Practice Relating to Rule 8. Definition of Military Objectives

Note: For practice concerning attacks against combatants, see Rule 1, Section B.
St. Petersburg Declaration
The preamble to the 1868 St. Petersburg Declaration states: “The only legitimate object which States should endeavour to accomplish during war is to weaken the military forces of the enemy.” 
Declaration Renouncing the Use, in Time of War, of Explosive Projectiles Under 400 Grammes Weight, St. Petersburg, 29 November–11 December 1868, preamble.
Hague Rules of Air Warfare
According to Article 24(2) of the 1923 Hague Rules of Air Warfare, “military forces” are military objectives. 
Rules concerning the Control of Wireless Telegraphy in Time of War and Air Warfare, Part II, drafted by a Commission of Jurists, The Hague, December 1922–February 1923, Article 24(2).
ILA Draft Convention for the Protection of Civilian Populations against New Engines of War
Article 5(1) of the 1938 ILA Draft Convention for the Protection of Civilian Populations against New Engines of War provides that “aerial bombardment is prohibited unless directed at combatant forces”. 
Draft Convention for the Protection of Civilian Populations against New Engines of War, adopted by the International Law Association, Fortieth Conference, Amsterdam, 29 August–2 September 1938, Article 5(1).
New Delhi Draft Rules
Paragraph I(1) of the proposed annex to Article 7(2) of the 1956 New Delhi Draft Rules stated that “armed forces, including auxiliary or complementary organizations, and persons who, though not belonging to the above-mentioned formations, nevertheless take part in the fighting” are military objectives considered to be of “generally recognized military importance”. 
Draft Rules for the Limitation of the Dangers Incurred by the Civilian Population in Time of War, drafted by the International Committee of the Red Cross, September 1956, submitted to governments for their consideration on behalf of the 19th International Conference of the Red Cross, New Delhi, 28 October–7 November, Res. XIII, § I(1) of the proposed annex to Article 7(2).
Australia
Australia’s Defence Force Manual (1994) lists among military objectives “all persons taking a direct part in hostilities, whether military or civilian”. 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, § 527(d); see also § 916(a) (“armed forces except medical and religious personnel”).
Australia
Australia’s LOAC Manual (2006) states:
5.27 The term “military objective” includes combatant members of the enemy armed forces and their military weapons, vehicles, equipment and installations.
5.31 Military objectives may include a very wide range of persons, locations and objects. Some examples are:
• all persons taking a direct part in hostilities, whether military or civilian. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, §§ 5.27 and 5.31.
The LOAC Manual (2006) replaces both the Defence Force Manual (1994) and the Commanders’ Guide (1994).
Belgium
Belgium’s Law of War Manual (1983) considers combatants to be military objectives. 
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. 27.
Benin
Benin’s Military Manual (1995) considers the armed forces, with the exception of medical and religious personnel and objects, to be military objectives. 
Benin, Le Droit de la Guerre, III fascicules, Forces Armées du Bénin, Ministère de la Défense nationale, 1995, Fascicule I, p. 12.
Burundi
Burundi’s Regulations on International Humanitarian Law (2007) states that “civilians who take direct part in combat become military objectives”. 
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. 53.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (1992) states that the armed forces are considered military objectives, with the exception of religious and medical personnel. 
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. 17.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (2006) qualifies “Armed Forces (with the exception of religious and medical personnel)” as “military objectives”. 
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. 92, § 352.12; see also p. 134, § 412.12.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (1999) considers that combatants, airborne troops and unlawful combatants are “legitimate targets”. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 4-1, § 7 and p. 4-2, §§ 12–14.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (2001) states in its chapter on targeting:
406. Definition of legitimate targets
1. “Legitimate targets” include combatants, unlawful combatants and military objectives.
408. Combatants
1. Combatants are legitimate targets and may be attacked unless they have been captured, surrendered, expressed a clear intention to surrender, or are hors de combat (i.e., out of combat), provided they refrain from hostile acts and do not attempt to escape …
409. Airborne troops
1. Airborne troops are combatants and therefore legitimate targets. They may be attacked during their descent by parachute from aircraft.
