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The Court dismissed these claims on the ground that the right of individuals to become claimants in international law is recognised only when approved by specific treaty, and that in the Peace Treaty Japan had waived all claims of Japan or its nationals arising out of the war. However, the Court did conclude that the dropping of the atomic bombs on Japan had been in violation of international law. The question addressed in the judgment was not whether the use of atomic weapons generally was forbidden, but rather whether the particular bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were illegal under international law at that time (Collier, 1979, pp.

The 1977 UN Convention on the Prohibition of Military Use of Environmental Modification Techniques prohibits the deliberate manipulation of natural processes as weapons. The techniques prohibited might include deliberate manipulation of earthquakes, tsunamis, changes in weather patterns, and changes in the state of the ionosphere. It may be presumed that under this convention such changes would be unlawful if achieved by use of nuclear weapons, just as they would be if achieved by any other means.

Deliberately designing weapons aimed at populations is neither necessary nor sufficient for deterrence. If we are forced to retaliate and can only respond by destroying population centers, we invite the destruction of our own population. Such a deterrent strategy is hardly likely to carry conviction as a deterrent, particularly as a deterrent to nuclear - let alone conventional- attack on an ally. The report goes on to repudiate the whole idea of a 'no first use' pledge, which might enable 'the Soviets' to 'gain a unilateral conventional advantage', would be 'unenforceable and unverifiable', and could 'increase the chances of war and thus increase the chances of nuclear conflict'.

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Aircraft identification : friend or foe?

by Ronald

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