious impulses, and varied in effectiveness. War was certainly not limited in terms of its capacity for violence and destruction, but it nonetheless remained broadly within established Christian concepts of ‘just war’ directed by a ‘proper authority’ for legitimate ends. The risks inherent in military operations were an additional constraining factor, despite this period becoming known as an ‘age of battles’.
This article argues that attempts to regulate the private military and security industry have been stymied by a tendency to be constantly ‘regulating the last war’ or responding to the challenges of a previous manifestation of private force rather than dealing with the current challenges. It argues that states ought to more clearly consider the direction of the industry rather than regulate in response to crises, an approach that has left regulation unequipped to deal with two fields of PSC growth: the use of PSCs against piracy, and to deliver and support humanitarian aid.
When c. 1000 men from northern Europe whom the contemporary sources call Normans began to arrive in the south of Italy, the region was both temptingly prosperous and also unstable, particularly in the area of Lombard rule in the west and centre. The conquest of southern Italy fell into three stages. First, up to the early 1040s the Normans acted as mercenaries, selling their swords to almost every power in the south, except for the Arabs, fighting for the purpose of gain in Malaterra's succinct phrase. From 1042 onwards they acted in their own right, extending their operations from the Lombard zone into Apulia, and in the 1040s and 1050s employment turned into conquest. The papal investiture was a sign that the Normans were there to stay, and it recognized that by then their takeover was inevitable. The third phase was one of consolidation on the mainland, mopping up the last bastions of Byzantine rule in Apulia and Calabria.
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