Military Necessity


Military necessity is a principle in international humanitarian law that permits the use of force and other military actions that are considered essential to accomplish a legitimate military objective. It is based on the recognition that, in times of armed conflict, certain actions may be necessary to defeat the enemy or protect the lives of military personnel.

According to the laws and customs of war, military necessity allows combatants to take actions that are otherwise prohibited under normal circumstances, as long as those actions are proportionate and do not cause unnecessary suffering or harm. The principle of military necessity seeks to strike a balance between achieving military objectives and minimizing the humanitarian impact of armed conflict.

However, it is important to note that military necessity is not an absolute license to engage in any action during wartime. It is subject to other principles of international humanitarian law, such as the principles of distinction, proportionality, and humanity. These principles require that combatants distinguish between civilians and combatants, that the military advantage gained from an action is proportional to the expected harm to civilians or civilian objects, and that unnecessary suffering is avoided.

In summary, military necessity recognizes that some actions are necessary to achieve military goals, but those actions must still adhere to the principles of distinction, proportionality, and humanity to ensure the protection of civilians and the minimization of unnecessary suffering in armed conflicts.

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