A Critical Appraisal of the Air and Missile Warfare Manual
16 Pages Posted: 19 May 2012
Date Written: May 18, 2012
The purpose of this writing is to offer a critical appraisal of the Manual on International Law Applicable to Air and Missile Warfare. Although the Manual was adopted by consensus after “extensive consultations” among a notable group of experts over a five-year period and allegedly “restates current applicable law,” there are a number of provisions that do not reflect current international law (including especially the laws of war), are highly problematic and, if actually implemented, could result in war crime responsibility. Additionally, there are a number of provisions that are too limiting in their reach or focus or inattentive to developments in the laws of war and the law of self-defense, especially concerning the general immunity of civilians and civilian objects from attack, the prohibition of unnecessary and indiscriminate targetings, the binding reach of the laws of war to United Nations forces, and the prohibition of all terroristic targetings. It is hoped that the Manual will be substantially revised to avoid such problems.
Keywords: Air and Missile Warfare Manual, aircraft, AMWM, attack, belligerent, civilians, combatant, direct participation, DPH, Geneva Protocol, International armed conflict, Kriegsraison, law of war, military objective, proportionality, self-defense, terrorism, weapons
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