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a Wiktionary definition

Cecropia, I guess this page be more appropriate for discussions? :-)

moved discussion from User Talk:Ruhrjung: // Cecropia agrees! :=D

Belligerent / Nonbelligerent[edit]

Ruhrjung, how are you considering Nonbelligerent as different from Neutral Country? If you're referring to civilians, the Geneva/Hague term is "protected person." - Cecropia 04:30, 27 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Oh - I MIGHT take wrong with the terminology, although I hope not. What do you call a country that declare not to be involved in a conflict, but also not a neutral, for instance in order to retain the right of support for a belligerent? Given my Finnish example, there are two relevant points:

  • at the outbreak of the Winter War, Sweden had a cabinet crisis which among other things hinged on the question whether Sweden were to give a declaration of neutrality or of non-belligerence. The outcome was "non-belligerence" and a rather substantial support for the Finnish side in the war (which however wasn't sufficient for the Finnish and Swedish opinions that demanded a declaration of war and engagement of regulary troops)
  • at the outbreak of the Great Patriotic War (yeah, I know, that term has a Communist taint for you, but in lack of better terms... it gets so awkward if one has to refer to the German Code "Operation Barbarossa" or the relative "War in the East" which equally well could have ment the Pacific War) ...anyway, in June 1941, Finland considered a declaration of neutrality, but held this for impossible given the large German forces massed in Northern Finland (and maybe also the leased Soviet Naval base on Finnish territory, to which the Soviet Union was granted unrestricted transit) [in addition, it must be added that the Finnish Navy unofficially cooperated closely with the Kriegsmarine, why also of that reason a neutrality declaration hadn't been reliable, although it's not entirely clear how much the leading politicians really knew about that cooperation], the Finns opted for the declaration of "non-participants" in the war between the Third Reich and the Soviet Union.

Maybe the correct English term is non-participants instead?

--Ruhrjung 04:44, 27 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Ah, I see the distinction you are making! You see, in Geneva and Hague the meaning of "neutral" and "non-belligerent" is rather different than the plain-language meaning. That is, for purposes of the laws of war the two terms are identical.
The term "non-belligerent" is only used four or five times in all the treaties, and then only in conjuctnion with the term "neutral nation" or power. In other words, there is no distinction between the terms. Even if a country is sympathetic to a belligerent or has a treaty with a belligerent they can still declare themselves "neutral" or "non-belligerent." But a non-belligerent is legally neutral, so they have the same responsibilities as a truly neutral power--if they give aid to one of the belligerents, they risk becoming belligerents themselves, and subject to attack.
A couple of aspects of that point include (of course) the Graf Spee, which had to be scuttled because Uruguay couldn't allow it to stay in port without risking attack by the British, and then you have Roosevelt's open aid to Britain before Pearl Harbor, which many feared risked America's neutrality.
I'm going to flip the words "neutral" and "non-belligerent" and take the dead link off the latter, so the meaning is conveyed but we don't have to write a separate article. OK? Maybe we could have "non-belligerent" as a redirect. Best, Cecropia 05:37, 27 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Reading above, I wonder if you take a US point of view (i.e. in this case a US interpretation) for more granted/authoritative than is usual in my surroundings. I think I remember references to British diplomatic activities aiming at getting this or that neutralist country to refrain from the neutrality declaration and stay at a non-belligerence declaration in connection with the opening of WWII, and I'm pretty sure that non-belligerence (but naturally not neutrality) was discussed by observers who seemed pretty initiated in connection with the diplomatic crisis surrounding NATO, the Iraq Invasion and the German constitutional hinderness against "wars of aggression" - but in neither case do I remember exactly when or where I should have read this.
Your remark do also throw light on possible reasons behind some common communication failures in international debate.
Oh, and let me add that your information about the equivical position such as Sweden found itself in is very interesting--could you include that in an article or articles? - Cecropia 05:41, 27 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Sure ...sooner or (maybe rather) later. This noted as a realistic and self-critical prognosis. The place for that will probably be Swedish neutrality during World War II, and possibly also at an article on Sweden and the Winter War or something in that direction. However, reading in one foreign language (Swedish) and writing in another (English) doesn't precisely increase my effectivity. Besides, the moment I have a huge problem with internal (psychological) resistence against the probable troubles with the article prepared at User:Ruhrjung/Germans. My edits this night have basically been nothing but evasive manoevres to avoid that challenge.
--Ruhrjung 06:19, 27 Apr 2004 (UTC)
With regard to USA, I note in a Danish source that the US government is held to have converted its neutrality for non-belligerent status in june 1940. I guess you might evaluate that easier than I can.
Googling (after occurences of neutrals "and" non-belligerent, instead of "or"):
--Ruhrjung 07:06, 27 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Ah, now I understand the distinction you are drawing. Our diverse view isn't based on U.S.-centric vs. Eurocentric, as far as I can see, but usage by nations as opposed to the requirements of Hague and Geneva, which are international law. At any rate, I have updated the article to try to make the rhetorical distinction--I hope you approve. If I may suggest, it may be a jumping-off point for you to add some of the material you've been citing here, is you are so inclined. Best, Cecropia 01:44, 28 Apr 2004 (UTC)
I approve, of course. --Ruhrjung 12:12, 2 May 2004 (UTC)

Consider a state A. (i.e. country) that has foreign military bases on its territory, and that foreign power (B.) wages a war against a third party (C.). Is it really so, that this state A. is automatically a belligerent?

If not (automatically), then one must wonder if the distinction between non-belligerents and neutrals maybe could be of relevance. It seems, after all, as if governments now and then make that distinction, and one must guess that they don't interpret the relevant international treaties arbitrarily.

Anyhow, I must stress that I write this as a curious layman, and have had no time recently to look into the subject.
--Ruhrjung 12:35, 2 May 2004 (UTC)

removed un-noteworthy statement[edit]

The Belligerents are also a highly respected gang from the popular MMORPG Hobowars.

Achoo5000 02:36, 16 October 2006 (UTC)

formal declaration of war[edit]

I am asking for a citation for this sentence:

International law and practices require that belligerency between sovereign states should be preceded by a formal declaration of war prior to such warring states being treated as belligerent states under International law.[citation needed]

Because since the UN charter was signed a formal deceleration of war is not legal (article 2, paragraph 4). there are other considerations and treaties involved see crimes against peace for more details. This is why such wars as the Falklands war was at the time it was taking place described as an "armed conflict". So if this sentence is to remain in the article it needs an attribution from an expert. --Philip Baird Shearer 09:29, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Latin Etymology[edit]

The definition at the very beginning of the page says the term stems from "bellum gerere". I have only had a few years of Latin in High School, but I was wondering if it shouldn't be "bellum genere", if the literal translation is to "create" war. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:23, 19 May 2013 (UTC)

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