The nature of contemporary operations in Afghanistan reflect the complexities of their environment, particularly in the field of terrorism and insurgency and the reaction of states in combating those (new) forms of violence, generally referred to as counterterrorism (hereinafter CT) and counterinsurgency (hereinafter COIN). Whereas the complexity of this new environment is well recognized, there is however disparity in the international community on how to respond to those threats, varying from law enforcement (preventing, detecting and bringing terrorists to justice) to full scale war, or a combination thereof. Nevertheless, recognizing that terrorism constitutes one of the most serious threats against peace and security, the UN Security Council has recalled on different occasions the need to combat terrorism in accordance with applicable international law, including international humanitarian law and international human rights law. The aim of this paper is to analyze the rules applicable in COIN operations in Afghanistan.
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