The original Geneva Conventions laws governing
armed conflict were signed in 1864
There are rules to war, even when it may seem that armed conflict is the height of human chaos. And these rules have an arbiter and adviser in Lt. Col. Jedd Miloud, Staff Judge Advocate of the 302nd Airlift Wing and guest speaker at February’s International Services Lunch and Learn event.
As an Air Force JAG (Judge Advocate General), Miloud has provided legal advice to commanders of the armed forces in discussions of The Law of Armed Conflict, or LOAC. LOAC, as outlined by the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the Additional Protocols of 1977 and 2005, governs the conduct of military personnel during wartime, especially where civilians, property and human suffering are involved. The four principles of LOAC are distinction, military necessity, proportionality and unnecessary suffering, which pertain to the use of military violence and the protection of combatants and non-combatants alike.
Lunch and Learn event was well-attended, and according to the speaker, brought in an energetic and engaged crowd. About 25 attendees came to hear in person, with more attending the phone conference. According to Miloud, interest in the topic is due to current curiosities surrounding ongoing military operations.
“I think since the US has been engaged in armed conflict in one way or another, for a long time now, at least since September 11, the American public is very interested in what’s going on with the US armed forces and coalition partners and how these battles are being waged,” Miloud said. “I think the law of war or the law of armed conflict is an important issue in that discussion, and folks want to see what US forces are doing with respect to the humanitarian side of things.”
Additionally, Miloud said, the Lunch and Learn crowd was familiar with the role the Red Cross plays in international humanitarian situations, and was interested in the intersections between the work of the Red Cross and the role of the military.
“The Red Cross has a lot to do with International Humanitarian Law, which is the same thing as LOAC,” he said. “Being involved in the Red Cross shows that these people have an interest in these world affairs [...]. I think it’s important for this audience in particular because of the nature of what they’re involved with, the worldly issues they seem to be interested in and have the potential to influence.”
For more information on LOAC and International Humanitarian Law during armed conflict, click here. For additional information on the International Services Lunch and Learn series, contact Tim Bothe.