What purpose do they serve. They make us feel noble and that is just about it. It is the reason why are wars are not going the way we want them. Our enimies most certainly do not have them so why do we have them. The reason why the axis didn't win is because of a two critical mistakes. Now If they had not been made then the course of the war would have been drastically different. First, Germany attacked Russia. To make things worse is that they did it during the Russian Winter. Even Napolean couldn't beat them during that. Then the Japanese attacked us bringing us into the war. As history shows the two superpowers quickly finished the war. Now neither side had rules of engagement and led to a short, brutal, and efficient war. Now we could have that today if we got ahead of our minds desire to be moral and noble.