This text examines the inherent shortcomings of the Nuremberg ""rules of war"" and the War Crimes Tribunal's impossible expectations. In 1946, the tribunal declared all aggressive war, war crimes and crimes against humanity illegal. Yet the period since World War II has witnessed an unprecedented number of armed conflicts. In light of recent crises, including those in Rwanda, Bosnia and Serbia, and the Middle East, it is clear that the issues explored in this text are as relevant today as they were at the time of the book's first publication a quarter of a century ago. In this volume, Eugene Davidson continues the investigations begun in ""The Trial of the Germans"", which studied the consequences of the Nuremberg trials, by focusing on five major conflicts since the end of World War II: the Suez crisis of 1956; Algeria's war of independence; Israel's recurring (and ongoing) battles with its Arab neighbours, complicated and worsened by intervention of the superpowers; the war of Indochina; and the Soviet Union's suppression of Czechoslovakia and other border states of Eastern Europe. Exploring the roots and ramifications of these five conflicts, Davidson is able to chart the crosscurrents between large and small states, between individual nations and the United Nations, between the rules of Nuremberg and the significantly older rules of self-interest. The result is a thoughtful and thought-provoking study of the dynamics of war and peace in the post-Nuremberg world. The rules of war established at Nuremberg - observing the flag of truce, prohibiting attacks on surrendered enemies, treating prisoners of war and civilian populations humanely - have become virtually irrelevant in modern guerrilla warfare. If anything, Davidson suggests, conditions have actually become worse than they were before the Nuremberg War Crime Tribunal.
Eugene Davidson is the author of numerous books on the Nazi regime, including The Making of Adolf Hitler, The Unmaking of Adolf Hitler, and The Trial of the Germans, all available from the University of Missouri Press. Davidson, who lives in Santa Barbara, California, is President Emeritus of the Conference on European Problems and former President of the Foundation for Foreign Affairs.