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(Dis)Respecting The Law Of Armed Conflict In Asymmetrical Warfare?: A Consequentialist Approach To A Consequentialist Question

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Chapter Summary

The law of armed conflict (LOAC) curbs conflicting parties in their choice of means and methods in war. When the soldiers decision to (dis)respect LOAC is affected or driven by the strategic disadvantages and moral psychological quandaries that arise from the adversarys disrespect, the decision to (dis)respect LOAC comes to have an inherent consequentialist dimension to it. This chapter discusses the soldiers decision making process regarding (dis)respect for the law of armed conflict in a situation of asymmetrical warfare from a consequentialist perspective. It briefly explains the origin, the contents and the principles of the law of armed conflict, including the question of reciprocity and reprisals. The chapter introduces the theory of consequentialism and then frames the question of (non)compliance in a game theoretical model. It suggests a consequentialist approach for commanders, dealing with subordinates who struggle with the question of (dis)respect from a consequentialist perspective.

Keywords: asymmetrical warfare; consequentialism; game theoretical model; law of armed conflict (LOAC)



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