Specifically vague : the defensive purpose of the DoD Law of War Manual
The United States Department of Defense Law of War Manual : commentary and critique
Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2018
This chapters suggests that what US military commanders and their legal advisors needed (and wanted) was for the manual to provide specific guidance as to the law of armed conflict (LOAC) applicable to US armed forces during non-international armed conflict (NIAC).This chapters assesses how effectively the Manual met its stated purpose to "provide information on the law of war to DoD personnel responsible for implementing the law of war and executing military operations" as applied to two important issues in NIAC : customary international law (CIL) and detention. Section 2 of this chapter highlights the gap the Manual needed to fill as the result of the limited LOAC that applies to NIAC. Section 3 and 4 explain why the Manual's guidance on CIL and detention respectively is too general to meaningfully inform those executing military operations. Section 5 details internal and external factors that limited, or perhaps prevented, the Manual's ability to better meet its purpose.
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