Practice Relating to Rule 57. Ruses of War

Hague Regulations (1899)
Article 24 of the 1899 Hague Regulations provides: “Ruses of war and the employment of methods necessary to obtain information about the enemy and the country are considered permissible.” 
Regulations concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land, annexed to Convention (II) with Respect to the Laws and Customs of War on Land, The Hague, 29 July 1899, Article 24.
Hague Regulations (1907)
Article 24 of the 1907 Hague Regulations provides: “Ruses of war and the employment of methods necessary for obtaining information about the enemy and the country are considered permissible.” 
Regulations concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land, annexed to Convention (IV) respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land, The Hague, 18 October 1907, Article 24.
Additional Protocol I
Article 37(2) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I states:
Ruses of war are not prohibited. Such ruses are acts which are intended to mislead an adversary or to induce him to act recklessly but which infringe no Rule of international law applicable in armed conflict and which are not perfidious because they do not invite the confidence of an adversary with respect to protection under that law. The following are examples of such ruses: the use of camouflage, decoys, mock operations and misinformation. 
Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), Geneva, 8 June 1977, Article 37(2). Article 37 was adopted by consensus. CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.39, 25 May 1977, p. 103.
Additional Protocol II (draft)
Article 21(2) of the draft Additional Protocol II submitted by the ICRC to the CDDH provided:
Ruses of war, that is to say, those acts which, without inviting the confidence of the adversary, are intended to mislead him or to induce him to act recklessly, such as camouflage, traps, mock operations and misinformation, are not perfidious acts. 
CDDH, Official Records, Vol. I, Part Three, Draft Additional Protocols, June 1973, p. 39.
This Article 21 was amended and adopted in Committee III of the CDDH by 21 votes in favour, 15 against and 41 abstentions. 
CDDH, Official Records, Vol. XV, CDDH/III/SR.59, 10 May 1977, p. 213, § 20.
The approved text provided: “Ruses are not prohibited”. 
CDDH, Official Records, Vol. XV, CDDH/407/Rev.1, 17 March–10 June 1977, p. 502.
Eventually, however, it was deleted by consensus in the plenary. 
CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VII, CDDH/SR.52, 6 June 1977, p. 128.
Lieber Code
Article 15 of the 1863 Lieber Code states:
Military necessity … allows … of such deception as does not involve the breaking of good faith either positively pledged, regarding agreements entered into during the war, or supposed by the modern law of war to exist. 
Instructions for the Government of Armies of the United States in the Field, prepared by Francis Lieber, promulgated as General Order No. 100 by President Abraham Lincoln, Washington D.C., 24 April 1863, Article 15.
Article 16 of the Lieber Code states: “Military necessity … admits of deception, but disclaims acts of perfidy.” 
Instructions for the Government of Armies of the United States in the Field, prepared by Francis Lieber, promulgated as General Order No. 100 by President Abraham Lincoln, Washington D.C., 24 April 1863, Article 16.
Furthermore, Article 101 of the Lieber Code describes deception as a “just and necessary means of hostility”. 
Instructions for the Government of Armies of the United States in the Field, prepared by Francis Lieber, promulgated as General Order No. 100 by President Abraham Lincoln, Washington D.C., 24 April 1863, Article 101.
Brussels Declaration
Article 14 of the 1874 Brussels Declaration provides: “Ruses of war and the employment of methods necessary for obtaining information about the enemy and the country … are considered permissible.” 
Project of an International Declaration concerning the Laws and Customs of War, Brussels, 27 August 1874, Article 14.
Oxford Manual of Naval War
Article 15 of the 1913 Oxford Manual of Naval War states: “Ruses of war are considered permissible.” 
The Laws of Naval War Governing the Relations between Belligerents, adopted by the Institute of International Law, Oxford, 9 August 1913, Article 15.
Memorandum of Understanding on the Application of IHL between Croatia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
Paragraph 6 of the 1991 Memorandum of Understanding on the Application of IHL between Croatia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia requires that hostilities be conducted in accordance with Article 37 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I. 
Memorandum of Understanding on the Application of International Humanitarian Law between Croatia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Geneva, 27 November 1991, § 6.
Agreement on the Application of IHL between the Parties to the Conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Paragraph 2.5 of the 1992 Agreement on the Application of IHL between the Parties to the Conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina requires that hostilities be conducted in accordance with Article 37 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I. 
Agreement between Representatives of Mr. Alija Izetbegović (President of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and President of the Party of Democratic Action), Representatives of Mr. Radovan Karadžić (President of the Serbian Democratic Party), and Representative of Mr. Miljenko Brkić (President of the Croatian Democratic Community), Geneva, 22 May 1992, § 2.5.
San Remo Manual
Paragraph 110 of the 1994 San Remo Manual states: “Ruses of war are permitted.” 
Louise Doswald-Beck (ed.), San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea, 12 June 1994, Prepared by international lawyers and naval experts convened by the International Institute of Humanitarian Law, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1995, § 110.
Argentina
Argentina’s Law of War Manual (1969) provides: “Stratagems or ruses of war and the employment of methods necessary for obtaining information about the enemy and the country are considered as lawful.” 
Argentina, Leyes de Guerra, RC-46-1, Público, II Edición 1969, Ejército Argentino, Edición original aprobado por el Comandante en Jefe del Ejército, 9 May 1967, § 1.016.
The manual also states:
The observation of the principle of good faith must be constant and inalterable in dealings with the enemy. Consequently, the use of ruses and stratagems of war shall be legitimate as long as they do not imply the recourse to treachery or perfidy. 
Argentina, Leyes de Guerra, RC-46-1, Público, II Edición 1969, Ejército Argentino, Edición original aprobado por el Comandante en Jefe del Ejército, 9 May 1967, § 1.017.
Argentina
Argentina’s Law of War Manual (1989) states that stratagems are “acts which are intended to mislead an adversary or to induce him to act recklessly but which infringe no rule of international law and which are not perfidious”. It gives examples of stratagems, such as camouflage, mock operations and false information. 
Argentina, Leyes de Guerra, PC-08-01, Público, Edición 1989, Estado Mayor Conjunto de las Fuerzas Armadas, aprobado por Resolución No. 489/89 del Ministerio de Defensa, 23 April 1990, § 1.05(3).
Australia
Australia’s Commanders’ Guide (1994) provides: “Ruses of war are lawful methods of deception that, over time, have been accepted as legitimate methods of fighting. Examples of ruses are: a. camouflage … b. decoys … c. false signals … d. surprise and ambush, and e. diversionary tactics.” 
Australia, Law of Armed Conflict, Commanders’ Guide, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 Supplement 1 – Interim Edition, 7 March 1994, § 508.
The manual also states: “Ruses of war are used to obtain an advantage by misleading the enemy. They are permissible provided they are free from any suspicion of treachery or perfidy and do not violate any expressed or tacit agreement.” 
Australia, Law of Armed Conflict, Commanders’ Guide, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 Supplement 1 – Interim Edition, 7 March 1994, § 901 (land warfare); see also § 826 (naval warfare).
Australia
Australia’s Defence Force Manual (1994) states:
Ruses of war and the employment of measures necessary for obtaining information about the enemy and the enemy country are permissible. Ruses of war are used to obtain an advantage by misleading the enemy. They are permissible provided they are free from any suspicion of treachery or perfidy. Legitimate ruses include surprises, ambushes, camouflage, decoys, mock operations and misinformation. Psychological operations are also permitted. 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, § 702.
Australia
Australia’s LOAC Manual (2006) states:
Ruses of war and the employment of measures necessary for obtaining information about the enemy and the enemy country are permissible. Ruses of war are used to obtain an advantage by misleading the enemy. They are permissible provided they are free from any suspicion of treachery or perfidy. Legitimate ruses include surprises, ambushes, camouflage, decoys, mock operations and misinformation. Psychological operations are also permitted. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, § 7.2.
The LOAC Manual (2006) replaces both the Defence Force Manual (1994) and the Commanders’ Guide (1994).
