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Counterinsurgency LawNew Directions in Asymmetric Warfare$
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William Banks

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199941445

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199941445.001.0001

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Two Sides of the Combatant Coin

Two Sides of the Combatant Coin

Untangling Direct Participation in Hostilities from Belligerent Status in Noninternational Armed Conflicts

Chapter:
(p.58) 4 Two Sides of the Combatant Coin
Source:
Counterinsurgency Law
Author(s):

Geoffrey Corn

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199941445.003.0004

This chapter examines who may be targeted in non-international armed conflicts (NIAC) in the context of contemporary counterinsurgency operations against non-state belligerents. It analyzes the International Committee of the Red Cross's (ICRC) study called Interpretative Guidance on the Meaning of Direct Participation in Hostilities (DPH Study), which endorses the concept of “continuous combat function” (CCF) as a means of establishing direct participation in hostilities. The chapter first considers the law of armed conflict's categorization of civilians and belligerents before turning to a discussion of organizational membership and the implications of subordination to command and control for belligerents and civilians in any armed conflict. It then explains the difference between status- and conduct-based targeting and why the use of conduct undermines the extension of the DPH rule to define enemy belligerent forces. It presents a proposal of how to reconcile the DPH Study with status-based targeting presumptions to maintain the distinction between civilians and belligerents.

Keywords:   non-international armed conflicts, counterinsurgency, non-state belligerents, International Committee of the Red Cross, DPH Study, continuous combat function, law of armed conflict, civilians, status-based targeting

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