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ernment of the United States has previously declared its views. The Government of the United States rejects all the expressed reservations.
The Government of the United States notes that the views expressed in this note should not be understood as implying any withdrawal from the policy heretofore pursued by its armed forces in according the treatment provided by the Conventions to hostile armed forces.
Dept. of State File No. P75 0080-0828.
The following are the reservations stated by the P.R.G. in its notification of accession to the four Geneva Conventions:
Convention 1-Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field
Regarding Article 10: The P.R.G. does not recognize as legal a request made by the detaining power either to a neutral country or to a humanitarian organization unless the state of which the wounded and sick in armed forces in the field are nationals has approved this request in advance.
Convention 11-Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea
Regarding Article 10: The P.R.G. does not recognize as legal a request made by the detaining power to a neutral country or to a humanitarian organization to undertake the functions performed by protecting powers unless the state of which the wounded, sick and shipwrecked members of armed forces at sea are nationals has approved this request in advance.
Convention III—Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War
Regarding Article 4: The P.R.G. does not recognize the “conditions" provided for under paragraph 2 of this Article concerning “Members of other militias and members of other volunteer corps, including those of organized resistance movements” because these conditions are not appropriate for the cases of people's wars in the world today.
Regarding Article 10: The P.R.G. does not recognize as legal a request made by the detaining power either to a neutral country or to a humanitarian organization to undertake the functions performed by protecting powers unless the state of which the prisoners of war are nationals has approved this request in advance.
Regarding Article 12: The P.R.G. declares that the transfer of prisoners of war by the detaining power to a power which is a party to the Convention does not release the detaining power from its responsibility for the application of the Convention.
Regarding Article 85: The P.R.G. declares that prisoners of war prosecuted and convicted for crimes of aggression, crimes of genocide, war crimes, or crimes against humanity in accordance with the principles of the Nuremburg Court shall not benefit from the provisions of this Convention.
Convention IV-Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War
Regarding Article 11: The P.R.G. does not recognize as legal a request made by the detaining power either to a neutral country or to a humanitarian organization to undertake the functions performed by protecting powers unless the state of which the civilian persons are nationals has approved the request in advance.
Regarding Article 45: The P.R.G. declares that the transfer of civilian persons protected by this Convention to a power which is a party to the Convention does not release the detaining power from its responsibility for the application of the Convention.
Note dated Jan. 18, 1974, from the Swiss Federal Political Dept. to the Dept. of State, as translated by the Dept. of State (LS No. 39657, R-XXXIV French). Dept. of State File No. P75 0082–1377.
The Swiss Embassy at Washington, in a note dated March 5, 1974, informed the Department of State of a notification from the Republic of Guinea-Bissau, dated February 26, 1974, acceding to the four Geneva Conventions subject to certain reservations. The reservations parallel those of the P.R.G. outlined above with respect to Article 10 of Convention I, Article 10 of Convention II, Articles 4 and 10 of Convention III, and Articles 11 and 45 of Convention IV, and add reservations respecting Article 12 of Convention I and Article 13 of Convention II that parallel those of the P.R.G. respecting Article 4 of Convention III. The Department of State, in a reply note to the Swiss Embassy dated March 4, 1975, rejected the reservations but accepted treaty relations with the Government of Guinea-Bissau.
Dept. of State File No. P75 0044–0692.
The four Geneva Conventions for the Protection of War Victims may be found in TIAS 3362, 3363, 3364, and 3365; 6 UST 3114, 3217, 3316, and 3516, respectively.
U.S. Rules of Engagement in Viet-Nam On June 4, 1975, Secretary of Defense James R. Schlesinger sent a letter to Senator Barry Goldwater replying to the latter's request for the Rules of Engagement applicable to U.S. military forces in South Viet-Nam during the Viet-Nam war. Secretary Schlesinger stated that he was enclosing substantial portions of those Rules, which he had now declassified, and he commented on “the constraints imposed upon U.S. military reaction" and the consequent need for classification of the Rules during the conduct of the war. His letter stated, in part:
Since these Rules of Engagement for operations in Southeast Asia defined the scope and intensity of U.S. response to enemy activity, they have been, up until now, classified in order to prevent the enemy from being able to gauge his conduct upon sure knowledge of the constraints imposed upon U.S. military reaction and thus avoid the application of retaliatory fire. A blanket disclosure of all Rules of Engagement and operating authorities is still not warranted, in my opinion, because it would disclose doctrinal patterns and operational concepts that could be of use to potential enemy nations. The termination of hostilities, however, has eliminated the risk to U.S. lives which would have been involved in earlier disclosure of some of this information.
