Fair and Balanced: Should the Media Now be Considered a Legitimate Military Target Under the Law of Armed Conflict
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
Pagination or Media Count:
The law of armed conflict requires combatants to distinguish between the civilian population and civilian objects, and military objectives with attacks only permitted against the latter. This principle of distinction becomes more difficult when objects are used for both civilian and military purposes. During Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, the media constituted such a dual use. Through the process of embedding, the mass media provided unprecedented coverage of the war, often in real-time, to an international audience. However, the media also provided a definite military advantage to the United States which used it to achieve important objectives, including the mobilization of domestic support for the war and information- leveraging purposes, such as influencing the perceptions of the adversarys leadership, countering their misinformation attempts and undermining its will to resist. Consequently, this paper argues that the modern media should be considered a legitimate military target under the law of armed conflict.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics