The Law of Armed Conflict with Regard to the Protection of Civilians
Author(s)Shewchuk, Michael J.
Contributor(s)NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI DEPT OF OPERATIONS
KeywordsSociology and Law
MILITARY FORCES(UNITED STATES)
RULES OF ENGAGEMENT
LOAC(LAW OF ARMED CONFLICT).
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AbstractU.S. Navy Regulation state that a commander shall observe and require his command to observe the principles of international law. This paper reviews the development and current status of the law of armed conflict (LOAC) with regard to the protection of civilians. It also gives specific attention to LOAC as it relates to the development of rules of engagement and the commander's position in the chain of command. Although the subject is legal, the intend is to avoid legalism. The author does not presume to possess a lawyer's expertise. An attempt is made to demonstrate that LOAC is not merely a conglomeration of legal niceties and utopian illusions, having as their primary effect the obstruction of the operational commander. Rather, LOAC is an evolutionary military, moral, and legal attempt to ensure that in the pursuit of victory, commanders do not betray their duty.