Journal of Military Ethics 3 (1):27-39 (2004)

Michael Skerker
United States Naval Academy
This article applies jus in bello criteria to a relatively novel tactic in asymmetrical warfare: the attempt by a conventionally weaker force to shape the conditions of combat so that the (morally scrupulous) stronger force cannot advance without violating the rules of war. The weaker side accomplishes this by placing its own civilian population before the attacking force: by encouraging or forcing civilians to be human shields, by launching attacks from civilian areas, by provoking reprisal massacres, by creating humanitarian disasters, and by secreting military targets in civilian neighborhoods. This set of tactics is introduced with historical examples taken from recent conflicts in the Balkans and the Middle East. The paper argues that the doctrine of double effect is largely inapplicable to these tactics due to their publicity-seeking nature; that enemy war crimes do not reciprocally release the attacker from his moral obligations; and that responsibility for vulnerable civilians devolves to anyone with the power to offer them protection. Specific tactical recommendations are generated for situations where the deployment of this tactic can be anticipated, for situations where the attacker is and is not immediately imperiled by its use, and in situations where attempts at discrimination are futile
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DOI 10.1080/15027570310004636
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References found in this work BETA

Anarchy, State, and Utopia.Robert Nozick - 1974 - New York: Basic Books.
Can Modern War Be Just?[author unknown] - 1984 - Journal of Religious Ethics 12 (2):279-280.

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Citations of this work BETA

Human Shields.Banu Bargu - 2013 - Contemporary Political Theory 12 (4):277-295.
A Question of Identity: The Use of Torture in Asymmetric War.Joe Santucci - 2008 - Journal of Military Ethics 7 (1):23-40.

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