The concept of proportionality : old questions and new ambiguities
Just war theory : a reappraisal
Edinburgh : Edinburgh University Press, 2005
p. 93-113 : tabl.
Jus in bello has traditionally insisted upon proportionality in the use of force and it is a longstanding criticism of the theory that this stipulation is both difficult to quantify in theory and apply in practice. It has been contended that new forms of warfare have exacerbated these problems to the point at which the utility of the proportionality requirement needs to be questioned. This chapter takes up this challenge, analysing the requirement in both just war theory and international law. Its understanding and operation in the 21st century “wars on terror” in Afghanistan and Iraq are studied in detail. While the contemporary problems in understanding “proportionality” are indeed vexing, what is required is not abandonment of the stipulation but careful and context-sensitive judgments to inform its application in the evolving circumstances of modern, “new” warfare.