410. Unlawful combatants
1. Unlawful combatants are legitimate targets for such time as they take a direct part in hostilities. Unlawful combatants include:
a. civilians (except those who are lawful combatants because they are participating in levée en masse);
b. mercenaries; and
c. spies. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels , Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, §§ 406.1 and 408–410.1.
Central African Republic
The Central African Republic’s Instructor’s Manual (1999) states in Volume 1 (Basic and team leader instruction): “The following are considered military objectives: … the armed forces, other than medical personnel”. 
Central African Republic, Le Droit de la Guerre, Fascicule No. 1: Formation élémentaire toutes armés (FETA), formation commune de base (FCB), certificat d’aptitude technique No. 1 (Chef d’équipe), Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Centrafricaines, 1999, Chapter II, Section I, § 3.
Chad
Chad’s Instructor’s Manual (2006) states that military objectives may include “members of the armed forces”. 
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. 35; see also pp. 36, 57 and 58.
Colombia
According to Colombia’s Instructors’ Manual (1999), combatants are military objectives. 
Colombia, Derechos Humanos & Derecho Internacional Humanitario – Manual de Instrucción de la Guía de Conducta para el Soldado e Infante de Marina, Ministerio de Defensa Nacional, Oficina de Derechos Humanos, Fuerzas Militares de Colombia, Santafé de Bogotá, 1999, p. 15.
Côte d’Ivoire
Côte d’Ivoire’s Teaching Manual (2007) provides in Book I (Basic instruction):
I.2 Military objectives
- Combatants. 
Côte d’Ivoire, Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre I: Instruction de base, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, p. 18.
In Book III, Volume 2 (Instruction of second-year trainee officers), the Teaching Manual provides:
II.1.1. Military objectives
Military objectives are:
- the armed forces with the exception of the medical service and religious personnel and objects. 
Côte d’Ivoire, Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre III, Tome 2: Instruction de l’élève officier d’active de 2ème année, Manuel de l’instructeur, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, p. 28.
Croatia
According to Croatia’s LOAC Compendium (1991), military objectives include the armed forces. 
Croatia, Compendium “Law of Armed Conflicts”, Republic of Croatia, Ministry of Defence, 1991, p. 7; see also Basic Rules of the Law of Armed Conflicts – Commanders’ Manual, Republic of Croatia, Ministry of Defence, 1992, § 4 (“combatants”).
Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic’s Military Manual (1980) states: “Under the laws of war, you are not allowed to attack villages, towns, or cities. However, when your mission requires, you are allowed to engage enemy troops, equipment, or supplies in a village, town or city.” 
Dominican Republic, La Conducta en Combate según las Leyes de la Guerra, Escuela Superior de las FF. AA. “General de Brigada Pablo Duarte”, Secretaría de Estado de las Fuerzas Armadas, May 1980, p. 3.
Ecuador
Ecuador’s Naval Manual (1989) provides that combatants and troop concentrations are military objectives. 
Ecuador, Aspectos Importantes del Derecho Internacional Marítimo que Deben Tener Presente los Comandantes de los Buques, Academia de Guerra Naval, 1989, § 8.1.1.
Ethiopia
According to Ethiopia’s Standing Rules of Engagement (2007), “military objectives” include “regular members of the enemy army wearing a uniform”, “paramilitary forces and voluntary conscripts” and “identifiable armed rebel groups organized to bring down the constitutional order”. 
Ethiopia, Standing Rules of Engagement, National Defense Force, Addis Ababa, 2007, §§ 8.3.1–8.3.3.
France
According to France’s LOAC Summary Note (1992), combatants are military objectives. 
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, § 1.2; see also Fiche didactique relative au droit des conflits armés, Directive of the Ministry of Defence, 4 January 2000, annexed to the Directive No. 147 of the Ministry of Defence of 4 January 2000, p. 2 (“military units”).
Germany
Germany’s Military Manual (1992) provides that military objectives include, in particular, armed forces. 
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, § 443.
Hungary
According to Hungary’s Military Manual (1992), military objectives include the armed forces. 
Hungary, A Hadijog, Jegyzet a Katonai, Föiskolák Hallgatói Részére, Magyar Honvédség Szolnoki Repülötiszti Föiskola, 1992, p. 18.
Ireland
Ireland’s Basic LOAC Guide (2005) states: “Military objectives … obviously include enemy soldiers and combatants”. 