Belgium
Belgium’s Law of War Manual (1983) states: “Ruses of war are acts which, without constituting a violation of a recognized rule, are intended to mislead an adversary or to induce him to act recklessly.” It gives examples of ruses of war, such as surprise attacks, ambushes, feigning attacks, simulating quiet or inactivity, creating an impression of a stronger force than actually exists, making use of the enemy’s code, transmitting false messages and using an informal cease-fire intended to collect the wounded to execute unobserved movements. 
Belgium, Droit Pénal et Disciplinaire Militaire et Droit de la Guerre, Deuxième Partie, Droit de la Guerre, Ecole Royale Militaire, par J. Maes, Chargé de cours, Avocat-général près la Cour Militaire, D/1983/1187/029, 1983, p. 32.
Belgium
Belgium’s Teaching Manual (1994) for Officers provides that ruses of war are authorized. 
Belgium, Droit de la Guerre, Manuel d’Instruction pour Officiers, Etat-Major Général, Division Opérations, 1994, Part I, Title II, p. 33.
Benin
Benin’s Military Manual (1995) states:
In order to conceal his intentions and actions from the enemy to induce him to react in a way detrimental to his interests, a military commander is permitted to use ruse … A ruse of war aims to: mislead the enemy [and] to induce the enemy to act recklessly. 
Benin, Le Droit de la Guerre, III fascicules, Forces Armées du Bénin, Ministère de la Défense nationale, 1995, Fascicule III, p. 13.
Burundi
Burundi’s Regulations on International Humanitarian Law (2007) states that “ruses of war (camouflage, deception, feints, shams, simulated demonstrations and operations, disinformation, false information [or] technical ruses) are permitted.” 
Burundi, Règlement n° 98 sur le droit international humanitaire, Ministère de la Défense Nationale et des Anciens Combattants, Projet “Moralisation” (BDI/B-05), August 2007, Part I bis, p. 16; see also Part I bis, pp. 32, 41 and 94.
The Regulations further states:
In order to be compatible with the law of war, camouflage must respect the difference between ruses (permitted) and perfidy (prohibited).
A “ruse of war” or a “stratagem” is an act not amounting to perfidy but which aims at:
- misleading the enemy;
- making the enemy act imprudently … 
Burundi, Règlement n° 98 sur le droit international humanitaire, Ministère de la Défense Nationale et des Anciens Combattants, Projet “Moralisation” (BDI/B-05), August 2007, Part I bis, p. 94.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (1992) provides that ruses of war and stratagems are different from perfidy. They are lawful deceptions. 
Cameroon, Droit international humanitaire et droit de la guerre, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les Forces Armées, Présidence de la République, Ministère de la Défense, Etat-major des Armées, Troisième Division, Edition 1992, p. 30, § 131 and p. 89, § 222.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (2006) states:
Deception includes “ruses of war” and “stratagems” and is different from perfidy. A ruse of war is an act whose aim it is to mislead the enemy, or to make him behave imprudently. In the case of a ruse of war, one may use camouflage, decoys or feints, misinformation, simulated operations, electronic disturbances, etc. 
Cameroon, Droit des conflits armés et droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces de défense, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 222, § 222; see also p. 103, § 371 and p. 147, § 431.
Canada
Canada’s Rules of Engagement for Operation Deliverance (1992) provides:
Commanders are authorized to use military deception to protect against attack and to enhance the security and effectiveness of Canadian forces. Commanders may employ any deception means available to deny potentially hostile forces the ability to accurately locate, identify, track, and target Canadian or Coalition forces except as constrained or otherwise prohibited by international law or agreement, directive or these ROE. 
Canada, Canadian Joint Force Somalia: Rules of Engagement Operation Deliverance, completed on 11 December 1992, reprinted in James M. Simpson, Law Applicable to Canadian Forces in Somalia 1992/93. A study prepared for the Commission of Inquiry into the Deployment of Canadian Forces to Somalia, Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Ottawa, 1997, Appendix, pp. 73–80, § 27.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (1999) states:
Ruses of war are measures taken to obtain advantage of the enemy by confusing or misleading them.
Ruses of war are more formally defined as acts which are intended to mislead an adversary or to induce that adversary to act recklessly. Ruses must not infringe any rule of the LOAC. Ruses are lawful if they are not treacherous, perfidious and do not violate any express or tacit agreement.
The following are examples of ruses which are lawful:
a. surprises;
b. ambushes;
c. feigning attacks, retreats or flights;
d. simulating quiet and inactivity;
e. giving large strong points to a small force;
f. constructing works, bridges etc. which it is not intended to use;
g. transmitting bogus signal messages and sending bogus dispatches and newspapers with a view to their being intercepted by the enemy;
h. making use of the enemy’s signals, watchwords, wireless code signs, tuning calls and words of command;
i. conducting a false military exercise on the wireless on a frequency easily intercepted while substantial troop movements are taking place elsewhere;
j. pretending to communicate with troops or reinforcements that do not exist;
k. moving landmarks;
l. constructing dummy airfields and aircraft;
m. putting up dummy guns or dummy tanks;
n. laying dummy mines;
o. removing badges from uniforms;
p. clothing the men of a single unit in the uniforms of several different units to induce the enemy to believe that they face a large force; or
q. giving false ground signals to enable airborne personnel or supplies to be dropped in a hostile area or to induce aircraft to land in a hostile area. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, pp. 6-1 and 6-2, §§ 5–7 (land warfare); see also p. 7-2, §§ 14 and 15 (air warfare) and p. 8-10, §§ 75–77 (naval warfare).
In the context of air warfare, the manual also gives camouflage, decoys and fake radio signals as examples of legitimate ruses. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 7-2, § 15.
Canada
Canada’s Code of Conduct (2001) states: “Ruses such as camouflage and other similar deceptions are not prohibited and as such are legitimate.” 
Canada, Code of Conduct for CF Personnel, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 4 June 2001, Rule 10, § 10.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (2001) states in its chapter on land warfare:
1. Ruses of war are measures taken to obtain advantage of the enemy by confusing or misleading them.
2. Ruses of war are more formally defined as acts, which are intended to mislead an adversary or to induce that adversary to act recklessly. Ruses must not infringe any rule of the LOAC. Ruses are lawful if they are not treacherous, perfidious and do not violate any express or tacit agreement.
3. The following are examples of ruses, which are lawful:
a. surprises;
b. ambushes;
c. feigning attacks, retreats or flights;
d. simulating quiet and inactivity;
e. giving large strong points to a small force;
f. constructing works, bridges, etc., which it is not intending to use;
g. transmitting bogus signal messages, and sending bogus dispatches and newspapers with a view to their being intercepted by the enemy;
h. making use of the enemy’s signals, watchwords, wireless code signs, tuning calls and words of command;
i. conducting a false military exercise on the wireless on a frequency easily intercepted while substantial troop movements are taking place elsewhere;
j. pretending to communicate with troops or reinforcements that do not exist;
k. moving landmarks;
l. constructing dummy airfields and aircraft;
m. putting up dummy guns or dummy tanks;
n. laying dummy mines;
o. removing badges from uniforms;
p. clothing the men of a single unit in the uniforms of several different units to induce the enemy to believe that they face a large force; or
q. giving false ground signals to enable airborne personnel or supplies to be dropped in a hostile area, or to induce aircraft to land in a hostile area. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 602.
In its chapter on air warfare, the manual states:
1. Ruses of war are measures taken to obtain advantage of the enemy by confusing or misleading them.
2. Ruses of war are more formally defined as acts that are intended to mislead an adversary or to induce that adversary to act recklessly. Ruses must not infringe any rule of the LOAC. Ruses are lawful if they are not treacherous, perfidious and do not violate any express or tacit agreement. Examples of legitimate ruses include camouflage, decoys and fake radio signals. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 705.
In its chapter on naval warfare, the manual states:
1. Ruses of war are measures taken to obtain advantage of the enemy by confusing or misleading them.
2. Ruses of war are more formally defined as acts, which are intended to mislead an adversary or to induce that adversary to act recklessly. Ruses must not infringe any rule of the LOAC. Ruses are lawful if they are not treacherous, perfidious and do not violate any express or tacit agreement.
3. The following are examples of ruses, which are lawful:
a. surprises;
b. feigning attacks, retreats or flights;
c. simulating quiet and inactivity;
d. transmitting bogus signal messages, and sending bogus dispatches and newspapers with a view to their being intercepted by the enemy;
e. making use of the enemy’s signals, watchwords, wireless code signs, tuning calls and words of command;
f. conducting a false military exercise on the wireless on a frequency easily intercepted while substantial naval operations are taking place elsewhere; and
g. pretending to communicate with forces that do not exist. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 856.1–3.
Canada
Canada’s Code of Conduct (2005) states:
False and improper use of the Red Cross/Red Crescent emblem is prohibited. The use of the Red Cross to shield the movement of troops or ammunitions is also prohibited. Perfidy is a war crime. Committing a hostile act under the cover of the protection provided by the distinctive emblem would constitute perfidy. Ruses such as camouflage and other similar deceptions are not prohibited and as such are legitimate. 
Canada, Code of Conduct for CF Personnel, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 2005, Rule 10, § 10.
Chad
Chad’s Instructor’s Manual (2006) states that “ruses of war” are permitted. 
Chad, Droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces armées et de sécurité, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 79.
The manual further states that such ruses include:
- misleading the enemy into making mistakes;
- inducing the enemy to act recklessly;
- camouflage, misinformation, false information;
- mock operations, decoys, pretence. 
Chad, Droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces armées et de sécurité, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 79.
Côte d’Ivoire
Côte d’Ivoire’s Teaching Manual (2007) provides in Book I (Basic instruction):
The principle of limitation determines permitted means and prohibited means.
- What are the means and methods of warfare that can be used?
- ruses of war.
A ruse of war is intended to mislead the adversary and to induce him to act recklessly. It must not infringe the rules of the law of war.
Examples of ruses of war are: decoys, camouflage, misinformation, mock operations.
NB:
Perfidy is different from a ruse of war and is condemned by the law of war. 
Côte d’Ivoire, Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre I: Instruction de base, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, pp. 15–16.
In Book III, Volume 1 (Instruction of first-year trainee officers), the Teaching Manual provides:
II.1. Ruses of war
This is a term of customary law which essentially means deception. Every good military leader has recourse to ruses or to surprise in order to defeat the enemy or to create turmoil. Deceiving the enemy as regards the military situation, in particular regarding the size of your own forces, their location, and your intentions and plans, has always been, through the ages, a customary instrument of the conduct of war. Ruses of war are permitted. They comprise acts which are intended to mislead the adversary and to induce him to act recklessly, but without infringing the law of armed conflicts and without recourse to perfidy. A few examples:
- natural camouflage and concealment, or in the form of nets, camouflage paints or smoke to hide movements;
- feigned or simulated attacks in order to surprise the defenceless enemy;
- use of imitation weapons, such as rubber or wooden models of tanks or planes, to deceive or unsettle the enemy as regards the friendly forces or their deployment;
- transmission of misleading messages on the radio frequencies of the enemy, deciphering of passwords and codes;
- false information, disinformation or psychological operations intended to sow confusion or to demoralize, under the condition that the intention is not to spread terror among the civilian population.
All measures of deception of that type are perfectly lawful under the law. On the other hand, IHL prohibits recourse to perfidy with the aim to kill, injure or capture an enemy. 
Côte d’Ivoire, Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre III, Tome 1: Instruction de l’élève officier d’active de 1ère année, Manuel de l’élève, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, p. 41.
In Book IV (Instruction of heads of division and company commanders), the Teaching Manual provides:
I.1. Lawful tactics
I.1.1. Ruses of war
Ruses of war are measures taken with a view to obtain an advantage over the enemy by surprising him or by deceiving him. …
Ruses of war are more officially defined as acts intended to mislead an adversary or to induce him to act recklessly. They must not infringe any rule whatsoever of IHL. They are lawful if they are not treacherous or perfidious acts and if they do not violate any tacit or express understanding whatsoever.
Examples of lawful ruses:
- surprises;
- ambushes;
- feigned attack, feigned withdrawal;
- simulation of silence or inactivity;
- attribution of big centres of resistance to a small force;
- construction of works, bridges, etc., with no foreseen use;
- transmission of fictional messages, newspapers or dispatches, with a view to their interception by the enemy;
- use of enemy transmissions;
- movement of landmarks;
- placement of imitation canons, assault tanks, airplanes and runways;
- placement of imitation mines;
- suppression of insignia of uniforms;
- etc. 
Côte d’Ivoire, Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre IV: Instruction du chef de section et du commandant de compagnie, Manuel de l’élève, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, p. 45.
Croatia
Croatia’s Commanders’ Manual (1992) provides: “Deception measures such as camouflage, decoys, mock operations are permitted.” 
Croatia, Basic Rules of the Law of Armed Conflicts – Commanders’ Manual, Republic of Croatia, Ministry of Defence, 1992, § 46.
Ecuador
Ecuador’s Naval Manual (1989) states:
The law of armed conflicts permits deceiving the enemy through stratagems and ruses of war intended to mislead him, to deter him from taking action, or to induce him to act recklessly, provided the ruses do not violate rules of international law applicable to armed conflict.
Stratagems and ruses of war permitted in armed conflict include such deceptions as camouflage, deceptive lighting, dummy ships and other armament, decoys, simulated forces, feigned attacks and withdrawals, ambushes, false intelligence information, electronic deceptions, and utilization of enemy codes, passwords, and countersigns. 
Ecuador, Aspectos Importantes del Derecho Internacional Marítimo que Deben Tener Presente los Comandantes de los Buques, Academia de Guerra Naval, 1989, §§ 12.1 and 12.1.1.
France
France’s LOAC Summary Note (1992) provides: “If ruse of war is authorized, perfidy is prohibited.” 
France, Fiche de Synthèse sur les Règles Applicables dans les Conflits Armés, Note No. 432/DEF/EMA/OL.2/NP, Général de Corps d’Armée Voinot (pour l’Amiral Lanxade, Chef d’Etat-major des Armées), 1992, § 4.4.
France
France’s LOAC Manual (2001) incorporates the content of Article 24 of the 1907 Hague Regulations. 
France, Manuel de droit des conflits armés, Ministère de la Défense, Direction des Affaires Juridiques, Sous-Direction du droit international humanitaire et du droit européen, Bureau du droit des conflits armés, 2001, p. 114.
The manual defines “lawful deception: the ruse of war or stratagem is a non-perfidious act but aimed at deceiving the enemy or inducing him to act recklessly”. 
France, Manuel de droit des conflits armés, Ministère de la Défense, Direction des Affaires Juridiques, Sous-Direction du droit international humanitaire et du droit européen, Bureau du droit des conflits armés, 2001, p. 47; see also p. 114.
The manual gives the examples of camouflage, decoy, feint, simulated demonstration or operation, disinformation, false information and technical ruses. 
France, Manuel de droit des conflits armés, Ministère de la Défense, Direction des Affaires Juridiques, Sous-Direction du droit international humanitaire et du droit européen, Bureau du droit des conflits armés, 2001, pp. 47 and 114; see also p. 115.
The manual also incorporates the content of Article 37(2) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I. 
France, Manuel de droit des conflits armés, Ministère de la Défense, Direction des Affaires Juridiques, Sous-Direction du droit international humanitaire et du droit européen, Bureau du droit des conflits armés, 2001, p. 123.
Germany
Germany’s Military Manual (1992) provides:
Ruses of war and the employment of measures necessary for obtaining information about the adverse party and the country are considered permissible … Ruses of war include e.g. the use of enemy signals, passwords, signs, decoys, etc.; not, however, espionage. 
Germany, Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflicts – Manual, DSK VV207320067, edited by The Federal Ministry of Defence of the Federal Republic of Germany, VR II 3, August 1992, English translation of ZDv 15/2, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten Konflikten – Handbuch, August 1992, § 471; see also § 1018 (naval warfare).
Greece
The Hellenic Navy’s International Law Manual (1995) provides:
[S]ome ruses of war in the course of hostilities which serve the purpose of disorienting the adversary without inducing him, do not constitute perfidy and therefore are permissible. Camouflage, decoys, mock operations and disinformation may serve as paradigms of permissible acts. 
Greece, International Law Manual, Hellenic Navy General Staff, Directorate A2, Division IV, 1995, Chapter 5, § 5.