I have, therefore, declassified substantial portions of the Rules of Engagement utilized by the United States Military Assistance Command Viet-Nam contained in MACV Directive 525–13. In addition, I have declassified portions of some operating authorities as further evidence that the U.S. military establishment in certain areas operated under severe constraints.
Your attention is also called to Exhibits 1-5 and D-7 to Volume III, Book 2 of the recently published Peers Report. Those exhibits set forth the Rules of Engagement of the Americal Division and of the 11th Infantry Brigade.
The following are excerpts from the Rules of Engagement as transmitted with Secretary Schlesinger's letter: U.S. MILITARY ASSISTANCE COMMAND, VIET-NAM, DIRECTIVE
NUMBER 525–13, DATED MAY 1971
(UNCLASSIFIED CONTENTS) RULES OF ENGAGEMENT FOR THE EMPLOYMENT OF FIREPOWER IN THE
REPUBLIC OF VIET-NAM 1. Purpose. This directive provides specific rules of engagement for the conduct of the air and surface operations within the Republic of Viet-Nam (R.V.N.) which are applicable to U.S./Free World Military Assistance Forces (FWMAF) and Republic of Viet-Nam Armed Forces (RVNAF).
2. Applicability. This directive is applicable to all MACV staff agencies and subordinate commands.
a. The changing nature of operations in the R.V.N. has necessitated the need for a new approach to the employment of firepower. The shift to predominantly small unit operations, coupled with a civilian populace that is becoming more inclined to not observe curfews and restricted areas, makes it imperative to insure against the indiscriminate use of firepower. While the goal is maximum effectiveness in combat operations, every effort must be made to avoid civilian casualties, minimize the destruction of private property, and conserve diminishing resources. Accomplishment of these objectives in view of the frequent combined operations involving U.S., FWMAF, and RVNAF requires that specific rules of engagement (ROE) be adhered to by all friendly armed forces.
b. This directive will not be modified by subordinate commanders nor will directives modifying or interpreting substantive rules in this directive be published by subordinate commands. Unit commanders are authorized to issue instructions to users, provided such instructions do not circumvent the substantive rules contained in this directive.
c. This directive will serve as the basis for standing operating procedures for the conduct of all fires to include artillery, tank, mortar, riverine, fixed wing aircraft, rotary wing aircraft, air defense artillery, and naval gunfire support.
d. It is not the intent of this directive to restrict commanders from performing their assigned operational missions, but to insure that sound, prudent judgment is exercised in the employment of organic and supporting arms firepower.
a. Advisors will take all necessary advisory actions to promote RVNAF compliance with these ROE. b. Senior tactical commanders and senior advisors will:
(1) in coordination with their RVNAF counterparts, where applicable, insure that all units conduct operations in accordance with this directive, and develop positive, practicable, and understandable target clearance procedures to preclude error or misunderstanding.
(2) insure that all personnel engaged in fire support activities are fully cognizant of the contents of this directive, with specific emphasis on procedures pertaining to clearance for fires and air strikes. Periodic testing of personnel on their knowledge of ROE is encouraged.
(3) require advisory personnel to insure that U.Š. fire support resources provided in support of RVNAF operations are employed in accordance with this directive. If the request of a RVNAF unit falls outside the provisions of this directive, the advisor will take action to suspend the U.S. fire support which is in violation of the ROE.
5. Definitions. a. Air Strike. An attack on specific objectives by fighter, bomber, or attack aircraft on an offensive mission.
b. Close Air Support. Air attacks against hostile targets which are in close proximity to friendly forces and which require detailed integration of each air mission with the fire and movement of those forces.
c. Hostile Fire. Fire directed from a hostile source toward friendly forces. It may be delivered by either direct or indirect fire weapons. It does not include devices such as mechanical ambushes, booby traps, and mines.
d. In Contact. A unit is considered in contact when it is engaged with an enemy force, being fired upon, and returning fire. The supported unit commander is responsible for making the “in contact” determination.
e. Inhabited Area. Includes any group of dwellings as well as established hamlets and villages that do not qualify as an urban area.
f. Senior Tactical Commanders and Senior Advisors. Includes CG, XXIV Corps/SA, I Corps and MR 1; CG, I FFORCEB/SA, II Corps and MR 2; CG, II FFORCEV/SA, III Corps and MR 3; CG, DMAC; COMNAVFORVI CHNAVADVGP and Cdr 7th AF/SA, Vietnamese Air Force (VNAF).
