Accession Number : ADA308935

Title :   The Obligation to Protect Human Rights. A New Legal Requirement for Commanders?

Descriptive Note : Research rept.,

Corporate Author : ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA

Personal Author(s) : Hall, Warren D., III

PDF Url : ADA308935

Report Date : 12 MAR 1996

Pagination or Media Count : 39

Abstract : Since the end of the Cold War the U.S. military has conducted an increasing number of military operations which are not, for purposes of legal analysis, within the commonly-recognized category of international armed conflicts. Joint Staff and Army publications detail the complexity and diversity of these operations. This paper deals with those which fall within the category of 'peace operations.' The wide variety of these 'new' operations has led to a thorough and dramatic review of operational doctrine. Surprisingly, however, there has not been a concomitant and equally thorough review of the law applicable to them. That legal analysis which has occurred has started with the premise that international humanitarian law must apply to peace operations. This paper examines international human rights law, which some contend may be applicable to these operations, and assesses the potential impact this body of law may have on deployed U.S. forces. The subject poses an interesting issue for commanders and soldiers: Are U.S. forces legally obligated to adhere to international human rights laws and to enforce them during peace operations? The thesis of this paper is they are not. Although operational planners and commanders should consider human rights when preparing and conducting peace operations, and must prepare to use agencies, such as nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), to redress any human rights abuses, they are under no legal obligation to monitor, investigate, or correct human rights abuses other than those committed by members of their units.

Descriptors :   *MILITARY STRATEGY, *MILITARY DOCTRINE, *LAW ENFORCEMENT, *INTERNATIONAL LAW, *LEGAL DEFENSE, MILITARY OPERATIONS, MILITARY REQUIREMENTS, LEADERSHIP, PEACETIME, ARMY PERSONNEL, HUMANS, THESES, COLD WAR, CONFLICT, HUMAN RELATIONS, MILITARY LAW.

Subject Categories : Administration and Management
      Government and Political Science
      Sociology and Law

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE