International law and military strategy : changes in the strategic operating environment
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Journal of national security law and policy, Vol 9, no. 1, 2017, p. 1-27
The thesis of this paper is that developments in international humanitarian law (IHL) are introducing fundamental changes to the international strategic operating environment, primarily by challenging the principle of sovereignty. The analysis is not intended to judge whether or not this trend is politically desirable, but to recognize that lethal force is but one of many factors affecting outcomes in war. Strategists and policymakers must understand the legal dynamics that are exerting an increasingly powerful influence on the legitimate use of violence. This paper will examine some of the unintended consequences of trends in international law that are likely to increasingly affect strategy. The author concludes by observing that waning principles of sovereignty require the state to adapt to the changing international legal operating environment by more effectively wielding humanitarian law.