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Unnecessary Suffering. Proportionality DOD Report –By placing a heavy burden on attackers, the modern LOW creates a perverse incentive for defenders to.

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Presentation on theme: "Unnecessary Suffering. Proportionality DOD Report –By placing a heavy burden on attackers, the modern LOW creates a perverse incentive for defenders to."— Presentation transcript:

1 Unnecessary Suffering

2 Proportionality DOD Report –By placing a heavy burden on attackers, the modern LOW creates a perverse incentive for defenders to violate distinction and wage “lawfare” Jus in Bello Proportionality Today –Different than human rights and jus ad bellum proportionality –Three perspectives: 1) Target, 2) Means/Method, 3) Conduct (timing, warning etc.) –Requires commander to balance “force protection” concerns with collateral damage concerns –Standard: would a reasonable commander in the commander’s circumstances view the incidental effects as excessive compared to the concrete and direct military advantage (requires “complete good faith”) –Different application in COIN? “A slightly ambiguous protective provision is preferable to none at all” ~ Solis

3 Unnecessary Suffering The Concept of Unnecessary Suffering Application: –Expanding Bullets –Shotguns –XM 107 Long Range Sniper Rifle –40 mm Thermobaric Rounds –LRAD –Robots and Drones Agenda

4 The Concept of Unnecessary Suffering

5 History 1139 – Crossbows outlawed as “Un- Christian” 1863 – Lieber code – No suffering for the sake of suffering 1899 – “Dum-Dum” bullets

6 Unnecessary Suffering “it is especially forbidden – (e.) To employ arms, projectiles, or material calculated to cause unnecessary suffering;” ~ 1907 Hague IV, Art 23 (e) “Propres a causer des maux superflus” -“of a nature to cause” vs. -“calculated to cause” Prohibition

7 Unnecessary Suffering “It is prohibited to employ weapons, projectiles and material and methods of warfare of a nature to cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering.” ~ AP 1, Art 35 (2) Note: Since 1974, we do this to implement Hague 23(e), even though we haven’t ratified AP-I AP I Restatement

8 Unnecessary Suffering The principle of unnecessary suffering, the obverse of military necessity, is intended to restrain the suffering inflicted on opposing combatants, rather than civilians. “Warfare…justifies subjecting an enemy to massive and decisive force, and the suffering that it brings. Military necessity justifies the infliction of suffering upon an enemy combatant…[H]owever…military necessity only justifies the infliction of as much suffering as is necessary to bring about the submission of an enemy. And Military Necessity

9 Unnecessary Suffering “In the study, development, acquisition or adoption of a new weapon…a High Contracting Party is under an obligation to determine whether its employment would…be prohibited by this Protocol…” ~ AP 1, Art 36 Effects are weighed against other lawful weapons. Weapons

10 1980 Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW)

11 As Amended by 1996:

12 Ottawa Applies ONLY to anti-personnel mines. Effort led by NGO’s Would require elimination of all anti- personnel mines. US is a persistent objector (we have trended towards a no use of “persistent” landmines policy)

13 CPW V – Explosive Remnants of War US is a signatory

14 Unnecessary Suffering (1) whether the weapon causes suffering that is needless, superfluous, or disproportionate to the military advantage reasonably expected from the use of the weapon (2) whether the weapon is capable of being controlled so as to be directed against a lawful target—not indiscriminate in its effect (3) whether there is a specific rule of law prohibiting its use in the law of armed conflict. The Standard? See Memorandum, Office of the Judge Advocate General of the Navy International and Operational Law, to Commandant of the Marine Corps, subject: Legal Review of 40mm Rubber/Foam Rubber Multiple Baton/BeanBag/Wood Multiple Baton Rounds (30 Jan. 1995)

15 What is prohibited is the design or modification and employment of a weapon for the purpose of causing suffering beyond that required by military necessity. In conducting the balancing test necessary to determine a weapon’s legality, the effects of a weapon cannot be weighed in isolation. They must be examined against comparable weapons in use on the modern battlefield and the military necessity for the weapon under consideration.

16 Unnecessary Suffering The ICRC project SIrUS seeks to objectively quantify the unnecessary suffering or superfluous injury principle. It proposes a novel medical approach to determine the lawfulness of a weapon based solely upon that weapon’s health-effects on the human body. SIRUS Project

17 Unnecessary Suffering (1) disease, other than that resulting from physical trauma from explosions or projectiles; or (2) abnormal physiological state, specific abnormal psychological state other than the expected response to trauma from explosions or projectiles); or, (3) permanent disability specific to the kind of weapon (with the exception of the effects of point-detonated antipersonnel mines); or, (4) disfigurement specific to the kind of weapon; or, (5) inevitable or virtually inevitable death in the field (more than 22%) or hospital mortality level more than 5%; or, (6) grade 3 wounds (as measured by the Red Cross wound classification) (among those who survive to hospital less than 10% had grade 3 wounds); or, (7) effects for which there is no well-recognized and proven medical treatment which can be applied in a well-equipped field hospital SIRUS Project

18 Weapons Review DoDD 5000.01 - The Defense Acquisition System (“[t]he acquisition and procurement of DoD weapons and weapon systems shall be consistent with all applicable domestic law and treaties and international agreements…customary international law, and the law of armed conflict (also known as the laws and customs of war.))” As a result, any proposed “weapon” has to be “reviewed by the service [Judge Advocate General] or DoD General Council for legality under the Law of War.

