The Principle of Discrimination in Twenty First Century Warfare

  • Michael N. SchmittEmail author


This chapter examines the international humanitarian law principle of discrimination in the context of likely twenty first century warfare. The principle requires that those engaged in hostilities distinguish between civilians (and their property) and military objectives. The continued viability of the norm in light of future methods and means of warfare, which arguably constitute a “revolution in military affairs”, is an open question. In some cases, future warfare will encumber compliance. In others, new methods and means of warfare will make greater discrimination possible. The chapter concludes with tentative suggestions on how to soften the impact of any potentially negative trends.


Supra Note Armed Conflict International Criminal Court Incidental Injury Geneva Convention 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.




Air expeditionary force


Airborne warning and control system


Gross national product


International Criminal Court


International Committee of the Red Cross


North Atlantic Treaty Organization


Nuclear, biological, and chemical


Revolution in military affairs


Theater high altitude area defense


United Nations


United Nations Operations in Somalia


United Nations Protected Force


United Nations Special Commission


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Copyright information

© T.M.C. ASSER PRESS, The Hague, The Netherlands, and the authors 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.United States Naval War CollegeNewportUSA

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