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1. Be sure to include in your post a major question that you will need to answer in your capstone project. Consider that the major question you offer should be answered by 3 or 4 sub questions, which you should include in your post. Do not ask any questions that require a yes or no answer.
2. As a military vet, we are obligated to follow the Geneva Convention in regards to treating enemy POWs regardless if the follow the same rules of engagement. In history, the only person who ever was held liable for any unjust act was the commanding officer. Understand that the questioning of a commanding officer in some military situations could seen as treason and be punishable by death. Not to say that we are mindless drones with no moral compass or compassion. The ugly side of war is that there are some who view over extreme or barbaric force justified.
3. The questions raised in the discussion definitely strike a nerve. I have been deployed 6 times to Iraq/Afghanistan and have personally witness the actions of soldiers in a theater of operations. The mind of a soldier is primarily on the safety of his fellow comrades and the family implications of not coming home safe.
The cause of the actual fighting is started by diplomacy failures. The politicians then use the military to settle differences by use of force. Looking at the actions of soldiers in combat, we see the following of orders. These orders are passed down from higher commands so if an action is deemed unjust then it is the leader who should be responsible.
Comparing an Al Qaeda insurgent to an American service member is not a fair analogy. While each side feels strongly about protecting a cause, the difference lies in the orders given. Al Qaeda and ISIS feel their ideologies are the only way of thinking so other who do not abide should be terminated. American soldiers are sent into battle as a representation of policy differences.
The terms set forth in the Geneva Conventions about the conduct of soldiers is very broad. ISIS and Al Qaeda do not follow these terms so the rules are useless. The Nazi Leaders did face war crimes as a result of unjust actions which led to the Geneva Conventions.