All posts by Eric W. Widmar

Major, US Army and Military Professor of International Law and Associate Director for the Law of Land Warfare, Stockton Center for the Study of International Law, US Naval War College. The author served four tours in Afghanistan as the senior legal advisor to a joint special operations task force and one tour in Iraq as a legal advisor to a US Army Airborne Infantry Brigade. The views expressed are those of the author in his personal capacity.

“On Target”: Precision & Balance in the Contemporary Law of Targeting

Schmitt and Widmar explore the law of targeting within international humanitarian law (IHL) and its application to international and non-international armed conflict. The article examines the “five elements” of a target operation, including the target, the weapon used, the execution of the attack, possible collateral damage and incidental injury, and location of the strike. The authors suggest that a better understanding of these norms can help international lawyers, policymakers, and operators avoid violations of international law by creating appropriate and well-known boundaries for targeting operations.