Hungary
Hungary’s Military Manual (1992) lists camouflage, decoys, mock operations and misinformation as examples of deception. 
Hungary, A Hadijog, Jegyzet a Katonai, Föiskolák Hallgatói Részére, Magyar Honvédség Szolnoki Repülötiszti Föiskola, 1992, p. 63.
Indonesia
Indonesia’s Military Manual (1982) provides: “Ruses of war … are allowed in armed conflict, such as camouflage, decoys, mock operations and intentional use of misinformation concerning military operations.” 
Indonesia, The Basics of International Humanitarian Law, Legal Division of the Indonesian Armed Forces, 1982, § 103.
Israel
Israel’s Manual on the Laws of War (1998) states:
Surprise, stratagem, artifice are some of the most fundamental principles of war, giving the army a tactical advantage, and sometimes even a strategic one. The prohibition in the chapter on methods of warfare does not come to deny the armies the use of the element of surprise or to demand that each side be “transparent” to its enemy.
There is no prohibition on the use of camouflage, stratagems, ambushes and deceptions that are not perfidious means, i.e. where there is no situation of trust between the parties by virtue of the law of war, which is violated by one of the parties. Thus, for example, camouflaging a combatant to appear like objects in the natural surroundings (as opposed to the human surroundings) is permitted (such as painting the face black, adding leaves to helmet, and so forth). Interfering with the enemy’s communication network and conducting psychological warfare are permissible …
One may deceive the enemy with regard to the size of one’s force or its intentions, as was done in the Yom Kippur War by the “Zvika Force”. It is also allowed to conduct maneuvers of deception, flanking, dummy units and weapons, and the like. The law of war does not come to bar any party from exploiting tactical or strategic advantages or the enemy’s naivete. 
Israel, Laws of War in the Battlefield, Manual, Military Advocate General Headquarters, Military School, 1998, pp. 56 and 58.
Israel
Israel’s Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) states:
Combatants must wear a permanent sign of recognition which can be recognised from afar … Naturally, this does not mean wearing identification that is likely to endanger the wearer (such as a hat that is luminous in the dark) nor does it prevent the use of camouflage that makes use of the conditions in the field (hiding among trees and bushes). 
Israel, Rules of Warfare on the Battlefield, Military Advocate-General’s Corps Command, IDF School of Military Law, Second Edition, 2006, p. 31.
The manual further states:
Surprise, deception and dishonesty are among the most basic principles of war, gaining a tactical and even a strategic advantage for the army. The ban in the annals of the rules of engagement is not designed to prevent armies from using surprise tactics and does not require each side to be “transparent” in the face of its enemy. The distinction between trickery (which is permitted) and betrayals of trust or treachery is that the latter are defined as acts designed to cause the enemy to think that it is entitled to the protection of the rules of war or to create a situation in which it is obliged to put its trust in the opposing side through the intention to betray such trust. 
Israel, Rules of Warfare on the Battlefield, Military Advocate-General’s Corps Command, IDF School of Military Law, Second Edition, 2006, p. 35.
In addition, the manual states:
There is no ban on using deception, trickery, ambushes and misleading tactics that are not treachery. Take, for example, a fighter concealing himself in features of the natural (as opposed to the human) surroundings (It is permitted to blacken the face, add leaves to the helmet, etc.). It is permitted to disrupt the enemy’s network of communications and psychological warfare is also permitted. During the Gulf War, the Coalition planes dropped “safe conduct passes” over the Iraqi army soldiers, promising immunity to any soldier showing the slip of paper and laying down his arms. It is permitted to mislead the enemy with respect to the size of your force or its intentions as was done during the Yom Kippur War by the “Zvika Force” and it is also possible to use false manoeuvres, outflanking movements and decoys. The rules of war are not designed to prevent the use of tactical or strategic advantages or the naivety of the enemy, but to lay down basic rules of the game so that anyone who is entitled to be protected is not frightened to lay down their weapons. 
Israel, Rules of Warfare on the Battlefield, Military Advocate-General’s Corps Command, IDF School of Military Law, Second Edition, 2006, p. 36.
The Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) is a second edition of the Manual on the Laws of War (1998).
Italy
Italy’s IHL Manual (1991) states: “Stratagems of war and the employment of methods necessary for obtaining information about the enemy are considered lawful.” 
Italy, Manuale di diritto umanitario, Introduzione e Volume I, Usi e convenzioni di Guerra, SMD-G-014, Stato Maggiore della Difesa, I Reparto, Ufficio Addestramento e Regolamenti, Rome, 1991, Vol. I, § 9.
Italy
Italy’s LOAC Elementary Rules Manual (1991) states: “Measures of deception, such as camouflage, decoys, mock operations and misinformation, are permitted.” 
Italy, Regole elementari di diritto di guerra, SMD-G-012, Stato Maggiore della Difesa, I Reparto, Ufficio Addestramento e Regolamenti, Rome, 1991, § 46.
Kenya
Kenya’s LOAC Manual (1997) states: “Ruses of war … are permitted. They are acts intended to mislead an enemy but not inviting his confidence. Ruses of war include the use of camouflage, decoys, mock operations and misinformation.” 
Kenya, Law of Armed Conflict, Military Basic Course (ORS), 4 Précis, The School of Military Police, 1997, Précis No. 3, p. 7.
Madagascar
Madagascar’s Military Manual (1994) provides: “Measures of deception, such as camouflage, decoys, mock operations and disinformation, are permitted.” 
Madagascar, Le Droit des Conflits Armés, Ministère des Forces Armées, August 1994, Fiche No. 6-O, § 14.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (1993) of the Netherlands states:
Ruses of war may be used … Ruses of war are defined as behaviour which is intended to mislead an enemy or to induce him to act recklessly, but which do not violate any rules of the humanitarian law of war. Such behaviour is not treacherous because it does not inspire the confidence of the adversary with respect to protection under the humanitarian law of war. Examples of ruses of war are the use of camouflage, ambushes, fake positions, mock operations, misleading messages and incorrect information. 
Netherlands, Toepassing Humanitair Oorlogsrecht, Voorschift No. 27-412/1, Koninklijke Landmacht, Ministerie van Defensie, 1993, pp. IV-1 and IV-2.
Netherlands
The Military Handbook (1995) of the Netherlands provides: “Ruses are permitted. For example: ambushes, feint, sending of mock messages, use of enemy watchwords and codes, mock positions and constructions, camouflage.” 
Netherlands, Handboek Militair, Ministerie van Defensie, 1995, p. 7-40; see also p. 7-36.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states: “There is a narrow borderline between perfidy and ruses of war. Acts of treachery (also called perfidy) are, however, forbidden. Ruses of war may be used.” 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 0413.
The manual further states:
0420. Ruses of war
Ruses of war are described as behaviour intended to mislead an adversary or induce him to act recklessly but which infringe no rules of the humanitarian law of war. Such behaviour is not perfidious, because there is no attempt to gain the adversary’s trust in relation to protection under the humanitarian law of war. Examples of ruses of war are the use of camouflage, ambushes, decoys, mock operations, misinformation and incorrect intelligence.
Seeking, under cover of darkness, to take a bridge by surprise, the enemy uses armoured scout cars seized from the opposing side, from which the signs have been erased. The crews wear their own tank overalls and give the password on approach. After the last vehicle has crossed the bridge, the positions by the bridge are fired on. This is a legitimate ruse of war. As there is no use of the enemy’s distinguishing emblems and uniform, everything is permissible from the point of view of the law of war.
Section 6 - Incitement to actions in breach of the humanitarian law of war
0421. Incitement to commit war crimes, such as killing civilians, is forbidden. Propaganda aimed at inciting combatants to mutiny, desert or surrender is not forbidden. 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, §§ 0420–0421.
In its chapter on non-international armed conflict, the manual states: “Ruses of war are permitted.” 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 1042.
