Practice Relating to Rule 19. Control during the Execution of Attacks
The Military Manual (1993) of the Netherlands states:
Once an attack has been launched the issue of cancellation or suspension may arise. In principle, the same rules apply as to the refraining from deciding to launch an attack in the preparation phase.
The extent to which commanders and their possible staff will be held accountable to comply with these rules depends on three factors:
–Freedom of choice of means and methods.
–Availability of information.
The higher the level [of command] the stricter the application of these rules can be required.
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states:
If an attack has begun, it may be necessary to give orders to halt or suspend it. Essentially the same rules apply to this as to refraining from attack at the preparatory stage.
The extent to which commanding officers and their staffs, if any, may be bound by these rules depends on three specific factors:
- freedom of choice of means and methods;
- availability of intelligence;
- available time.
The higher the level, the stricter the requirement for the application of the rules.
The manual further states:
[O]rders should be given to halt or suspend an attack if it becomes clear that the objective is cultural property and that the attack can be expected to cause collateral damage to such cultural property out of proportion to the expected military advantage.
In its chapter on non-international armed conflict, the manual states: “If necessary, attacks must be cancelled, halted or suspended.”
According to the Government of the Netherlands, commanders have to take all the precautionary measures required by Article 57 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I when carrying out an attack.