Practice Relating to Rule 3. Definition of Combatants
Argentina’s Law of War Manual (1989) states that all members of the armed forces are combatants, except for medical and religious personnel.
During the War in the South Atlantic, the legal adviser to the combined staff of Argentina’s armed forces reportedly pointed out that due protection had to be granted to combatants “because they were members of the regular forces and, having fallen into enemy hands, were recognized as prisoners of war and were treated accordingly”.
The Report on the Practice of Argentina refers to a definition of combatants taken from a dictionary approved by the Ministry of Defence whereby all members of the armed forces who have the right to participate directly in hostilities are combatants. Medical and religious personnel are not to be considered combatants.