Understand how International Humanitarian Law applies in operational exercices

16 November 2018 by Ingles 1168 Views
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Application of principles such as distinction, military necessity, limitation and proportionality is observed in trainings such as CRUZEX

International Humanitarian Law, also known as International Law of Armed Conflict is the set of rules, agreed in an international scenario, that organizes and guides signatories military actions in cinflict contexts. Brazil has signed multilateral treaties regarding these questions. Military trainings, as CRUZEX 2018 operational exercise, conducted by the Brazilian Air Force, are executed based on these principles.Colonel André Luiz dos Santos Caldeira, who has took courses and in specialisations on International Law in Italy and Minas Gerais Federal University (UFMG), explains that the exercises are organized in accordance with the principles of Distinction, Military Necessity, Limitation and Proportionality. “All our exercise planning takes those issues into consideration. It is the professional improvement of preparation and use of military power; in the Air Force case, the Air Power”, said the officer, who acts in the Staff of Aeronautics (EMAER).

According to Colonel Caldeira, the International Law of Armed Conflict expresses the international legal framework, aiming to safeguard the life of those that are not directly related to the conflict, also adding the professional organization of means and methods for the Armed Forces employment. “That way, collateral damages – those that inevitable – will be directly connected to the conflict context”, explains.

The principle of Distinction, according to him, emphasizes that the attacks must be strictly restricted to the military goals - “targets” - whose destruction, total or partial, capture or neutralization, offers and efective military advantage in relation to the opponent. “The selection of targets undergoes a thorough analysing process, taking into account the aspects of distinction, considering the target relevance to achieve the mission planned results”, says the colonel.Another principle, Miltiary Necessity, related to the previous principle, emphasizes the idea that “the military power is employed against well-selected and essential targets, to guarantee the success of the planned actions”, says the officer.

The principle of Limitation refers to the fact that the warring parties must observe that not all methods and means are viable in a conflict. There are restrictions, like the use of chemical and biological weapons, for example.

Finally, there is the principle of Proportionality, which is related to the collateral damage caused when the target is reached: the relationship between the necessity of employing the military power against a certain target, the way it will be done and the caused damages is analysed considering this principle.

Colonel Caldeira explains that, even in peacetime, the Air Power employment in actions of sovereignty maintenance of the Brazilian Airspace, observes thoroughly the application of all these principles. “The Brazilian Armed Forces, through military exercises and manoeuvres, are in consonance with the well-established international principles, improving the preparation and employment of military power, and keeping themselves ready and in conditions to act in any kind of scenario”, says him.

Text By: Lieutenant Gabrielli dala Vechia

Photograph: Seargent Johnson and Soldier Wilhan Campos/CECOMSAER

Translation By: Lieutenant Ludmila Milhorance