While most of this volume is about the law that regulates the conduct of hostilities, this particular chapter is not. It concerns the general nature and characteristics of hostilities, the worst humanitarian effects of which the law exists to mitigate. Contemporary forms of hostilities are less frequently conflicts between States than a variety of armed struggles involving not only States but a growing number of organized armed groups motivated by a wide range of interests. Indeed, the formally constituted armed forces of States may not even be involved directly...
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