Accession Number:

ADA312110

Title:

The Law of Noncombatant Immunity and the Targeting of National Electric Power Systems.

Descriptive Note:

Final rept.,

Corporate Author:

NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

1996-06-14

Pagination or Media Count:

31.0

Abstract:

The targeting of national electric power systems by aerial bombardment or aerospace power is an integral part of a wartime campaign. Destruction or neutralization of an enemys electric power is alleged to have far-reaching strategic and operational effects on the enemys ability to continue the war which extend beyond a mere military impact. However, international law advocates and humanitarians argue that this form of warfare indirectly targets the civilian population because it destroys the civilian life support system and the essential elements of civilian sustenance. They view these reverberating effects as excessive and in violation of the discrimination and proportionality requirements of the international law of noncombatant immunity. The military asserts the concept of military necessity is controlling, and states that the direct and concrete military benefit derived from these types of air operations outweigh the harm to noncombatants and is not excessive in law or fact. These charges were brought to the fore by the U.S.-led Coalition air operations in the Persian Gulf war.

Subject Categories:

  • Electric Power Production and Distribution
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE