Extraterritorial law enforcement or transnational counterterrorist military operations : the stakes of two legal models
Geoffrey S. Corn
New battlefields, old laws : critical debates on asymmetric warfare
New York : Columbia University Press, 2011
This chapter challenges the dominant theory that military operations against transnational terrorist groups that do not fall neatly within statecentric conflict categories must be treated as extraterritorial law enforcement activities. It argues that international humanitarian law is the more appropriate and logical regulatory framework for military operations involving the use of combat power based on an inherent invocation of the principle of military objective, including those beset by regulatory uncertainty when they fall outside accepted law-triggering categories derived from Articles 2 and 3 of the Geneva Conventions. The second stage in the argument for extending the law-of-war framework to counterterror military operations invokes an important but little-known U.S. military policy based on an exemplary use of humanitarian-law principles - even when the enemy is a nonstate entity with no link to the state in which it operates.