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Using civilians as shields in war

A widespread tactics in war consists in using civilians as shields, eg by taking the fight into densely populated areas, or by more or less forcibly placing civilians in the line of fire – in the hope that the enemy will hold fire, take fewer risks, etc. Most people believe that resorting to such tactics is morally wrong (as well as unlawful as per the Geneva Conventions.) Yet, there are some other, widely held intuitions which seem to conflict with that view – in particular the intuition that military conscription is permissible.

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