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Tag Archive: DOD

“Applying the Law of Targeting to the Modern Battlefield‎” – Full Speech Given by DOD General Counsel Jennifer O’Connor

Below is the speech, “Applying the Law of Targeting to the Modern Battlefield‎,” given by Jennifer O’Connor, general counsel of the Department of Defense, tonight at NYU School of Law.

In her speech, O’Connor talked through how targeting decisions play out in real time, explaining the difference between deliberate and dynamic targeting and how lawyers are actively involved throughout the process.  continue »

DOD is Still Wrong About Target Selection and Civilians

Editor’s Note: Just Security is holding a “mini forum” on the new Defense Department Law of War Manual. This series includes posts from Sean Watts, Eric Jensen, Geoffrey Corn, Charles Dunlap, and others.

The recently released US Defense Department Law of War Manual says the following (emphasis added):

AP I provides that “[w]hen a choice is possible between several military objectives for obtaining a similar military advantage, the objective to be selected shall be that the attack on which may be expected to cause the least danger to civilian lives and to civilian objects.” The United States has expressed the view that this rule is not a requirement of customary international law.

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DOD’s Unbalanced Stance on Precautions Against Harming Civilians

Editor’s Note: Just Security is holding a “mini forum” on the new Defense Department Law of War Manual. This series includes posts from Sean Watts, Eric Jensen, and others.

The Defense Department seems to think that it may kill civilians if there is any risk that the precautions necessary to avoid killing them might prove militarily disadvantageous.…   continue »

The Defense Department Stands Alone on Target Selection

A deeply troubling provision in the Defense Department’s new Law of War Manual suggests that commanders are not legally required to minimize civilian casualties when selecting between different targets. According to the manual, even if commanders expect to gain the same or similar military advantage from striking target A as from striking target B, commanders are under no legal obligation to select the target that places the fewest civilians in harm’s way.…   continue »