from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. Plural form of hostility.
- n. acts of war
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n.pl. a legal state created by a declaration of war and ended by official declaration, during which the international rules of war apply.
- n.pl. acts of overt warfare.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. fighting; acts of overt warfare
Sorry, no etymologies found.
The War Powers Act of 1973 specifically states “The constitutional powers of the President as Commander-in-Chief to introduce United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, are exercised only pursuant to (1) a declaration of war, (2) specific statutory authorization, or (3) a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.”
On this view, however, it has a further technical case of legality as a direct participant in hostilities — curiously — if it engages in drone strikes within the context of something thatis an acknowledged armed conflict, e.g., the border areas of Pakistan, precisely because it is an armed conflict and the technical rules of combatancy apply.
Its ultimate legal status upon the cessation of hostilities is an entirely other matter upon which the presence of absence of force is by no means dispositive, especially in the context of a defensive war.
Insofar as this is offered as something that is not driven by the fundamental binary above, then it is essentially a claim about the CIA not meeting the requirements lawfully to engage in hostilities — some version of the claim that the war with Al Qaeda is an armed conflict, and the CIA are not privileged combatants.
“Police were not combatants and could not represent legitimate targets unless actively engaged in hostilities,” she pointed out.
Members of the armed forces of a Party to a conflict (other than medical personnel and chaplains covered by Article 33 of the Third Convention) are combatants, that is to say, they have the right to participate directly in hostilities — so that according to you means they are legal combatants, not illegal, since they have the right to participate.
In December, without any independent evidence that the men had engaged in hostilities against the United States, U.S. officials sent them to Guantanamo Bay.
This is debatable on at least one score, as the language dealing with "protected persons" is often prefaced with "civilian persons who take no part in hostilities ..."
If you think the question of the territory of active hostilities is simply irrelevant, then I suppose it is.
Neither are you, since generally the act of killing someone in the process of hostilities is not referred to as execution but simply making war.