The international armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine tragically demonstrates that the European continent is still not immune from war. It also illustrates that the laws of war are only as effective as the leadership and discipline that guides military forces engaged in hostilities. The conflict in Ukraine is a prime example of how any diminishment of either dramatically increases and may even guarantee law of war violations and war crimes.
The conflict also reminds us that some of the worst war crimes result from targeting operations. Wars are awful, but some of the most awful wars are those that abandon military logic, humanity, and morality in the use of destructive combat power. Attacks on civilians, use of indiscriminate weapons, and unlawful tactics naturally evoke a visceral demand for accountability.