War, Technology, and International Humanitarian Law
As norms governing war become outdated, law is reinterpreted, ignored, or discarded. This report analyses how war and law are likely to react to one another in the near future.
The report discusses how current weapons development programs and overall trends in technology influence international humanitarian law (IHL) in three respects;
- First, such technologies exacerbate the asymmetry that already challenges some key IHL principles.
- Second, they complicate efforts to distinguish combatants and other military objectives from civilians and civilian objects.
- Third, modern technology empowers militaries to avoid collateral damage, incidental injuries and mistaken attacks. As it does so, however, expectations that endanger current understandings of IHL are surfacing regarding casualties.