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Friday, July 10, 2015

Military Ammo Gets a 21st-Century Tuneup

The Hague Convention of 1899 forbade acts like the killing of enemy combatants who surrendered, looting, impressment and collective punishment. Indeed, the modern notion of war crimes largely stems from those deliberations.

In a doctrinal shift driven by bitter experience dating back to at least the Vietnam War, the U.S. military is abandoning the Hague prohibition on hollow-point projectiles, or “bullets which expand or flatten easily.” The U.S. had never been a signatory to the provision, but had observed it for well over a century.

Law enforcement and civilians widely use the projectiles for the same reason the military wants to: “(They) more efficiently transfer energy to the target … present much less of a risk of over-penetration, (are) more humane and less of a risk to innocent civilians downrange ...” than current full metal jacket ammunition.

We readily concede there is no pleasure in such contemplations. But if it protects our soldiers, we’re for it.