Subterranean Threats

Fighting in the Unknown: Lawful Measures to Neutralize Subterranean Threats

Subterranean operations have been an aspect of warfare since the beginning of recorded history. No longer just the complex tunnel networks facing U.S. forces during the Vietnam conflict, in today’s modern society, infrastructure to support megacities such as subway systems and sewers provide a third dimension for military planners to consider in conflicts.

The need to neutralize such threats is highlighted by Michael Meier as he explores the lawful measures that can be taken to conduct these operations. Meier’s contribution to this understudied subject first sets the stage by reviewing the subterranean domain, then looks at applicable law for subterranean operations, and then finally applies the law to the various methods for neutralizing and destroying tunnels and other subterranean systems.

This overarching summation of the ways to neutralize subterranean threats highlights the extent to which the legal issues in particular require careful consideration by commanders and legal advisors.

Lead Author

Michael Meier
Special Assistant to the Judge Advocate General for Law of War Matters with the Department of the Army.
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