Legal Issues in Multinational Military Operations
Geoff Corn, Rachel van Landingham and Shane Reeves (eds), U.S. Military Operations: Law, Policy and Practice, Oxford University Press, 2016
26 Pages Posted: 27 Oct 2013 Last revised: 11 Oct 2016
Date Written: October 25, 2013
Combat operations in recent decades in Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and North Africa have shown, nations will rarely go to battle alone – multinational or coalition operations are much more likely. Multinational operations not only allow nations to share the costs and burdens of warfare, but they also may achieve greater effectiveness when pooling resources and capabilities and achieve greater international legitimacy. In order to fight effectively together as members of a coalition, nations must strive for interoperability.
This chapter deals with the legal issues, or issues that have a legal element to them, that arise uniquely in multinational military operations. Particular focus is given to the legal basis for the use of force, responsibility for internationally wrongful acts, and the role of international caveats and ROE.
The legal challenges are not insurmountable, but will require careful planning and diligence on the part of operational attorneys at the strategic, operational, and tactical levels, whether working as part of their national team or as part of the multinational headquarters.
Keywords: military operations, multinational, coalition, state responsibility, mentoring, rules of engagement, ROE, internationally wrongful acts, use of force
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