The Law of Armed Conflict
The Law of Armed Conflict

The Law of Armed Conflict - PowerPoint Presentation

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Introductions General Principles Why have Law of Armed Conflict The Components of LOAC Jus Ad Bellum Principles in 6 parts Todays LOAC Onward to Jus in Bello Todays Class International Law governs the conduct of STATES ID: 540700 Download Presentation

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Presentation on theme: "The Law of Armed Conflict"— Presentation transcript


The Law of Armed ConflictSlide2


General PrinciplesWhy have Law of Armed ConflictThe Components of LOACJus Ad Bellum Principles - in 6 partsToday’s LOACOnward to Jus in Bello

Today’s ClassSlide3

International Law governs the conduct of STATES

International Law is set byTreaties (subject to reservations and understandings)CustomGeneral Principles

General Principles.Slide4

Article 2(4) of the UN Charter:

“All Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security and justice are not endangered.”So…what about War and Genocide? Why is ours a history of constant failure to stop conflicts? The answer is that the UN is a club of states, and the rules were primarily set-up to preserve state sovereignty, so it is HARD to get members of the club to take action for actions some

have already

committed (or intend to commit in the future),

and that few may see as a

lying in their strategic interest.

An End to War?Slide5

Conflict Centered Rules

Sources:The Hague Tradition (means of war)The Geneva Tradition (victims of war)Principles (treaty commentaries, military publications, etc.)

What is LOAC?Slide6

The School of thought that says ALWAYS:

Pacificism + Absolutism: Certain moral precepts cannot be abandoned.Examples provided: Ghandi, MLK Jr.But, does call 9-1-1 on 9/11 work?

Is War Wrong?Slide7

For Consideration

The 3rd Reich had a policy that untermenschen were not deserving of free life. At its most extreme, one concentration camp doctor used to kill and then boil the skulls of inmates with good dental work. He then handed-out the skulls as paperweights. How does one reason with pure evil of this nature?Slide8

Is War Wrong?

The School of Thought that says – Wrong QuestionMilitarism: War is not inherently bad + can be a beneficial aspect of society.“Realism” - “All is fair in love and war.” States should act on state interest. Moral concepts such as justice cannot be applied to the conduct of international affairs + moral concepts should never prescribe, nor circumscribe, a state's behavior. A state should place an emphasis on state security and self-interest.


- The moral theory most frequently summarized in the words "the end justifies the means," which tends to support the just war theory only until less beneficial means become necessary


For Consideration

German civilians often took poison rather than face Soviet occupation. This certainly cleared the streets and made the Soviet advance easier in some ways. It also may show that the Germans were being “trained” to never fight the Soviets again. However, what are the moral consequences of such a reign of terror, no matter how “deserved?”Is this policy even useful given that it also caused increased “to the last man” resistance by the armed forces?Slide10


DoD Policy says it is still valuable:To integrate humanity into warAs both a tactical and strategic combat multiplierCan we think of examples?Can we think of other reasons?

What if LOAC is 1 Sided?

What Value Then?Slide11

May motivate enemy to observe the rules

May motivate enemy to surrenderInternational OpinionHelps restore peace – remember, war is not the end, it is the intermediate step to a just peace.

Why Subscribe to LOAC?Slide12

Protects our society’s character

Makes it easier for our soldiers to fight, and then easier for our soldiers to recoverNecessary for our civilian population to support warProvides advance notice of consequences of conflictReduces confusion and makes right/wrong conduct easier

Why Subscribe to LOAC - II?Slide13

Step 1: - Just War for Self-Preservation:

Aristotle: 1) To prevent becoming enslaved2) Establish leadership in the interests of the le 3) To enable men “to become masters over those who naturally deserved to be enslaved”

Just War Period

335 B.C. – 1800 A.D.Slide14

Step 2: - Just War from Divine Justification:

At first, no fighting allowedOnce Christianity became the religion of leaders, altered to allow self defensee.g. Defense of the Holy Roman Empire from the VandalsJust War Period

335 B.C. – 1800 A.D.Slide15

Step 3: - Juristic Model:

