“Collateral damage” is defined in U.S. military documents as “Unintentional or incidental injury or damage to persons or objects that would not be lawful military targets in the circumstances ruling at the time. Such damage is not unlawful so long as it is not excessive in light of the overall military advantage anticipated from the attack.” This chapter differentiates three types of collateral damage: genuine accident; systemic, and proportionality/double effect killing. Systemic collateral damage, a key concept of the book, is civilian killing that though unintended is foreseeable. Proportionality/double effect collateral damage is foreseen and accepted as price for achieving a goal perceived as militarily necessary. The chapter shows why collateral damage of all types should be of concern.
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