Ireland, Basic Guide to the Law of Armed Conflict, TP/TRG/01-2005, Director of Defence Forces Training, Department of Defence, July 2005, p. 4.
Israel
Israel’s Manual on the Laws of War (1998) states that “any soldier (male or female!) in the enemy’s army is a legitimate military target for attack, whether on the battlefield or outside of it”. 
Israel, Laws of War in the Battlefield, Manual, Military Advocate General Headquarters, Military School, 1998, p. 42.
Israel
Israel’s Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) states:
The fundamental rule is that war should be conducted between armies and each army should only attack the army of the enemy. A military target is any target that, if attacked, would damage the military competence/fitness of the other side. 
Israel, Rules of Warfare on the Battlefield, Military Advocate-General’s Corps Command, IDF School of Military Law, Second Edition, 2006, p. 23.
The manual further states: “Every soldier (including women soldiers!) in the enemy’s army is a legitimate military target to be attacked on and away from the battlefield.” 
Israel, Rules of Warfare on the Battlefield, Military Advocate-General’s Corps Command, IDF School of Military Law, Second Edition, 2006, p. 29.
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) provides that the armed forces are military objectives. 
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, § 12; see also Regole elementari di diritto di guerra, SMD-G-012, Stato Maggiore della Difesa, I Reparto, Ufficio Addestramento e Regolamenti, Rome, 1991, § 4 (“combatants”).
Kenya
Kenya’s LOAC Manual (1997) provides that “the armed forces except medical service and religious personnel and objects” are military objectives. 
Kenya, Law of Armed Conflict, Military Basic Course (ORS), 4 Précis, The School of Military Police, 1997, Précis No. 2, p. 11.
Madagascar
According to Madagascar’s Military Manual (1994), military objectives include “armed forces, with the exception of medical units and religious personnel and objects”. 
Madagascar, Le Droit des Conflits Armés, Ministère des Forces Armées, August 1994, Fiche No. 2-SO, § C; see also Fiche No. 2-O, § 4 and Fiche No. 4-T, § 1.
Mexico
Mexico’s IHL Guidelines (2009) states: “Military objectives are: … the armed forces except for the medical service and religious personnel and objects.” 
Mexico, Cartilla de Derecho Internacional Humanitario, Ministry of National Defence, 2009, § 8.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (1993) of the Netherlands notes that “combatants who are part of the armed forces” are military objectives “under all circumstances”. 
Netherlands, Toepassing Humanitair Oorlogsrecht, Voorschift No. 27-412/1, Koninklijke Landmacht, Ministerie van Defensie, 1993, p. V-3; see also Handboek Militair, Ministerie van Defensie, 1995, p. 7-36 (“combatants”).
Netherlands
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states that “the armed forces constitute a military objective”. 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 0509.
New Zealand
New Zealand’s Military Manual (1992) states that combatants are military objectives. 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, § 516(1); see also § 623(1).
Nigeria
According to Nigeria’s Military Manual (1994) and Soldiers’ Code of Conduct, combatants are military objectives. 
Nigeria, International Humanitarian Law (IHL), Directorate of Legal Services, Nigerian Army, 1994, p. 39, § 5(a); see also Code of Conduct for Combatants, “The Soldier’s Rules”, Nigerian Army, undated, § 1.
Peru
Peru’s IHL Manual (2004) states: “[Air] bombardment is legitimate only when directed exclusively against the following objectives: military forces … .” 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial Nº 1394-2004-DE/CCFFAA/CDIH-FFAA, Lima, 1 December 2004, § 172.d.
Peru
Peru’s IHL and Human Rights Manual (2010) states: “[Air] bombardment is only legitimate when it is exclusively directed against the following objectives: military forces”. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, § 163(c), p. 343.
Philippines
According to the Soldier’s Rules (1989) of the Philippines, enemy combatants are military objectives. 
Philippines, Soldier’s Rules, in Handbook on Discipline, Annex C(I), General Headquarters, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo, Quezon City, 1989, § 2.
Republic of Korea
According to the Republic of Korea’s Military Law Manual (1996), combatants are military objectives. 
Republic of Korea, Military Law Manual, 1996, p. 86.
Russian Federation
The Russian Federation’s Regulations on the Application of IHL (2001) states: “military objectives include units of armed forces (personnel, weapons and military equipment), except for medical units and medical transports”. 
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, § 1.
South Africa
South Africa’s LOAC Manual (1996) states that military objectives include “the armed forces, with the exception of medical and religious personnel and objects”. 
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, § 24(d)(i); see also § 34. This manual is also included in Chapter 4 of the Draft Civic Education Manual of 1997.
South Africa
South Africa’s Revised Civic Education Manual (2004) states that “military objectives” include “the armed forces, with the exception of medical and religious personnel”. 
South Africa, Revised Civic Education Manual, South African National Defence Force, 2004, Chapter 4, § 47(d).
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (1996) states that “the armed forces, except medical and religious personnel” are military objectives. 
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, § 4.2.b; see also § 4.2.b.(1).
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (2007) states that “the armed forces, except medical personnel, religious personnel and personnel engaged solely in civil defence tasks,” are military objectives. 
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, § 4.2.b; see also § 7.3.a.(6).
The manual further states: “People that can be targeted as military objectives are all those who can be considered combatants.” 
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, § 4.2.b.(1).
The manual also states that “combatants, including airborne troops during their descent” are military objectives. 
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, § 4.5.b.(1).(a); see also § 7.3.a.(6).
Sweden
Sweden’s IHL Manual (1991) states: “Persons participating in hostilities … are thereby legitimate objectives.” 
Sweden, International Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflict, with reference to the Swedish Total Defence System, Swedish Ministry of Defence, January 1991, Section 3.2.1.5, p. 40.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Basic Military Manual (1987) considers that the armed forces are military objectives liable to attack. 
Switzerland, Lois et coutumes de la guerre (Extrait et commentaire), Règlement 51.7/II f, Armée Suisse, 1987, Article 28.
Togo
Togo’s Military Manual (1996) considers the armed forces, with the exception of medical and religious personnel and objects, to be military objectives. 
Togo, Le Droit de la Guerre, III fascicules, Etat-major Général des Forces Armées Togolaises, Ministère de la Défense nationale, 1996, Fascicule I, p. 13.
Ukraine
Ukraine’s IHL Manual (2004) states: “Using military violence against combatants in hostilities up to their destruction shall be considered lawful.” 
Ukraine, Manual on the Application of IHL Rules, Ministry of Defence, 11 September 2004, § 1.2.22.
The manual further states that “military objectives” include “military units (personnel, weaponry and materiel) with the exception of medical units, means of medical transportation, religious personnel and their equipment)”. 
Ukraine, Manual on the Application of IHL Rules, Ministry of Defence, 11 September 2004, § 1.2.45.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Pamphlet (1981) states that military objectives include “concentrations of troops and individual enemy combatants”. 
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. 13, § 3(b)(2).
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Manual (2004) states: “The term “military objective” includes combatant members of the enemy armed forces and their military weapons, vehicles, equipment and installations.” 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 5.4.1.
United States of America
The US Air Force Pamphlet (1976) considers that “troops in the field are military objectives beyond any dispute”. 
United States, Air Force Pamphlet 110-31, International Law – The Conduct of Armed Conflict and Air Operations, US Department of the Air Force, 1976, § 5-3(b)(2).
United States of America
According to the US Naval Handbook (1995), combatants and troop concentrations are military objectives. 
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), § 8.1.1.
United States of America
The US Naval Handbook (2007) states: “Military objectives are combatants”. 
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, § 8.2.
The Handbook also states: “Proper objects of attack include, but are not limited to, such military objectives as … troop concentrations”. 
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, § 8.2.5.
United States of America
The US Manual for Military Commissions (2010), Part IV, Crimes and Elements, states that: “The term ‘military objective’ means – (A) combatants”. 
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, § 1(a)(1), p. IV-1.
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of
According to the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia’s Military Manual (1988), the armed forces are a military objective. 
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, § 49.
The manual further specifies: “It is permitted to directly attack only members of the armed forces and other persons – only if they directly participate in military operations.” 
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, § 67.
Italy
Italy’s Law of War Decree (1938), as amended in 1992, provides that the armed forces are military objectives. 
Italy, Law of War Decree, 1938, as amended in 1992, Article 40.
