A Matter of Policy: United States Application of the Law of Armed Conflict
18 Pages Posted: 4 Jan 2018
Date Written: 2017
To what extent does the law of armed conflict (LOAC) apply to the United States military fighting in armed conflicts? Though the question seems straightforward enough, the answer is anything but. This article explains, in general, why the answer is imprecise and unsatisfying as applied to the most prevalent type of contemporary armed conflict, non-international. More specifically, this article argues that the U.S. government's primary response of claiming to apply LOAC as a matter of policy when and where that law wouldn't otherwise apply is superficially persuasive but not substantively responsive.
Keywords: law of armed conflict; LOAC; policy, international armed conflict; IAC; non-international armed conflict; NIAC; Geneva Convention; customary international law
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