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Introduction: Th e Challenges of Investigating Operational Incidents

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Chapter Summary

Militaries are organized to prepare for the deployment of, and where necessary to deploy, lethal force to achieve strategic goals. In operational mode, it is generally that lethal capacity, used in an appropriately targetted, disciplined and proportionate way. 'Operational incidents' denotes misconduct, misdeeds or mishaps that occur on operations, whether they concern, for example: the mistreatment of enemy soldiers; offences against civilians; conflict of varying levels within one's own forces; or accidents that lead to injury or death within a theatre of operations. The need for investigating operational incidents is evident, since they are a threat to the good order and functioning of a military that has been given a specific task to accomplish. And if a crime, including a crime against humanity, has been perpetrated justice must be done to the victims and the perpetrators. Operational incidents may reflect on poor training or culture within a military.

Keywords: humanity; lethal force; military; Operational Incidents; victims



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