Totality of the Circumstances: The DOD Law of War Manual & the Evolving Notion of Direct Participation in Hostilities

Law of War Manual

Major Ryan Krebsbach argues that the US Department of Defense Law of War Manual appropriately balances the need to protect civilians against the necessity of ensuring that individuals do not use the law of armed conflict to escape being lawfully targeted despite their material support for non-State armed forces. In contrast to the narrower definition used by the International Committee of the Red Cross of when a civilian loses immunity from lawful attack, the DoD Law of War Manual reduces the likelihood of unreasonably benefiting and encouraging unlawful belligerency.

By MAJ Ryan Krebsbach

Judge Advocate, U.S. Marine Corps. Currently serving as an Operational Law Attorney at U.S. Pacific Command. LL.M., National Security Law, 2016 (with distinction and Dean’s List honors), Georgetown University Law Center; J.D., 2007, Fordham University School of Law; B.A., 2003, New York University. Admitted to practice law in New York and New Jersey.

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