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The Principle of Proportionality: ‘Force Protection’ as a Military Advantage

  • Robin Geiss (a1)

‘Force protection’ is a primary concern of every military commander. Undoubtedly, it is an important and legitimate factor in the planning of every attack. However, when it comes to the humanitarian proportionality principle there is considerable controversy over the question to what extent ‘force protection’ can be factored into the humanitarian proportionality calculus as a relevant military advantage to be weighed against expected civilian casualties, injuries and damage. This question is pursued in this article.

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Michael N Schmitt , ‘Asymmetrical Warfare and International Humanitarian Law’ in Wolff Heintschel von Heinegg and Volker Epping (eds), International Humanitarian Law Facing New Challenges (Springer 2007) 11

Asa Kasher and Amos Yadlin , ‘Military Ethics of Fighting Terror: An Israeli Perspective’ (2005) 4 Journal of Military Ethics 3, 18

Ian Henderson , The Contemporary Law of Targeting: Military Objectives, Proportionality and Precautions in Attack under Additional Protocol I (Martinus Nijhoff2009)

Ove Bring , ‘International Humanitarian Law after Kosovo: Is Lex Lata Sufficient?’ (2002) 71 Nordic Journal of International Law 39, 47

Stefan Oeter , ‘Collateral Damages – Military Necessity and the Right to Life’ in Christian Tomuschat , Evelyne Lagrange and Stefan Oeter (eds), The Right to Life (Martinus Nijhoff2010) 167

Burrus M Carnahan , ‘Lincoln, Lieber and the Laws of War: The Origins and Limits of the Principle of Military Necessity’ (1998) 92 American Journal of International Law 213, 213, 231

Gabriella Blum , ‘The Dispensable Lives of Soldiers’ (2010) 2 Journal of Legal Analysis 69, 78

George H Aldrich , ‘Prospects for United States Ratification of Additional Protocol I to the 1949 Geneva Conventions’ (1991) 85 American Journal of International Law 1

Judith G Gardam , ‘Proportionality and Use of Force in International Law’ (1993) 87 American Journal of International Law 391, 410

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Israel Law Review
  • ISSN: 0021-2237
  • EISSN: 2047-9336
  • URL: /core/journals/israel-law-review
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