Talk:enemy combatant

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OK. I'll bite at this requested article. I think this is the bare minimum for someone to understand what the heck the term is all about. Let Wikipedia handle the bigger mess. The usage note is as neutral as I can make it. Anyone who can make it even more neutral, you have my blessings. (Anyone who wants to make it less neutral, take thee off to the Wiktionary policies page.) Keffy 01:50, 15 February 2006 (UTC)


I've replaced the original US Definition with the one found in US Joint Publication 1-02 Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms. This is the correct, official, definition for the USA. CORNELIUSSEON 04:08, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

Sorry, but I hope you can explain why the JTF-GTMO definition is not just as official, just as correct, as the first definition. Geo Swan 02:16, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

"In the present 'war on terrorism'..."[edit]

Is this bit of exposition appropriate, or really relevant? Equinox 12:24, 10 June 2012 (UTC)

Non-gloss definition[edit]

It would be possible to use a non-gloss type definition, which does not specify much detail about what criteria make a person an EC or what the "timeless" or "correct" implications might be. Given the controversy and the difficulty in finding evidence of specific meaning in citations, this might be the best course of action. An example of such a definition might be:

  1. (US) Used to characterize certain detainees of the US military from XXXX to XXXX.

It also appears to be the case that this term may have only had non-SoP meaning in the context of the US military and/or possibly law, either military or general. In any event, it is in general use in newspapers and books (among durably archived sources) now, though the generally understood meaning is certainly not very specific. DCDuring TALK 01:41, 13 June 2012 (UTC)

I am sorry, I don't understand the comment above. I don't know what a "non-gloss definition" is. I don't know what "non-SoP meaning" is.
I found a discussion at Wiktionary:Beer parlour archive/2010/November#What are the durably archived sources? There didn't seem to be a resolution of this term. I use -- which is like the wayback machine. Of course there is no guarantee any citation system will remain available for years or decades.
Thanks Geo Swan (talk) 01:50, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
A non-gloss definition is exactly the kind of definition DCDuring exhibits above, in contrast to glosses that actually define something. SOP is local slang for "sum of parts" - for more on that, see the CFI or the opening section of WT:RFD, which handles a lot of SOPs. Nowadays, Google Books, Google Groups (Usenet), and Google News are considered durably archived. Does that help? --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 03:40, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
I support DCDuring's suggestion. - -sche (discuss) 07:20, 13 June 2012 (UTC)


The following was originally given at References:enemy combatant, which was deleted as References: is not a namespace
  1. For purposes of this Order, the term "enemy combatant" shall mean an individul who was part of or supporting Taliban or al Qaeda forces, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners. This includes any person who has committed a belligerent act or has directly supported hostilities in aid of enemy armed forces.
  2. (Defining an enemy combatant “as an individual who was part of or supporting Taliban or al Qaeda forces, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners. This includes any person who has committed a belligerent act or has directly supported hostilities in aid of enemy armed forces.”)


Looks good[edit]

Just checked out the current revision, looks good IMO, don't change too much. Mglovesfun (talk) 09:29, 13 June 2012 (UTC)

RFC discussion: July 2006–October 2007[edit]

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The following discussion has been moved from Wiktionary:Requests for cleanup (permalink).

This discussion is no longer live and is left here as an archive. Please do not modify this conversation, but feel free to discuss its conclusions.

enemy combatant

Recent additions push a personal & disputed political view.

specifically: Sense 2: (US) a captured soldier or fighter whose rights (e.g. as a prisoner of war) are denied by the capturing force

and Usage Notes: The phrase "enemy combatant" became common during the war in Afghanistan, when the U.S. government applied it to captured Taliban soldiers instead of classifying them as prisoners of war. Some within the U.S. government use the phrase "enemy combatant" (which has no definition in international law) in an attempt to justify denying rights guaranteed by the Geneva Convention. - Versageek 19:38, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

What specifically do you interpret to be non-neutral? I agree the term is disputed which is why I tried to make it more neutral. Some people argue "enemy combatants" are justifiably denied rights, while others argue the opposite. But please note either way their rights have been denied and the definition should reflect that fact. The definition you subsequently added "illegal fighter" seems to me to be a non-neutral judgement call and should be removed or caveated as in "an illegal fighter as labeled by the capturing force"? Hollow are the Ori 02:09, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
You removed all reference to the the possibility that these individuals don't qualify as prisoners of war, thus have no rights. I wikified the a lot of terms in the definition after your last change - please don't change the term or remove the links - the term illegal combatant is appropriate and already defined here on Wiktionary. - Versageek 02:41, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
Qualifying as a prisoner of war (e.g. under the Geneva convention) is separate from whether their rights have been denied. The freedom of movement is a separate issue from international law interpretation/status. It should be obvious that their rights have been denied, in my interpretation the debate/constroversy is actually over whether that is justified or not. Do you agree? I am open to adding more info about how it is alleged they don't qualify as prisoners of war and getting into some of the nitty gritty of international law, how about that?
Also, definitions really should not contain wikilinks because they excessively emphasize the literalness and conclusiveness of words and phrases which decreases abstract comprehension about a subject. Hollow are the Ori 02:51, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
It should be sufficient to leave your entry (sense two) which suggest rights have been denied, and my entry (sense three) which points to the noun phase illegal combatant. I disagree with your change in terms on the third sense, but it's acceptable as long as the link to illegal combatant is also present. Let the reader decide which definition they prefer to use.
Wikifying definitions is an acceptable & encouraged practice here on Wiktionary. If you prefer to remove the wiki-links from sense two, feel free. - Versageek 03:26, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
I know excessive wikilinking is a generally accepted and encouraged practice but the more I think about it the more I consider it wrong, especially within a definition (because of the subtle yet profound and potentially misleading emphasis inherent in html linking for one thing). If there are no other items in dispute will you remove the rfc header template? We can continue any discussion on the enemy combatant discussion page. Hollow are the Ori 04:17, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
Someone is pushing a POV, and you suggest hiding the discussion? --Connel MacKenzie T C 04:24, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
Please state specifically what and how a non neutral point of view is being pushed with the recent changes to enemy combatant? Excessive wikilinking adds emphasis and that is unnecessary POV in my interpretation. Hollow are the Ori 04:32, 5 July 2006 (UTC)
The phrase "denying rights" is always POV. It implies that there ARE certain rights that both parties are obligated to honor, and it implies that one side is illegally denying these rights. In the conflict in question, one side is not a signatory of the Geneva Convention and makes no effort whatsoever to honor these or ANY rights, and the U.S. side can hardly be expected to honor these privileges unilaterally.
This is a non-sequitur. Two wrongs don't make a right, and most people believe the US should behave better than terrorists. Enginear 02:33, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

But whether some expect a one-sided compliance with a convention that the other side does not recognize or not, "denynig rights" is POV and the definition is clearly written by an America-basher. The phrase enemy combatant means what the speaker or writer means by it, not what hecklers and protestors interpret it to mean ... and the inflammatory and POV definition given is not what anyone who uses the word means by it. —Stephen 10:51, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

I think you mean it is your POV (and not, for example, mine) that the [previous] definition was not "what anyone who uses the word means by it". I do however commend your new definition and usage note as items I cannot find significant fault with. (However, I would be unhappy if the two WP links were not available to explain the usage/abusage in greater detail, and I think that in a year or two we should add back a note re when the term gained prominence.) --Enginear 02:33, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
Seems OK. RfC tag had been removed. DCDuring 23:56, 31 October 2007 (UTC)