The rules of war

From Paul Krugman(Reg. reqd):
Anyway, it continues to amaze me how the 21st century is starting to look like the 17th century with fancier technology: tax farmers, mercenaries, and now rentier cities.
Given Paul's previous column on torture, it occurs to me that the end of the 17th century marked the beginning (in Europe) of a period marked by limited wars with conventions of behaviour which limited the impact on civilian populations. The 30 Years War had been the exact opposite with many , many civilan deaths.

Anyway, I wonder if revolution at present day methods will lead to a more restrained era - perhaps we could have some conventions signed at Geneva?

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