Dictionary of military and associated terms : 12 April 2001 (As Amended Through April 2010)
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The fundamental rule is that war should be conducted between armies and each army should only attack the army of the enemy. V-3; see also Handboek Militair , Ministerie van Defensie, , p.
Military Law Manual , , p. According to the US Naval Handbook , combatants and troop concentrations are military objectives. Law of War Decree , , as amended in , Article Insurgents who continuously take part in the armed conflict, as the Taliban in this case, are not civilians but legitimate military objectives which may be lawfully attacked even outside of ongoing armed hostilities.
Command and control
It is not questioned that the armed Taliban fighters who abducted the fuel tankers and who make up a significant part of the victims of the bombing were members of an organized armed group which is a party to the armed conflict. These targets [include] enemy troop concentrations. In , in a report on the use of landmines in the conflicts in El Salvador and Nicaragua, Americas Watch listed the following persons as legitimate military objectives subject to direct attack:.
Section C. Places where armed forces or their materiel are located. Ministries of Army, Navy, Air Force, National Defence, Supply and other organs for the direction and administration of military operations. Section 5. Civilian vessels, aircraft, vehicles and buildings are military objectives if they contain combatants, military equipment or supplies. To the above effect, the significance of the codified text of IX Hague Convention is great and the following provisions should be applied by the belligerents:.
Bombardment only of targets excluded by the prohibition of art.
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A soldier understandably constitutes a military target, as do weapons, bases, installations, airfields and army vehicles. Naturally, locations of military units also form military objectives, e.
Mention must also be made of military aircraft, air bases, communication and radar installations, and storage sites of military equipment. All these objects constitute military objectives, in all circumstances. Whether a road or railway line forms a military objective depends on the military situation in the field.
This applies even more strictly to objects which, by nature, are intended for civilian purposes e. However, these may become military objectives by virtue of their use e. Barracks and stores. Military Criminal Code , , Article 33 1. The Report on the Practice of Algeria states that tanks and munitions and ammunition stores were considered military objectives during the war of independence. The Report on the Practice of Lebanon states that, according to an advisor of the Lebanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, any position used by the occupying army for military purposes is considered a military objective.
Digest of International Law , Vol. Case It also considered houses or any other property leased to foreign military advisers as military objectives. XL, Nos. This view was reiterated in its report on the use of landmines in the conflicts in El Salvador and Nicaragua. Section D.
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Weapons and weapon systems. Enemy warships, military aircraft, auxiliary vessels, and auxiliary aircraft … are legitimate targets and may be attacked.
Such vessels shall be considered civil vessels if they are innocently used in their normal role, comply with identification and visit requirements and do not intentionally hamper the movement of war-ships. The Secretary of State for Defence Mr. Geoffrey Hoon : With permission, Mr. Speaker, I would like to make a statement about military operations to disarm Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction.
President Bush announced at 3. Those attacks were carried out by coalition aircraft and cruise missiles on more than one target in the vicinity of Baghdad, following information relating to the whereabouts of very senior members of the Iraqi leadership. In addition to those attacks, coalition forces yesterday carried out certain preliminary operations against Iraqi artillery, surface-to-surface missiles, and air defence systems within the southern no-fly zone.
Those were prudent preparatory steps, using coalition air capabilities previously used in the no-fly zones, designed to reduce the threat to coalition forces in Kuwait. The protection of our servicemen and women is a matter of paramount importance. Hansard , 20 March , Vol. Section E. Lines and means of communication. Proper objects of attack include, but are not limited to, such military objectives as … lines of communication and other objects used to conduct or support military operations … [and] communications and command and control facilities.
National Defence Act , , Article c. Roads, bridges, railway tracks and telephone lines were preferred targets. It even happened that harvests of important French colonisers were burned or fuel depots used by the French army destroyed … Even the petroleum industry which had barely emerged was not spared. El Moudjahid , Vol. According to the Report on the Practice of Islamic Republic of Iran, radio and television stations were considered military objectives during the Iran—Iraq War.
IDF [Israel Defense Force] operations in Lebanon have also included operations directed against infrastructure and property. These have included:. The guiding principle adopted by the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] was to target only infrastructure that was making a significant contribution to the operational capabilities of the Hizbullah terrorists ….
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Al Manar TV station — Operating as the Hizbullah television station, Al Manar was used to relay messages to terrorists and to incite acts of terrorism. Israel does not have the right to attack them, regardless of their political orientation. Simon Thomas Ceredigion : … Will the Secretary of State confirm that the attacks last night were in residential areas of Baghdad and were, in fact, an attempt to assassinate Saddam Hussein? Will he take this opportunity to spell out in more detail the UK MOD processes for ensuring the protection of civilians in such situations?
What advice is taken and given in order to achieve that? Hoon : The hon. Gentleman probably understands more about the nature of Iraqi society than he is letting on. In the past, we have heard many references to the palaces that the regime has constructed. Those palaces are residential — if the hon. Gentleman chooses to describe them as such — but they are also command and control centres that are operated by leaders of the regime simply because they are afraid of any close contact with their own people.
In reality, those targets are perfectly legitimate military targets because they are the places from which Saddam Hussein exercises command and control over his own people and over weapons of mass destruction. It is entirely consistent with our campaign objectives that such military command and control facilities should be targeted.
George Osborne Tatton : It is clear from the action overnight that the military is targeting Saddam Hussein himself. Should Saddam Hussein be killed or overthrown, would military action cease immediately? If not, how would the Iraqi military bring the conflict to a close? What would it have to say to us to bring the conflict to an end? Hoon : We are pursuing lawful military targets. Clearly, part of that effort is designed to disrupt the command and control of the regime.
As I have said, and as the Prime Minister made clear yesterday, we are seeking to remove weapons of mass destruction from Iraq.
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However, with the expiry of the ultimatum to the regime and to Saddam Hussein, the means of achieving that will be through the removal of the regime. The removal of the regime will be the specific focus of our military operations. Will the Prime Minister tell us what progress is being made to take Iraqi television off air permanently, how successful coalition attempts have been to jam Iraqi radio broadcasts in Iraq, and what methods are being used to pass information to the Iraqi people to let them know that, if and when they rise up, they will be supported?
The Prime Minister: In relation to any military targets, we have to ensure that they have a military objective — that is the legal requirement as well as the stated political objective that we have set. There is no doubt that one of the issues is how we can best communicate with the Iraqi people. That is being urgently looked at. There are different ways in which we can communicate with them, including through people inside Iraq who can tell them exactly what is happening. Hansard , 26 March , Vol. The military campaign is crafted around the principle of minimum use of force.