Back to the basics : core law of war principles through the lens of the DoD Manual
The United States Department of Defense Law of War Manual : commentary and critique
Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2018
This chapter reviews chapter II of the United States Department of Defense law of war manual which is entitled "Principles". The law of war principles of military necessity and humanity are not specific but must underpin all military action taken during all aspects of armed conflict. They provide the foundation for other law of war principles, namely proportionality and distinction and most of the treaty and customary rules of international humanitarian law. The wording of the manual is analyzed and compared with the interpretation made by international courts and tribunals. The author concludes that the principles are presented in a style that is practical and comprehensible for all members of the armed services to follow.