g. Specified Strike Zones (SSZ). An area designated for a specific period of time by Government of South Viet-Nam (G.V.N.) RVNAF in which there are no friendly forces or populace and in which targets may be attacked on the initiative of U.S./FWMAFÖRVNAF commanders. SSZ will not be referred to as “Free Fire Zones.” Furthermore, the term "Free Fire Zone" will not be used under any circumstances.
h. Strike Aircraft. Fixed wing aircraft of the fighter, bomber, and attack classification capable of conducting an air strike.
i. Urban Areas. Those areas depicted as built-up areas on an Army Map Service 1:50,000 scale map.
6. General Rules.
a. All possible means will be employed to limit the risk to the lives and property of friendly forces and civilians. In this respect, a target must be clearly identified as hostile prior to making a decision to place fire on it.
b. The necessary precautionary measures will be taken to avoid the violation of operational and national boundaries. c. Religious Monuments and Public Buildings.
(1) The enemy has shown by his actions that he takes advantage of areas or places normally considered as nonmilitary target areas. These areas are typified by those of religious background or historical value to the Vietnamese. When it is found that the enemy has sheltered himself or has installed defensive positions in such places or in public buildings and dwellings, the responsible senior brigade or higher commander in the area may order an attack to insure prompt destruction of the enemy. The responsible commander must identify positive enemy hostile acts either in the execution or preparation. Weapons and forces used will be those which will insure prompt defeat of enemy forces with minimum damage to structures in the area.
(2) The exception to this policy is the palace compound in the Hue Citadel. For this specific area, commanders will employ massive quantities of CS agents and will take all other possible actions to avoid damage to the compound. d. Incendiary Munitions and Riot Control Agents.
(1) The use of incendiary type munitions in inhabited or urban areas will be avoided unless friendly survival is at stake or is necessary for the accomplishment of the commander's mission.
(2) Riot control agents will be used to the maximum extent possible. CS agents can be effectively employed in inhabited and urban area operations to flush enemy personnel from buildings and fortified positions, thus increasing the enemy's vulnerability to allied firepower while reducing the unnecessary danger to civilians and the likelihood of destruction of civilian property. e. SSZ
(1) The Army, Republic of Viet-Nam (ARVN) corps commander in each military region (MR) has the authority to designate, modify, suspend temporarily, or cancel a SSZ. Notification of SSZ designation, modification, temporary suspension, or cancellation will be disseminated by the ARVN corps commander to all commands operating in the MR with a minimum of 72 hours notification prior to the change becoming effective. Notification of
U.S.FWMAF will be through U.S. command channels. Requests for SSZ changes will be submitted to the ARVN corps commander via appropriate command channels.
(2) The senior tactical commanders (or their authorized representatives) are the military clearance authorities in their respective MR.
f. Specific ROĚ for the employment of weapons systems in the R.V.X. are outlined at Annexes ... 7. Reports. This directive requires no report.
(not printed here)
Also transmitted were certain regulations issued in 1968 and applicable to combat operations. For the full text of Secretary Schlesinger's letter and the documents transmitted with it, see Cong. Rec., Vol. 121, No. 88, June 6, 1975, pp. S9897-9904 (daily ed.).
Neutrality and Nonbelligerency
Congressman Donald M. Fraser, U.S. Representative to the U.X. General Assembly, made a statement on October 9, 1975, in Committee IV (Trusteeship), concerning allegations made in the Committee that some U.S. citizens were fighting as mercenaries under the Rhodesian army. An excerpt from his statement follows:
There are no U.S. military personnel in Rhodesia. My government does not approve of participation by any American citizen in the forces of the Ian Smith regime. Our laws provide that any citizen enlisting in the armed forces of another country runs the risk of losing his U.S. citizenship. In addition he could be subjected to criminal prosecution under existing U.S. laws which provide fines and prison terms for those found guilty. If there is any specific evidence that Americans are serving in military forces under Ian Smith, my government wishes to be made aware of it in detail in order that appropriate legal action may be considered under our laws. ... I want to reiterate ... that the United States does not collaborate in military matters in any way with the Smith regime in Rhodesia.
For the full text of Congressman Fraser's statement, see Press Release USUN-112(75), Oct. 9, 1975; Dept. of State Bulletin, Vol. LXXIII, No. 1899, Nov. 17, 1975, pp. 714_715. Sec. 349(a)(3) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 (8 U.S.C. 1481(a)(3)) provides: