From The Economist:

Although aircraft lack the resonance of the cultural treasures which have given rise to some famous disputes over looting, some of the legal arguments are similar, says Christopher Gooding, a lawyer for Kuwait Airways. The rules on respect for property during conflicts have “stabilised” after a long process that began with the Napoleonic wars, according to Wayne Sandholtz, author of a book called Prohibiting Plunder: How Norms Change. Napoleon’s campaigns saw such voracious plundering that his foes eventually forced France to give much of it back. The Lieber code, issued by Abraham Lincoln in 1863, set a new norm of respect for property, even in the heat of war. “Private property, unless forfeited by crimes…of the owner, can be seized only by way of military necessity,” it said, while listing individual acts of “pillage and sacking” as crimes.

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