Accountability and Multinational Military Operations
Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law & International Law (MPIL) Research Paper No. 2018-09 (to be published in: Heike Krieger and Robin Geiss (eds.), The Legal Pluriverse Surrounding Extraterritorial Military Operations (Oxford University Press, 2018))
31 Pages Posted: 23 May 2018 Last revised: 16 Jun 2019
Date Written: May 16, 2018
Multinational military operations [MNMO] occur in different emanations: They might involve the concerted action of states – (ad hoc) ‘coalitions of the willing’ – participating in a joint military operation in which every state retains command over its troops (‘national command model’) or a ‘multinational integrated command’ is established or – in another variant – national contingents are subjected to the lead or domination of a specific state (‘framework nation’ or ‘lead nation’ model). Furthermore such coalitions may act with the authorization of an international organization [IO] or within its institutional setting under its lead or under the lead of one IO which might be in turn authorized by another IO. The plurality of actors involved and the intricate web of different spheres of authority and control characterizing MNMO pose considerable challenges in terms of ‘accountability’. This contribution is dedicated to their illustration and shall simultaneously critically reflect on the specific schemes international law offers to address the ‘pluriverse’ of ‘accountability problems’ arising when states and IO act together militarily.
After sketching the conceptual contours of ‘accountability’ [I.] as well as the specific features of MNMO that account for the difficulties to hold relevant actors accountable [II.], this contribution will in its main part turn to rules on the ‘international legal responsibility’ of states and IO – a genuinely legal scheme which realizes – ‘accountability’ [III.] before closing with final observations [IV.].
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