Transition from apologetic model of Thomas Aquinas to juristic model based on the benefits of inter-state relationsJust War Period

335 B.C. – 1800 A.D.Slide16

Just Cause

Competent AuthorityRight IntentionProbability of SuccessLast ResortMacro ProportionalityJus Ad Bellum PrinciplesSlide17

Era of

RealpolitikClausewitz: War is a continuation of politics by other meansPrinciple: Since each state is sovereign, there is no moral prohibition.Each state has a legal and recognized right to wage war. Increased focus on Jus In Bello

War as Fact Period

A.D. 1800 – 1918Slide18

Increasing focus on the idea that aggressive war must be outlawed:

- League of Nations- Kellog-Briand – The Treaty for the Renunciation of War (remains in force today)Also, trauma of WWI led to increased focus on the means of waging war.

Jus Contra Bellum

A.D. 1918-1949Slide19

The idea of universality of obligations

UN Charter Early Charter Period – pure self defense Contemporary – Expanded right?The 4 GC’s: Customary Int. law (all are signatories) – less a contract and more a declaration of universal principles


A.D. 1949-PresentSlide20

The Three Components of Just War Doctrine

Jus Ad BellumJus In BelloJus Post BellumSlide21

Just Cause

Competent AuthorityRight IntentionProbability of SuccessLast ResortMacro ProportionalityJus Ad BellumSlide22


Micro - ProportionalityMilitary NecessityFair Treatment of POW’sMeans Malum in Se

Jus in BelloSlide23

Just Cause for Termination

Right IntentionPublic Declaration and AuthorityDiscriminationProportionalityJus Post BellumSlide24

Who Decides?

Hindsight or Foresight?Are these yes/no issues?Does Context Matter?What is the value of these criteria?By What Standard?Slide25

Just Cause

Comparative JusticeCompetent AuthorityRight IntentionProbability of SuccessLast ResortProportionalityJus Ad BellumSlide26

The damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain;

“Pure” self defense (invasion)Non-intrusive defense (attacked)Retaliatory AttackAnticipatory Defense? Collective Self Defense (to aid another who was attacked)“Pure” Collective Intervention (to evict a foreign power who is invading)Just Cause (1st

of 6)Slide27

UN Charter Authorizes TWO bases:

Chapter VII Enforcement ActionsSelf Defense – Article 51IndividualCollective& compliance w/ domestic laws

Just Cause Today:Slide31

Last Resort (2 of 6)

All other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective;Discussion cases:Iraq-Kuwait?Bosnia?Rwanda?

Iraq II?Slide32

A war is just only if it is waged by a legitimate authority. Even just causes cannot be served by actions taken by individuals or groups who do not constitute an authority sanctioned by whatever the society and outsiders to the society deem legitimate.

Proper Authority (3 of 6)Slide33

The ultimate goal of a just war is to re-establish peace. More specifically, the peace established after the war must be preferable to the peace that would have prevailed if the war had not been fought

A state must only pursue a war under the conditions agreed upon in the above criteria. Revenge is not permitted. The state must also be willing to apply the same level of objectivity and investigation into any war crimes its armed forces may have committed.Right Intention(4 of 6)Slide34

A war can only be just if it is fought with a reasonable chance of success.

Deaths and injury incurred in a hopeless cause are not morally justifiable.Likelihood of Success (5 of 6)Slide35

The violence used in the war must be proportional to the injury suffered. States are prohibited from using force not necessary to attain the limited objective of addressing the injury suffered.

Q: Does this control only actions vis-à-vis the other, or towards one’s own population as well?Proportionality to Means (6 of 6)Slide36

So, Where Does that Leave Us?

So What about Cyber – War?Closing the Straights of Hormuz?Drone Surveillance?Espionage?

Killing of Iranian Scientists?

Killing of Drone maintenance crews?Slide37

U.S. v Plenty HorsesSlide38

U.S. v.

Wirtz (Andersonville)Slide39

U.S. v B.G. SmithSlide40


Thang + Private SchwarzSlide41

Major Edwin Glenn

+ Waterboarding