1.7. The Target. The term target has several meanings and is used in various contexts. Joint Publication (JP) 1-02 defines a target as: "a geographic area, complex, or installation planned for capture or destruction by military forces." The intelligence community definition is "a country, area, installation, agency, or person against which intelligence operations are directed." For targeting purposes, this definition must be expanded to include the contents of the area, complex, or installation (e. g., people, equipment, and, resources). Furthermore, capture or destruction must be expanded to include disruption, degradation, neutralization, and exploitation, commensurate with objectives and guidance.
1.7.1. Relationship to the Objective. A target must qualify as a military objective before it can become a legitimate object of military attack. In this context, military objectives include those objects that by their nature, location, purpose, or use make an effective contribution to military action, or whose total or partial destruction, capture, or neutralization offers a definite military advantage. The key factor is whether the object contributes to the enemy's war fighting or war sustaining capability. Consequently, an identifiable military benefit or advantage should derive from the degradation, neutralization, destruction, capture, or disruption of the object. Not only does this concept preclude violations of the Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC), but it also supports the principles of war by employing economy of force against valid military objectives.
4.5.2. Law of Armed Conflict . The Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC) constitutes that part of inter-national law that regulates the conduct of armed hostilities (see attachment 4). LOAC imposes restrictions on the types of weapons that may be employed and the targets against which weapons may be applied. The primary purpose of LOAC is to protect civilian populations as well as prisoners of war, the wounded and sick, and shipwrecked. Two principles that form the foundation of LOAC are military necessity and proportionality. Military necessity requires combat forces to engage in only those acts necessary to accomplish a military objective. The principle of proportionality serves as the fulcrum for balancing military necessity and unnecessary suffering to the civilian population. Therefore, combat forces must attempt to minimize collateral damage. These two principles are woven through-out almost the entire LOAC and understanding these will enable personnel to understand what is and is not lawful.
4.5.3. Rules of Engagement (ROE) . ROEs, as defined by JP 1-02, are "directives... which delineate the circumstances and limitations under which United States forces will initiate and/or continue combat engagement with other forces encountered." In other words, ROEs are guidelines that we impose upon ourselves. For example, during the Korean war theater commanders placed a five mile no- strike target area below the North Korean and Chinese border. The reason for this was to try to prevent drawing China into the war. During the Gulf War, one restriction was that damage to the Iraqi economy and its capacity for postwar recovery would be limited. This rule was put into effect to keep Iraq as a viable nation, thus furthering the national objective of promoting regional stability. It is the targeteer's responsibility to weigh target nominations against the ROEs and to request exemptions if certain targets are deemed vital enough to the campaign.
Due to all of the possible interpretations of LOAC and ROE, it is essential that targeteers involve the Judge Advocate
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