New Zealand
New Zealand’s Military Manual (1992) states:
Ruses of war are measures taken to gain advantage over the enemy by mystifying or misleading him. They are permitted provided they are free from any suspicion of treachery or perfidy and do not violate any expressed or tacit agreement …
Legitimate ruses include: surprises; ambushes; feigning attacks, retreats or flights; simulating quiet and inactivity; giving large strongpoints to a small force; constructing works, bridges, etc., which it is not intended to use; transmitting bogus signal messages, and sending bogus despatches and newspapers with a view to their being intercepted by the enemy; making use of the enemy’s signals, watchwords, wireless code signs and tuning calls, and words of command; conducting a false military exercise on the wireless on a frequency easily interrupted while substantial troop movements are taking place on the ground; pretending to communicate with troops or reinforcements which do not exist; moving landmarks; constructing dummy airfields and aircraft; putting up dummy guns or dummy tanks; laying dummy mines; removing badges from uniforms; clothing the men of a single unit in the uniforms of several different units so that prisoners and dead may give the idea of a large force; giving false ground signals to enable airborne personnel or supplies to be dropped in a hostile area, or to induce aircraft to land in a hostile area.
… [I]t would not be unlawful for a few men to call upon an enemy force to surrender on the ground that it was surrounded or to threaten bombardment although no guns are actually in place. 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, §§ 502(1), 502(2) and 502(3) (land warfare); see also § 611(1) (air warfare) and § 713(1) (naval warfare).
Nigeria
Nigeria’s Military Manual (1994) states:
A commander in his desire to fulfil his mission shall not mask his intentions and action from the enemy so as to induce the enemy to react in a manner prejudicial to his interests. Thus, to be consistent with the law of war, deceptions shall follow the distinction between permitted ruses and prohibited perjury [perfidy] … [Ruse] of war is considered to be a permissible method of warfare. These are acts intended to mislead an adversary or induce him to act recklessly but they infringe no rule of international law and are not perfidious because they do not invite the confidence of an adversary with respect to protection under that law. Examples of ruses of war are camouflage, decoys, mock operations, misinformation, surprises, ambushes and small scale raids.  
Nigeria, International Humanitarian Law (IHL), Directorate of Legal Services, Nigerian Army, 1994, pp. 42 and 43.
Nigeria
Nigeria’s Manual on the Laws of War states: “Stratagems and ruses of war are measures to obtain advantage over the enemy by misleading or mystifying him. Such tactics are permissible provided they do not involve treachery.” It gives examples of “legitimate tactics”, such as surprises, ambushes, feigning attacks, retreats, flights and false movement of units, making use of the enemy code and password, giving false information to the enemy, employing spies and agents, moving landmarks, using dummies and psychological warfare. 
Nigeria, The Laws of War, by Lt. Col. L. Ode PSC, Nigerian Army, Lagos, undated, § 14.
Peru
Peru’s IHL Manual (2004) states:
(1) In order to fulfil their mission, commanders [may] attempt to mislead the enemy about their intentions and actions or conceal them to induce him to act recklessly. For this to be compatible with the law of armed conflict, a distinction must be made between ruses of war (permitted) and perfidy (prohibited).
(2) Ruses of war are acts that are not perfidious, but which are intended to:
(a) mislead the enemy into making mistakes;
(b) induce the enemy to act recklessly.
(3) Ruses of war are permitted. Examples include:
(a) camouflage (natural, paint, nets, smoke);
(b) decoys and pretence;
(c) mock operations;
(d) misinformation;
(e) technological ruses (electronics, communications). 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial Nº 1394-2004-DE/CCFFAA/CDIH-FFAA, Lima, 1 December 2004, § 27.e.(1)–(3).
In the context of armed conflict at sea, the manual states: “Ruses of war are permitted. Warships and auxiliary vessels, however, are prohibited from launching an attack whilst flying a false flag, and at all times from actively simulating the status of [those vessels exempt from attack].” 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial Nº 1394-2004-DE/CCFFAA/CDIH-FFAA, Lima, 1 December 2004, § 135.b.
In the context of air warfare, the manual states:
Stratagems are legal at all times.
Deceiving the enemy by camouflaging air bases, simulating traces, misleading by electronic means or even using the enemy’s SIF (Selective Identification Feature) or IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) to penetrate its air defence system are perfectly legal aerial tactics or methods. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial Nº 1394-2004-DE/CCFFAA/CDIH-FFAA, Lima, 1 December 2004, § 165.a.
Peru
Peru’s IHL and Human Rights Manual (2010) states in its Glossary of Terms:
Ruses of war … [a]re acts whose objective is to mislead the enemy and to induce him to act recklessly but which do not violate any norm of international law and which are not perfidious because they do not appeal to the adversary’s good faith regarding the protection afforded by international law. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, p. 404.
The manual further states:
(1) In order to fulfil their mission, commanders [may] attempt to mislead the enemy about their intentions and actions or conceal them to induce him to act recklessly. For this to be compatible with international humanitarian law, a distinction must be made between ruses of war (permitted) and perfidy (prohibited).
(2) “Ruses of war” are acts that are not perfidious, but which are intended to:
(a) mislead the enemy into making mistakes;
(b) induce the enemy to act recklessly.
(3) Ruses of war are permitted. Examples include:
(a) camouflage (natural, paint, nets, smoke);
(b) decoys and pretence;
(c) mock operations;
(d) misinformation, false data;
(e) technological ruses (electronics, communications). 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, § 28(e), p. 238; see also § 46, p. 423.
The manual also states: “Ruses of war are permitted. Warships and auxiliary vessels, however, are prohibited from launching an attack whilst flying a false flag, and at all times from intentionally simulating the status of [those vessels exempt from attack].” 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, § 126(b), p. 238.
The manual further states:
Stratagems are legal at all times.
Deceiving the enemy by camouflaging air bases, simulating traces, misleading by electronic means or even using the enemy’s SIF (Selective Identification Feature) or IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) to penetrate its air defence system are perfectly legal aerial tactics or methods. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, § 166(a), p. 339.
Republic of Korea
The Republic of Korea’s Military Law Manual (1996) states that ruses of war such as camouflage, decoys and misinformation are permitted. It adds that the dissemination of misinformation during some landing operations is also lawful. 
Republic of Korea, Military Law Manual, 1996, p. 88.
Russian Federation
The Russian Federation’s Regulations on the Application of IHL (2001) states:
Ruses of war are not prohibited. Such ruses are acts which are intended to mislead an adversary as to the military unit’s condition, position and nature of operations. The following are examples of such ruses: demonstrations, misinformation, simulation and other actions stipulated by combat manuals in order to deceive the enemy and not violating the rules of international humanitarian law. 
Russian Federation, Regulations on the Application of International Humanitarian Law by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, Moscow, 8 August 2001, § 7.
South Africa
South Africa’s LOAC Manual (1996) states:
Certain ruses of war, intended to mislead an adversary or to induce it to act recklessly, do not contravene international law. Examples given in [the 1977 Additional Protocol I] are camouflage, decoy, mock operations and disinformation. Others are surprise, ambush, psychological operations and deception by communication or movement. 
South Africa, Presentation on the South African Approach to International Humanitarian Law, Appendix A, Chapter 4: International Humanitarian Law (The Law of Armed Conflict), National Defence Force, 1996, § 34(a). This manual is also included in Chapter 4 of the
South Africa
South Africa’s Revised Civic Education Manual (2004) states:
Ruses of War – Permitted Deception. (Article 24, IV Hague Convention; Article 37(2), Protocol 1 of the Geneva Conventions.) Certain ruses of war, intended to mislead an adversary or to induce it to act recklessly, do not contravene international law. Examples given in Protocol 1 are camouflage, decoy, mock operations and disinformation. Others are surprise, ambush, psychological operations and deception by communication or movement. 
South Africa, Revised Civic Education Manual, South African National Defence Force, 2004, Chapter 4, § 56(a).
Spain
Spain’s Field Regulations (1882) states: “The laws of war permit: ambushes, surprises, night attacks, simulated movements, false retreats to ambush, intimidation and provision of false information.” 
Spain, El Reglamento para el Servicio de Campaña, 4 January 1882, § 863.
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (1996) states that stratagems are permitted. 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Publicación OR7-004, 2 Tomos, aprobado por el Estado Mayor del Ejército, Division de Operaciones, 18 March 1996, Vol. I, §§ 3.3.a.(1), 5.3.c, 7.3.a.(6) and 10.8.e.(1).
