Sanremo Handbook on Rules of Engagement

The U.S. Naval War College has posted the November 2009 edition of the Sanremo Handbook on Rules of Engagement, published by the International Institute of Humanitarian Law. The document includes discussion of  land, maritime, air, outer space, and cyberspace military operations. Hat tip to Kelly Vinopal.

Sanremo Handbook on Rules of Engagement

From the Foreward:

The text has been prepared by Commander Alan Cole RN, Major Phillip Drew, Canadian Forces, Captain Rob McLaughlin, RAN and Professor Dennis Mandsager, Captain, JAGC, US Navy (Ret.). The final draft has been reviewed by a team of Council members of the Institute, composed of Brigadier General Erwin Dahinden, Dr. Baldwin de Vidts, Professor Wolff Heintschel von Heinegg, Professor Marie Jacobsson, Dr. Michael Meyer and Professor Michel Veuthey, with the cooperation of Colonel Darren Stewart, Director of the Military Department of the Institute.

There are no other Handbooks of its type in existence; it has been designed so that it can be used by any nation or group of nations without reference to security caveats or restrictions. Of course this was always the intent, to provide a tool that could be used to facilitate and enhance multinational cooperation and mutual understanding while ensuring that military forces are in compliance with national security and policy concerns.

As the political control on the use of force and with that the use of rules of engagement to regulate the conduct of armed forces by individual nations, alliances and coalitions around the world continues to grow, so too the need to be able to train on and understand rules of engagement similarly gains importance. It is essential that a clear understanding exists that whilst rules of engagement are often a mix of military and political policy requirements, these must be bounded by extant international and domestic legal parameters. Such legal constraints may never be exceeded, but are quite often restricted further by the effect of rules of engagement. Too often national or multinational security classifications mean that the publication and sharing of rules of engagement experience and best practice is problematic. The ability for militaries to share their experiences as well as for academics, students and the public to consider the subject is critical in order to promote awareness of the practical implementation of International Humanitarian Law through rules of engagement.

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