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Lieber on the Need for Rules in Wartime

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francis-lieber

Where no discipline is enforced in war a state of things results which resembles far more the… religious wars… than the regular wars of modern times. And such a state of things results speedily, too; for all growth, progress and rearing, moral or material, are slow; all destruction, relapse, and degeneracy fearfully rapid. It requires the power of the Almighty and a whole century to grow an oak tree; but only a pair of arms, an ax, and an hour or two to cut it down.

Francis Lieber, Guerrilla Parties Considered with Reference to the Laws and Usages of War (1862)

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