America’s troops are placing their lives at heightened risk because they are afraid of violating the Geneva Conventions, said Donald Trump, the Republican front-runner, speaking on Wednesday.
"The problem is we have the Geneva Conventions, all sorts of rules and regulations, so the soldiers are afraid to fight," Trump said at a speaking event. "We can’t waterboard, but they can chop off heads! I think we’ve got to make some changes, some adjustments."
The Geneva Conventions were adopted nearly unanimously following World War II, and govern the treatment of civilians and prisoners of war. The conventions include both a ban on torture and summary executions, two practices that Trump has been criticized for supporting. The Geneva Conventions were based on US rules adopted in 1882, following America’s Civil War, its bloodiest.
The Republican candidate has called for torture and the murdering of families of suspected terrorists as retaliation, two actions in clear violation of the Geneva Conventions. Trump previously declared that American troops would not disobey him if he ordered them to violate the conventions, but has since retracted that statement.