19 Weapons Review DoDD 3000.3 - requires “a legal review of the acquisition of all non-lethal weapons.” This should be done to “ensure consistency with the obligations assumed by the U.S. Government under all applicable treaties, with customary international law, and, in particular, the laws of war.”

20 Art 36 of AP I Requires legal review of “new weapons” “In the study, development, acquisition or adoption of a new weapon, means or method of warfare, a High Contracting Party is under an obligation to determine whether its employment would, in some or all circumstances, be prohibited by this Protocol or by any other rule of international law applicable to the High Contracting Party.”

21 Law of War Handbook The legal review conducted will “often focus on whether the employment of the weapon or munition for its normal or expected use inevitably would cause injury or suffering manifestly disproportionate to its military effectiveness.”

22 Weapons: Legal Review LEGAL REVIEW: DEPSECDEF Memo, 30 Oct 2002; AR 27-53; AFI 51-402; SECNAVINST 5711.8A The test: Is the acquisition and procurement of the weapon consistent with all applicable treaties, customary international law, and the law of armed conflict?

23 Application: Expanding Bullets

24 Bullets: Design 1. The actual bullet 2. Casing/shell/cartridge 3. Powder 4. Rim 5. Primer

25 1899 Hague (IV,3) Expanding Bullets Aimed at the dum-dum bullet “bullets which expand or flatten easily in the human body, such as bullets with hard envelope which does not entirely cover the core or is pierced with incisions”

26 The Human Target: Incapacitation Physiological Factors: brain & spinal cord, blood loss (>25%) Psychological Factors: +/-, awareness of injury; fear of injury, death, blood, or pain; intimidation (weapon or act); preconceived notions; or the simple desire to quit; drugs. Physical Factors: insignificant. “Knock-down” myth (baseball).

27 The Human Target The only way to consistently and immediately incapacitate a human with a gunshot wound is through the disruption or destruction of the brain or upper spinal cord. Otherwise, incapacitation is subject to a random host of variables, the most important of which are beyond the control of the shooter.

28 Bullets: Wounding Mechanisms 1.Penetration. The tissue through which the projectile passes and disrupts or destroys in passing. 2.Permanent Cavity. This is the volume of space once occupied by tissue that has been destroyed by the passage of the projectile. It is a function of penetration and the frontal area of the projectile. Quite simply, it is the hole left by the passage of the bullet. 3.Temporary Cavity. This is the expansion of the permanent cavity by stretching due to the transfer of kinetic energy during the projectile‘s passage. 4.Fragmentation. Projectile pieces or secondary fragments of bone which are impelled outward from the permanent cavity and may sever muscle tissues, blood vessels, etc., apart from the permanent cavity. Fragmentation is not necessarily present in every projectile wound. It may or may not occur and should be considered a secondary effect.

29 Wound Profile




33 The “Hijacking” of HP Bullets & Why it is Time to Relook the Ban 1.1899 Hague Declaration (IV, 3) Concerning Expanding Bullets was a politically motivated action by Britain’s European rivals and was based on a wholly inaccurate German experiment and sensational press coverage. 2.In current operating environment of urban combat, hollow point bullets may help reduce collateral damage: more lethal, less “pass-through”, fewer shots.

34 Application: The Combat Shotgun



37 Application: New Shotgun Shells



40 Application: Long Range Sniper Rifle



43 Application: Thermobaric Rounds m8&feature=related

44 Application: Long Range Acoustic Device

45 Don’t Call it a Weapon - Them’s Fightin’ Words The Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD)

46 1998 – Preliminary Legal Review of Acoustic Energy NLW Systems Conducted by the DoN, OJAG, International & Operational Law Division at the request of the JNLWP. Did not “describe any specific weapon or weapon system.” Rather, the review acknowledged that additional legal reviews would be required at a later date when a specific acoustic device, like the LRAD, was identified. Examined acoustic technologies in the realm of the LoW and reviewed whether suffering caused by an acoustic device would be needless, superfluous, or “disproportionate to the military advantage reasonably expected” from use; whether it could be used in a discriminate manner in order to minimize risk to civilians not taking a direct part in hostilities; and finally, “whether there is a specific rule of law or treaty provision prohibiting the weapon’s acquisition or use.” The review concluded, “there are no legal barriers to the development”

47 1998 – Preliminary Legal Review of Acoustic Energy NLW Systems (cont.) Examined suffering vs. military utility/necessity The necessity was “potential use as a NLW, and the military benefits” that would result “The more effective the technologies from a military standpoint, the more difficult it becomes to state that any suffering caused by the use of a weapon “clearly outweighs” its military utility.”

