A Critical Appraisal of the Air and Missile Warfare Manual

By Paust, Jordan J. | Texas International Law Journal, Spring 2012 | Go to article overview

A Critical Appraisal of the Air and Missile Warfare Manual


Paust, Jordan J., Texas International Law Journal


SUMMARY

I. DELIMITING AND DYSFUNCTIONAL DEFINITIONS ...................................... ....278

A. Attack .......................................................................................................... .278

B. International Armed Conflict ..................................................................... 279

II. RESTRICTIVE, REGRESSIVE, AND REPREHENSIBLE RULES ........................... 282

A. Loss of Protection for Civilians and Civilian Aircraft. ........................ ....282

B, United Nations Forces Are Bound by the Laws of War ..........................288

C. The Absolute Prohibition of Terroristic Targetings of the Civilian Population.............................................................289

D. Legitimate Self-Defense Prevails Over Neutrality ....................................290

CONCLUSION ................................................................................................................... 291

My task during this symposial discourse is to offer a critical appraisal of the Manual on International Law Applicable to Air and Missile Warfare (AMW Manual).1 Although the AMW Manual was adopted by consensus after "extensive consultations" among a notable group of experts over a six-year period2 and allegedly "restates current applicable law,"3 there are a number of provisions that do not reflect current international law (especially the laws of war), are highly problematic and, if actually implemented, could result in war crime responsibility. Additionally, there are a number of provisions that are too limiting in their reach or focus or too inattentive to developments in the laws of war.

I. DELIMITING AND DYSFUNCTIONAL DEFINITIONS

A. Attack

The first set of troubling provisions is in the section on definitions. Instead of analyzing each definition offered, the focus here will be on those that are patently problematic. The first troublesome definition is the definition of "attack," an important conditioning or contextually limiting word that is used throughout the AMW Manual. An attack is defined in the AMW Manual as "an act of violence, whether in offence or in defence."4 It is problematic because limiting the word "attack" to an act of violence is too restrictive, archaic, and insufficiently related to other provisions of the AMW Manual. For example, use of the limiting word "violence" in the general definition of attack is facially inconsistent with the AMW Manual's definition of "computer network attack," which is otherwise sensible and addresses "operations to manipulate, disrupt, deny, degrade or destroy information ... or the computer network itself, or to gain control over the computer or computer network."5 Presumably, computer jamming and disarmament would be covered by the definition of "computer network attack," but would not constitute an attack under the general definition and, therefore, wherever the word "attack" appears without the conditioning phrase "computer network." Similarly, the redirection or destruction of foreign aircraft and missiles through computer hacking and control (which are not acts of violence) would not constitute an "attack" even if there were violent consequences. For the same reason, the definition of "attack" is inconsistent with the AMW Manual's definition of "electronic warfare," which is defined as "any military action involving the use of electromagnetic and directed energy to control the electromagnetic spectrum or to attack the enemy,"6 although the phrase "or to attack" found in this definition is presumably limited by the general definition of "attack" noted above.

Also inconsistent is the AMW Manual's rule 6. It rightly recognizes the absolute prohibition of the use of certain weapons during air or missile combat operations, including any use of "[biological, including bacteriological, weapons," "[cjhemical weapons," and "[pjoison, poisoned substances and poisoned weapons. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

A Critical Appraisal of the Air and Missile Warfare Manual
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.