Gary P. Corn, James H. Dapper, and Winston Williams
U.S. military operations : law, policy, and practice
Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2016
p. 167-207 : diagr.
This chapter provides an overview of the legal architecture that frames deliberate and time-sensitive lethal targeting judgments by military commanders. It includes discussion of both the law of armed conflict, its principles such as precautions and proportionality, and policy restrictions on otherwise lawful attacks imposed by rules of engagement. Of equal importance, it provides an overview of the staff planning process used to reconcile tactical, operational, and strategic objectives with the legal and policy rules regulating the use of combat power. In so doing, it provides the reader with an important insight into not only relevant law, but the methodology of applying this law to actual operations. Finally, the chapter illustrates application of this law and process through a number of hypothetical targeting problems as they work through the targeting cycle.