The manual adds that, in order to fulfil his mission, the commander may dissimulate his intentions and actions to the enemy in order to mislead him, to induce him to act recklessly or to react against his own interests. However, stratagems must neither infringe any rule of international law applicable in armed conflicts, nor be perfidious. 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Publicación OR7-004, 2 Tomos, aprobado por el Estado Mayor del Ejército, Division de Operaciones, 18 March 1996, Vol. I, §§ 3.3.a.(1) and 5.3.c; see also §§ 2.3.b.(2) and 7.3.a.(6).
The manual gives the following examples of stratagems: decoys, mock operations, misinformation, camouflage and disinformation. 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Publicación OR7-004, 2 Tomos, aprobado por el Estado Mayor del Ejército, Division de Operaciones, 18 March 1996, Vol. I, §§ 3.3.a.(1), 5.3.c, 7.3.a.(6) and 10.8.e.(1).
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (2007) states:
In order to fulfil their mission, commanders attempt to conceal their intentions and actions, using stratagems and ruses of war. Ruses of war are a legitimate method of warfare, combining deception and trickery to mislead an adversary or induce him to act recklessly or take the wrong decision. However, some ruses of war are prohibited, when they involve perfidy, that is, if they appeal to the good faith of the adversary with the intention of betraying him, misleading him into thinking that certain persons or objects cannot be attacked because they are protected by the law of armed conflict; e.g. the use of an ambulance to transport munitions. 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Tomo 1, Publicación OR7–004, (Edición Segunda), Mando de Adiestramiento y Doctrina, Dirección de Doctrina, Orgánica y Materiales, 2 November 2007, § 2.3.b.(3); see also §§ 3.3.a.(1), 5.3.c and 7.3.a.6.
The manual gives the following examples of ruses of war: “decoys, mock operations, camouflage and misinformation”. 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Tomo 1, Publicación OR7–004, (Edición Segunda), Mando de Adiestramiento y Doctrina, Dirección de Doctrina, Orgánica y Materiales, 2 November 2007, § 3.3.a.(1); see also § 7.3.a.(6).
Sweden
Sweden’s IHL Manual (1991) states:
In certain circumstances, ruses of war may become almost tantamount to perfidy. Here the important difference is that ruses of war are not based on betrayal of the adversary’s confidence. Instead, the intention of a ruse is to mislead the adversary, which can lead to incorrect deployment of his forces or to reckless actions which, for example, prematurely reveal his forces, intended tactics or assault objectives. The [1907 Hague Regulations] states that it is permitted to use ruses of war, and the same authority is given in [the 1977 Additional Protocol I], Article 37:2. Typical examples of ruses are giving false information on the size of one’s own forces, position and intentions, or hiding one’s combat forces with camouflage, or misleading the adversary by means of mock objectives and mock operations. 
Sweden, International Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflict, with reference to the Swedish Total Defence System, Swedish Ministry of Defence, January 1991, Section 3.2.1.1.b, p. 30.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Basic Military Manual (1987) provides:
Ruses of war and the employment of methods necessary for obtaining information about the enemy and the country are lawful.
Examples of lawful ruses: surprises; ambushes; feigning attacks or retreats; constructing installations which it is not intended to use; constructing dummy airfields; putting up dummy guns or dummy tanks; giving large strong points to a small force; transmitting false information through newspapers or radio; making use of the enemy’s watchwords, wireless code signs and tuning calls to transmit false instructions; pretending to communicate with troops or reinforcements which do not exist; moving landmarks; removing from uniforms the badges indicating the grade, unit, nationality or speciality; giving the men of a single unit badges of several different units so that the enemy thinks that he is facing a bigger force; inciting enemy soldiers to rebellion, mutiny or desertion, possibly taking with them arms and means of transportation such as aircraft; and inducing the enemy population to revolt against its government, etc. 
Switzerland, Lois et coutumes de la guerre (Extrait et commentaire), Règlement 51.7/II f, Armée Suisse, 1987, Article 38, including commentary.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Regulation on Legal Bases for Conduct during an Engagement (2005) states: “Camouflage and deception are permissible at any time. This includes notably the use of dummy installations, misinformation and mock attacks.” 
Switzerland, Bases légales du comportement à l’engagement (BCE), Règlement 51.007/IVf, Swiss Army, issued based on Article 10 of the Ordinance on the Organization of the Federal Department for Defence, Civil Protection and Sports of 7 March 2003, entry into force on 1 July 2005, § 219.
Togo
Togo’s Military Manual (1996) states:
In order to conceal his intentions and actions from the enemy to induce him to react in a way detrimental to his interests, a military commander is permitted to use ruse … A ruse of war aims to: mislead the enemy [and] to induce the enemy to act recklessly. 
Togo, Le Droit de la Guerre, III fascicules, Etat-major Général des Forces Armées Togolaises, Ministère de la Défense nationale, 1996, Fascicule III, p. 13.
Ukraine
Ukraine’s IHL Manual (2004) states:
1.2.44. … Ruses of war are not prohibited by international humanitarian law … Such ruses are acts which are intended to mislead an adversary (e.g. the use of camouflage, mock operations, misinformation, decoys).
2.1.11. During preparation and conduct of hostilities one should clearly distinguish between perfidy … and ruses of war.
Ruses of war are acts which are intended to mislead an adversary regarding the condition, position or character of actions of a unit, command, and build-up and to induce him to act recklessly. Such actions include:
- camouflage (using the terrain, camouflage paint, camouflage nets and smoke);
- actions aimed at active camouflage (creation of false targets, decoys);
- mock operations;
- misinformation;
- imitation of military objectives by technical means (electronic devices, means of communication, etc.);
- use of enemy codes, passwords and signals;
- fighting from ambushes;
- other non-perfidious actions. 
Ukraine, Manual on the Application of IHL Rules, Ministry of Defence, 11 September 2004, §§ 1.2.44 and 2.1.11.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
According to the UK Military Manual (1958), “ruses of war are the measures taken to obtain advantage of the enemy by mystifying or misleading him. They are permissible provided they are free from any suspicion of treachery or perfidy and do not violate any express or tacit agreement.” 
United Kingdom, The Law of War on Land being Part III of the Manual of Military Law, The War Office, HMSO, 1958, § 307.
The manual notes: “According to the debate which took place at the [Hague] Conference … [Article 24 of the 1907 Hague Regulations] must not be taken to imply that every ruse is permissible. A ruse ceases to be permissible if it contravenes any generally accepted rule.” 
United Kingdom, The Law of War on Land being Part III of the Manual of Military Law, The War Office, HMSO, 1958, § 307, footnote 1.
According to the manual, “legitimate ruses” include:
Surprises; ambushes; feigning attacks, retreats or flights; simulating quiet and inactivity; giving large strong points to a small force; constructing works, bridges, etc., which it is not intended to use; transmitting bogus signal messages, and sending bogus despatches and newspapers with a view to their being intercepted by the enemy; making use of the enemy’s signals, watchwords, wireless code signs and tuning calls, and words of command; conducting a false military exercise on the wireless on a frequency easily interrupted while substantial troop movements are taking place on the ground; pretending to communicate with troops or reinforcements which do not exist; moving landmarks; constructing dummy airfields and aircraft; putting up dummy guns or dummy tanks; laying dummy mines; removing badges from uniforms; clothing the men of a single unit in the uniform of several different units so that prisoners and dead may give the idea of a large force; giving false ground signals to enable airborne personnel or supplies to be dropped in a hostile area, or to induce aircraft to land in a hostile area. 
United Kingdom, The Law of War on Land being Part III of the Manual of Military Law, The War Office, HMSO, 1958, § 312.
The manual also states: “A capitulation … may not … be annulled because one of the parties has been induced to agree to it by ruse.” 
United Kingdom, The Law of War on Land being Part III of the Manual of Military Law, The War Office, HMSO, 1958, § 484.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Pamphlet (1981) states: “Ruses of war … are permitted. They are acts intended to mislead an enemy but not inviting his confidence.” 
United Kingdom, The Law of Armed Conflict, D/DAT/13/35/66, Army Code 71130 (Revised 1981), Ministry of Defence, prepared under the Direction of The Chief of the General Staff, 1981, Section 4, p. 12, § 2(a).
According to the manual, ruses of war include the use of camouflage, decoys, mock operations, dummy installations, misleading messages and misinformation. 
