Tethering the Law of Armed Conflict to Operational Practice: 'Organized Armed Group' Membership in the Age of ISIS

28 Pages Posted: 17 Jan 2019

See all articles by E. Corrie Westbrook Mack

E. Corrie Westbrook Mack

Government of the United States of America - Judge Advocate General’s Corps

Shane Reeves

United States Military Academy, West Point

Date Written: 2018

Abstract

The article begins with a background section discussing organized armed groups (OAG), such as ISIS, and the consequences of membership in such a group. A survey of the various methods of determining OAG membership, and the practical applicability of each approach to ISIS, follows. Based upon this comparison, the article concludes that more restrictive membership criteria create an unworkable paradigm that does not match the realities of the modern battlefield. Instead, an expansive understanding of who qualifies as a member of an OAG is not only practical, but necessary for providing underlying support for the principle of distinction in non-international armed conflicts.

Keywords: law of armed conflict, international humanitarian law, organized armed group, ISIS, status-based targeting, non-international armed conflicts, continuous combat function

JEL Classification: K33

Suggested Citation

Mack, Eveylon and Reeves, Shane, Tethering the Law of Armed Conflict to Operational Practice: 'Organized Armed Group' Membership in the Age of ISIS (2018). Berkeley Journal of International Law (BJIL), Vol. 36, No. 3, 2018. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3315725

Eveylon Mack

Government of the United States of America - Judge Advocate General’s Corps ( email )

United States

Shane Reeves (Contact Author)

United States Military Academy, West Point ( email )

600 Thayer Rd
West Point, NY 10996
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
17
Abstract Views
115
PlumX Metrics