Applying the U.S. and ICRC standards for direct participation in hostilities to civilian support of U.S. military operations
Host item entries:
The Air Force law review, Vol. 79, 2018, p. 54-120
Jay C. Jackson
This article applies the ICRC and U.S. interpretations of direct participation in hostilities to various acts undertaken every day by civilians in support of U.S. military operations. Part II reviews the foundations of international humanitarian law protecting civilians in armed conflict. Part III introduces the concept of direct participation in hostilities, and sets forth both the ICRC and DoD interpretations of that phrase. In Part IV, these standards are applied to various activities performed by civilians in support of U.S. military activities including (1) operators of remotely-piloted aircraft, (2) civilians engaged in military operations in cyberspace, and (3) civilians providing various “combat support services” to the U.S. military. Part IV then examines differences in the ICRC and DoD standards and explores how the nature and timing of the acts, as well as their geographic proximity to the battlefield, may cause civilians to lose their protection from being attacked as a military target.