United Kingdom, The Law of Armed Conflict, D/DAT/13/35/66, Army Code 71130 (Revised 1981), Ministry of Defence, prepared under the Direction of The Chief of the General Staff, 1981, Section 4, p. 12, § 2(a) and Annex A, p. 46, § 4.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Manual (2004) states:
Ruses of war are not prohibited. Such ruses are acts which are intended to mislead an adversary or to induce him to act recklessly but which infringe no rule of international law applicable in armed conflict and which are not perfidious because they do not invite the confidence of the adversary with respect to protection under the law. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 5.17.
In its chapter on maritime warfare, the manual states:
Ruses of war are permitted. Warships and auxiliary vessels, however, are prohibited from launching an attack whilst flying a false flag, and at all times from actively simulating the status of those vessels exempt from attack. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 13.82.
With regard to internal armed conflict, the manual states: “Ruses of war are permitted.” 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 15.12.
United States of America
The US Field Manual (1956) states:
Ruses of war and the employment of measures necessary for obtaining information about the enemy and the country are considered permissible.
Absolute good faith with the enemy must be observed as a rule of conduct; but this does not prevent measures such as using spies and secret agents, encouraging defection or insurrection among the enemy civilian population, corrupting enemy civilians or soldiers by bribes, or inducing the enemy’s soldiers to desert, surrender, or rebel. In general, a belligerent may resort to those measures for mystifying or misleading the enemy against which the enemy ought to take measures to protect himself.
Ruses of war are legitimate so long as they do not involve treachery or perfidy on the part of the belligerent resorting to them. They are, however, forbidden if they contravene any generally accepted rule.
The line of demarcation between legitimate ruses and forbidden acts of perfidy is sometimes indistinct … [I]t is a perfectly proper ruse to summon a force to surrender on the ground that it is surrounded and thereby induce such surrender with a small force.
Among legitimate ruses may be counted surprises; ambushes; feigning attacks, retreats or flights; simulating quiet and inactivity; use of small forces to simulate large units; transmitting false or misleading radio or telephone messages; deception of the enemy by bogus orders purporting to have been issued by the enemy commanders; making use of the enemy’s signals and passwords; pretending to communicate with troops or reinforcements which have no existence; deceptive supply movements; deliberate planting of false information; use of spies and secret agents; moving landmarks; putting up dummy guns and vehicles or laying dummy mines; erection of dummy installations and airfields; removing unit identifications from uniforms; use of signal deceptive measures; and psychological warfare activities. 
United States, Field Manual 27-10, The Law of Land Warfare, US Department of the Army, 18 July 1956, as modified by Change No. 1, 15 July 1976, §§ 48–51.
United States of America
The US Air Force Pamphlet (1976) states:
Ruses of war which have customarily been accepted as lawful, such as the use of camouflage, traps, mock operations and misinformation, are not perfidy. Ruses of war involve misinformation, deceit or other steps to mislead the enemy under circumstances where there is no obligation to speak the truth.
Article 24 of the 1907 Hague Regulations confirms the general rule that ruses of war not constituting perfidy are lawful. Among the permissible ruses are surprises, ambushes, feigning attacks, retreats, or flights; simulation of quiet and inactivity; use of small forces to simulate large units; transmission of false or misleading radio or telephone messages (not involving protection under international law such as internationally recognized signals of distress); deception by bogus orders purported to have been issued by the enemy commander; use of the enemy’s signals and passwords; feigned communication with troops or reinforcements which have no existence; and resort to deceptive supply movements. Also included are the deliberate planting of false information, moving of landmarks, putting up dummy guns and vehicles, laying of dummy mines, erection of dummy installations and airfields, removal of unit identifications from uniforms, and use of signal deceptive measures.
The following examples provide guidelines for lawful ruses:
(1) The use of aircraft decoys. Slower or older aircraft may be used as decoys to lure hostile aircraft into combat with faster and newer aircraft held in reserve. The use of aircraft decoys to attract ground fire in order to identify ground targets for attack by more sophisticated aircraft is also permissible.
(2) Staging air combats. Another lawful ruse is the staging of air combat between two properly marked friendly aircraft with the object of inducing an enemy aircraft into entering the combat in aid of a supposed comrade.
(3) Imitation of enemy signals. No objection can be made to the use by friendly forces of the signals or codes of an adversary. The signals or codes used by enemy aircraft or by enemy ground installations in contact with their aircraft may properly be employed by friendly forces to deceive or mislead an adversary. However, misuse of distress signals or distinctive signals internationally recognized as reserved for the exclusive use of medical aircraft would be perfidious.
(4) Use of flares and fires. The lighting of large fires away from the true target area for the purpose of misleading enemy aircraft into believing that the large fires represent damage from prior attacks and thus leading them to the wrong target is a lawful ruse. The target marking flares of the enemy may also be used to mark false targets. However, it is an unlawful ruse to fire false target flare indicators over residential areas of a city or town which are not otherwise valid military objectives.
(5) Camouflage use. The use of camouflage is a lawful ruse for misleading and deceiving enemy combatants. The camouflage of a flying aircraft must not conceal national markings of the aircraft, and the camouflage must not take the form of the national markings of the enemy or that of objects protected under international law.
(6) Operational ruses. The ruse of the “switched raid” is a proper method of aerial warfare in which aircraft set a course, ostensibly for a particular target, and then, at a given moment, alter course in order to strike another military objective instead. This method was utilized successfully in World War II to deceive enemy fighter intercepter aircraft. 
United States, Air Force Pamphlet 110-31, International Law – The Conduct of Armed Conflict and Air Operations, US Department of the Air Force, 1976, §§ 8–3(b), 8-4(a) and (b).
United States of America
The US Naval Handbook (1995) states:
The law of armed conflicts permits deceiving the enemy through stratagems and ruses of war intended to mislead him, to deter him from taking action, or to induce him to act recklessly, provided the ruses do not violate rules of international law applicable to armed conflict.
Stratagems and ruses of war permitted in armed conflict include such deceptions as camouflage, deceptive lighting, dummy ships and other armament, decoys, simulated forces, feigned attacks and withdrawals, ambushes, false intelligence information, electronic deceptions, and utilization of enemy codes, passwords, and countersigns. 
United States, The Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations, NWP 1-14M/MCWP 5-2.1/COMDTPUB P5800.7, issued by the Department of the Navy, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and Headquarters, US Marine Corps, and Department of Transportation, US Coast Guard, October 1995 (formerly NWP 9 (Rev. A)/FMFM 1-10, October 1989), §§ 12.1 and 12.1.1.
United States of America
The US Naval Handbook (2007) states:
12.1 General
The law of armed conflict permits deceiving the enemy through stratagems and ruses of war intended to mislead him, to deter him from taking action, or to induce him to act recklessly, provided the ruses do not violate rules of international law applicable to armed conflict.
12.1.1 Permitted Deceptions
Stratagems and ruses of war permitted in armed conflict include such deceptions as camouflage; deceptive lighting; dummy ships and other armament; decoys; simulated forces; feigned attacks and withdrawals; ambushes; false intelligence information; electronic deceptions; and utilization of enemy codes, passwords, and countersigns. 
United States, The Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations, NWP 1-14M/MCWP 5-12.1/COMDTPUB P5800.7, issued by the Department of the Navy, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and Headquarters, US Marine Corps, and Department of Homeland Security, US Coast Guard, July 2007, §§ 12.1 and 12.1.1.
United States of America
The US Manual for Military Commissions (2010), Part IV, Crimes and Elements, states: “Ruses of war are legitimate so long as they do not involve treachery or perfidy on the part of the belligerent resorting to them. They are, however, forbidden if they contravene any generally accepted rule.” 
United States, Manual for Military Commissions, published in implementation of Chapter 47A of Title 10, United States Code, as amended by the Military Commissions Act of 2009, 10 U.S.C, §§ 948a, et seq., 27 April 2010, § 5(17)(c)(1), p. IV-14.
