Determining a legitimate target : the dilemma of the decision-maker
Amos N. Guiora
Host item entries:
Texas international law journal, Vol. 47, no. 2, Spring 2012, p. 315-336
Discussion regarding the Manual on International Law Applicable to Air and Missile Warfare (AMW Manual) is particularly relevant to the legitimate target discussion. After all, air and missile warfare is related directly to the legitimate target dilemma. Any analysis of air and missile warfare must include discussion regarding defining a legitimate target and then, subsequently, determining when the individual defined as a legitimate target is, indeed, a legitimate target. In that context, the link between the definition of a legitimate target and the AMW Manual is inexorable. With the primary focus on who is a legitimate target and when the target is legitimate, this Article is organized as follows: Section I offers a “word of caution” in an age of uncertainty; Section II discusses operational counterterrorism; Section III offers a survey of how the term legitimate target has been defined historically and applied in the battlefield; Section IV focuses on the non-state actor and international law; Section V discusses defining the legitimate target; Section VI focuses on the practical application of the legitimate target definition from the commander’s perspective; and the conclusion proposes a road map for both the definition of legitimate target and its application.