48 1998 – Preliminary Legal Review of Acoustic Energy NLW Systems (cont.) Looked at current practice and history of comparable “wounding mechanisms.” Focused on potential for permanent hearing loss (permanent injury ≠ unnecessary suffering) Not an uncommon disability on the battlefield In addition, chances are remote (based on ongoing testing and research) Passes the “unnecessary suffering” test


50 2007 – Full-Spectrum Effects Platform/Sherriff; Final Legal Review Conducted by the DoA, OTJAG The LRAD, “when used in the manner proscribed, will not cause permanent damage to the ear or hearing loss.” Acknowledge that the LRAD had the capability of being “employed with the intent to cause discomfort to the listener.” This type of use would convert the LRAD from being only a “communication” device, to becoming a non-lethal weapon. The LRAD, to date, has merely been used as a “hail and warning device,” and therefore, not been considered a non- lethal weapon. Should the LRAD be employed with the intent to cause discomfort to the listener, it would be considered a non- lethal weapon, but because the discomfort is well short of permanent damage to the ear, it does not violate the legal threshold of ‘superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering.’”



53 “The machine has no feelings, it feels no fear and no hope. It operates according to the pure logic of probability. For this reason I assert that the robot perceives more accurately than man.” Max Frisch Questions?






59 Autonomous? Tomahawk ALCM Stanley Landmines

60 Robotic Evolution Human Decision Robot Autonomy /Intelligence 0% 100% 0% 100% Pure Teleoperation Obstacle Detection Obstacle Avoidance Road Following Feature Identification Target Recognition Route Planning Adaptive Behaviors Situational Awareness Mission Planning

61 Three Fundamental Rules of Robotics: One, a robot may not injure a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. Two, a robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. And three, a robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws. Isaac Asimov, Astounding Science Fiction March 1942

62 The Great Robot Race (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Grand Challenge) “Robots don't see the world like humans do, at least not yet. They don't recognize discrete objects and have little common sense – that it’s better to drive over a bush than a rock, for instance.” Jason Spingarn-Koff Distinction Issue?

63 Technology / Unnecessary Suffering Robots are here –Extensive use in Iraq Lots of success stories! –Becoming more and more autonomous –Endless possibilities Have we thought through the consequences??? Moore’s law v. Murphy’s law and the nature of war Where does the law fit in? –The law of war Its unique nature makes this even more of a challenge –Discrimination / Distinction? Unnecessary suffering and legal review requirement –Accountability issues Concluding Observations

64 Recommendations (Based upon current state of the law) Keep humans in the loop Find someone to blame (or at least figure the robotic fallibility into the targeting equation) Have military pilots/operators Start thinking about this topic and its legalities (a JA issue as much as a commander’s issue) Keep using robots on the battlefield

65 Unnecessary Suffering The Concept of Unnecessary Suffering –“Inherently subjective” concept that protects combatants –Focus is on weapons – can’t be used in a manner “calculated to cause” unnecessary suffering –“The obverse of military necessity;” Std: unnecessary suffering can’t be disproportionate to military advantage Applications: Expanding Bullets and LRAD –Expanding bullets and the problems with weapons bans –Importance of Weapons Review Process –Be careful what you call a weapon Autonomous Military Robots? –Lots of concerns from a legal review standpoint (especially distinction/discrimination) Concluding Observations

66 Distinction / Proportionality Distinction / Discrimination the “grandfather principle” in the law of war 21 st Century Contexts strain its application –“The battlefield is omnipresent” ~ Chinese Colonels –“Haves v. Have-nots” and Assymetry ~ Schmitt Bad guys can’t follow the LOW if they want to survive and the good guys don’t follow the LOW because it’s too liberal –““Any use of force generates a series of reactions.” ~ COIN Manual –“[A]ll that matters is that, despite our best efforts, sometimes we take the very lives we are trying to protect.” ~ Adm Mullen Proportionality Balancing –It’s the commander responsibility! –“Reasonable man” standard Reasonable efforts (“everything feasible”) to determine expected collateral damage Must also be able to articulate “concrete and direct” military advantage –Legal Advisors playing important role in this balancing Review

67 Humanity / Unnecessary Suffering It is especially forbidden... To employ arms, projectiles or materials calculated to cause unnecessary suffering. FM 27-10, para. 34, Hague Convention IV, art. 23(e). Intent Test –Note: an otherwise legal weapon can be used in an illegal manner

68 Humanity / Unnecessary Suffering HR art. 23(e) - Prohibition on superfluous injury and unnecessary suffering AP I, art. 36: before any new weapon, means, or method of war, is employed, states are obligated to determine whether such employment is prohibited by international law All weapons must undergo a legal review before employment

69 Extra Slides (For Use as a Resource)

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