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The protection of civilians and their property in war is an accepted norm of international law - even where the putatively "noncombatant" populace openly supports the immoral use of force by its military. NATO's Kosovo operation suggests, however, that the imposition of hardship on the sentient, adult "noncombatant" population through property loss can erode a society's appetite for malevolence. While civilians should not be targeted, a new paradigm for noncombatancy that allows the destruction of certain property currently protected by international law but not absolutely indispensable to civilian survival may well help shorten conflict and effect necessary societal change.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

War--Moral and ethical aspects, Operation Allied Force (1999), Air warfare, Civilians in war