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of
The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia’s Military Manual (1988) states that ruses of war are lawful methods of conducting warfare which are used to deceive the enemy and achieve some advantage in battle or in the conduct of the war in general. It gives the following non-exhaustive list of ruses: all types of misinformation; simulation of large attacks, retreats, flights or panic, and any other type of simulation except vicious and perfidious ones; falsification of enemy commands; deceiving the enemy about the strength of one’s own forces and reserves; putting up dummy forts, positions, aircraft, take-off strips and minefields; use of make-believe signals, enemy watchwords, code signs and passwords; use of enemy uniforms without badges, removal of badges of ranks, units or services from one’s own uniform; and anything else that could deceive the enemy in order to achieve some advantage or which could in any other way have a psychological impact on the enemy. 
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of, Propisi o Primeri Pravila Medjunarodnog Ratnog Prava u Oruzanim Snagama SFRJ, PrU-2, Savezni Sekretarijat za Narodnu Odbranu (Pravna Uprava), 1988, § 108.
Italy
Italy’s Law of War Decree (1938), as amended in 1992, provides: “Stratagems of war and the employment of methods necessary for obtaining information about the enemy are considered lawful.” 
Italy, Law of War Decree, 1938, as amended in 1992, Article 36.
Colombia
According to a ruling of Colombia’s Constitutional Court in 1997, the use of military tactics and stratagems must be in conformity with constitutional standards. However, it had in mind the protection of civilians rather than stratagems as a method of warfare. 
Colombia, Constitutional Court, Constitutional Case No. T-303, Judgment, 20 June 1997.
Germany
In 2010, in the Chechen Refugee case, Germany’s Federal Administrative Court was called upon to decide whether a Russian refugee claimant from Chechnya had to be excluded from refugee protection because there were serious reasons for considering that he had committed a war crime in Chechnya in 2002 by killing two Russian soldiers and taking a Russian officer hostage. The Court stated: “In some cases, unlawful perfidy and lawful ruses of war are difficult to distinguish”. 
Germany, Federal Administrative Court, Chechen Refugee case, Judgment, 16 February 2010, § 37.
Algeria
The Report on the Practice of Algeria recalls the old Islamic principle whereby “la guerre est ruse” (war is ruse). The report notes that Algerian fighters during the war of independence predominantly used methods of war such as surprise attacks, ambushes, camouflage, misinformation and mock operations. 
Report on the Practice of Algeria, 1997, Chapter 2.4.
Iraq
On the basis of the reply by Iraq’s Ministry of Defence to a questionnaire, the Report on the Practice of Iraq states that ruses of war are permitted as long as they do not contravene religious and moral rules or local and international traditions. 
Report on the Practice of Iraq, 1998, Reply by the Ministry of Defence to a questionnaire, July 1997, Chapter 2.4.
Malaysia
According to the Report on the Practice of Malaysia, members of security forces who were interviewed indicated that, in practice, deception such as camouflage would be used in conducting operations. 
Report on the Practice of Malaysia, 1997, Chapter 2.4.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
As an example of a ruse of war, a commentator recalled that, during the War in the South Atlantic, the United Kingdom announced the establishment of a “maritime exclusion zone”. The impression was given that a UK nuclear submarine was on station in the area. There were later complaints that misleading information had been released, when it was discovered that the vessel was in Scotland. Since the exclusion zone was not a formal blockade (it only applied to enemy naval vessels), which must be enforceable to be binding, it could be considered as a mere warning to Argentine naval forces. The commentator stated that “this was a perfectly valid and successful piece of ‘disinformation’”. 
Howard S. Levie, “The Falklands Crisis and the Laws of War”, in Alberto R. Coll and Anthony C. Arend (eds.), The Falklands War: Lessons for Strategy, Diplomacy and International Law, George Allen & Unwin, Boston, 1985, p. 65.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
A training video on IHL produced by the UK Ministry of Defence states that ruses are permitted but underlines that it is difficult to differentiate ruses of war and treachery. 
United Kingdom, Ministry of Defence, Training Video: The Geneva Conventions, 1986, Report on UK Practice, 1997, Chapter 2.4.
United States of America
In 1992, in its final report to Congress on the conduct of the Gulf War, the US Department of Defense stated:
Under the law of war, deception includes those measures designed to mislead the enemy by manipulation, distortion, or falsification of evidence to induce him to react in a manner prejudicial to his interests. Ruses are deception of the enemy by legitimate means, and are specifically allowed by Article 24, [of the 1907 Hague Regulations], and [the 1977 Additional Protocol I]
Coalition actions that convinced Iraqi military leaders that the ground campaign to liberate Kuwait would be focused in eastern Kuwait, and would include an amphibious assault, are examples of legitimate ruses …
There were few examples of perfidious practices during the Persian Gulf War. The most publicized were those associated with the battle of Ras Al-Khafji, which began on 29 January. As that battle began, Iraqi tanks entered Ras Al-Khafji with their turrets reversed, turning their guns forward only at the moment action began between Iraqi and Coalition forces. While there was some media speculation that this was an act of perfidy, it was not; a reversed turret is not a recognized indication of surrender per se. Some tactical confusion may have occurred, since Coalition ground forces were operating under a defensive posture at that time, and were to engage Iraqi forces only upon clear indication of hostile intent, or some hostile act. 
United States, Department of Defense, Final Report to Congress on the Conduct of the Persian Gulf War, 10 April 1992, Appendix O, The Role of the Law of War, ILM, Vol. 31, 1992, pp. 631–632.
No data.
No data.
Hague Peace Conference (1907)
The report of the Second Commission to the Hague Peace Conference in 1907 included an explanatory note stating that Article 24 of the 1907 Hague Regulations aimed “only to say that ruses of war and methods of obtaining information are not prohibited as such. They would cease to be ‘permissible’ in case of infraction of a recognised imperative rule to the contrary.” 
Howard S. Levie, The Code of International Armed Conflict, Oceana Publications, London, 1985, Vol. 1, Chapter 3.5, Section 35.1, p. 118.
No data.
ICRC
To fulfil its task of disseminating IHL, the ICRC has delegates around the world teaching armed and security forces that:
To be consistent with the law of war, deception shall follow the distinction between permitted ruses and prohibited perfidy.
“Ruse of war” or “stratagem” means any act not amounting to perfidy but intended:
a) to mislead the enemy; or
b) to induce the enemy to act recklessly.
Ruses of war are permitted.
Examples of ruses of war:
a) camouflage (natural, paints, nets, smoke);
b) displays (decoys, feint);
c) demonstrations, mock operations;
d) disinformation, misinformation;
e) technical (electronic, communications). 
Frédéric de Mulinen, Handbook on the Law of War for Armed Forces, ICRC, Geneva, 1987, §§ 400–402.
Bothe, Partsch and Solf
In their commentary on the 1977 Additional Protocols, Bothe, Partsch and Solf state: “Ruses of war have always been permitted.” They give as examples of such ruses:
the use of spies and secret agents, encouraging defection or insurrection among enemy civilians, corrupting enemy civilians or soldiers by bribes, or encouraging the enemy’s combatants to desert, surrender or rebel (but not selectively to assassinate a particular individual), … surprise attacks, ambushes, simulating quiet and inactivity, use of small units to simulate large forces, transmitting false or misleading messages, making use of the enemy’s signals, pretending to communicate with troops or reinforcements which do not exist, moving landmarks and route markers, putting up dummy weapons and the laying of dummy mines. 
Michael Bothe, Karl Joseph Partsch, Waldemar A. Solf (eds.), New Rules for Victims of Armed Conflicts, Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague, 1982, pp. 202 and 207.
Oeter
Commenting on Article 37(2) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, Oeter states: “Deceiving the enemy about the military situation … has belonged to the common arsenal of warfare since time immemorial.” He adds:
Camouflaging one’s own defence positions and using them for ambushes, setting up surprise attacks from such camouflaged positions, simulating operations of retreat, as well as simulating operations of attack, using dummy weapons, transmitting misleading messages, inter alia, by using the adversary’s radio wavelengths, passwords, and codes, infiltrating the enemy’s command chain in order to channel wrong orders, moving landmarks and route markers, giving members of one military unit the signs of other units to persuade the enemy that one’s force is larger than it really is – all these are established elements of traditional tactics. 
Stefan Oeter, Methods and Means of Combat, in Dieter Fleck (ed.), The Handbook of Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflicts, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1995, pp. 199–200, § 471.