United States of America
The US Military Commissions Act (2009) amends Chapter 47A of Title 10 of the United States Code as follows:
Ҥ 950p. Definitions; construction of certain offenses; common circumstances
“(a) DEFINITIONS.—In this subchapter:
“(1) The term “military objective” means combatants. 
United States, Military Commissions Act, 2009, § 950p(a)(1).
Germany
In 2010, in the Fuel Tankers case, the Federal Prosecutor General at Germany’s Federal Court of Justice investigated whether war crimes or other crimes under domestic law had been committed in the course of an airstrike which was ordered by a colonel (Oberst) of the German armed forces against two tankers transporting fuel for the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan stolen by the Taliban near Kunduz and which resulted in the deaths of a number of civilians. The Federal Prosecutor General stated:
Pursuant to § 170 para. 2 StPO [Penal Procedure Code], the investigation proceedings which were initiated by the order of 12 March 2010 against Colonel (Oberst) Klein and Company Sergeant Major (Hauptfeldwebel) Wilhelm due to suspected offences under the VStGB [International Crimes Code] and other offences are to be terminated as a result of the investigations conducted and based on the sources of information set out hereafter and on the reasons given in detail hereafter. 
Germany, Federal Court of Justice, Federal Prosecutor General, Fuel Tankers case, Decision, 16 April 2010, p. 1.
The Federal Prosecutor General also stated:
The following is to be considered regarding the subjective element of § 11 (1) (3) VStGB [which states that carrying out an attack by military means and definitely anticipating that the attack will cause death or injury to civilians or damage to civilian objects on a scale out of proportion to the concrete and direct overall military advantage anticipated is a war crime in international and non-international armed conflict]:
aa)
Insurgents who continuously take part in the armed conflict, as the Taliban in this case, are not civilians but legitimate military objectives which may be lawfully attacked even outside of ongoing armed hostilities. 
Germany, Federal Court of Justice, Federal Prosecutor General, Fuel Tankers case, Decision, 16 April 2010, p. 47.
The Federal Prosecutor General further stated:
aa)
It is not questioned that the armed Taliban fighters who abducted the fuel tankers and who make up a significant part of the victims of the bombing were members of an organized armed group which is a party to the armed conflict. These fighters thus constitute a legitimate military objective whose “destruction” is legal within the limits of military necessity. 
Germany, Federal Court of Justice, Federal Prosecutor General, Fuel Tankers case, Decision, 16 April 2010, p. 60.
Switzerland
In 2010, in its Report on IHL and Current Armed Conflicts, Switzerland’s Federal Council stated that “government troops, … , according to international humanitarian law, represent legitimate military objectives and may be attacked at any moment”. 
Switzerland, Federal Council, Report on IHL and Current Armed Conflicts, 17 September 2010, Section 4.1, p. 20.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In 1991, in a report submitted to the UN Security Council on operations in the Gulf War, the United Kingdom stated that attacks had been directed against Iraq’s air force and land army. 
United Kingdom, Letter dated 28 January 1991 to the President of the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/22156, 28 January 1991, p. 1.
United States of America
In 1950, the US Secretary of State stated: “The air activity of the United Nations forces in Korea has been, and is, directed solely at military targets of the invader. These targets [include] enemy troop concentrations.” 
United States, Statement by the Secretary of State, Dean Acheson, 6 September 1950, reprinted in Marjorie Whiteman, Digest of International Law, Vol. 10, Department of State Publication 8367, Washington, D.C., 1968, p. 140.
United States of America
In 1991, in a report submitted to the UN Security Council on operations in the Gulf War, the United States stated that it considered the “occupation forces in Kuwait and southern Iraq” as legitimate military targets. It also stated that it had attacked Iraq’s naval forces in the northern Gulf and specified: “These attacks have been on Iraqi units that are engaged in operations against coalition forces.” 
United States, Letter dated 22 January 1991 to the President of the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/22130, 22 January 1991, p. 1.
In a subsequent report, the United States stated that the Republican Guard remained a “high priority” target. 
United States, Letter dated 30 January 1991 to the President of the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/22173, 30 January 1991, p. 1.
In another such report, the United States reiterated that it considered “the Republican Guard and other ground troops in the Kuwaiti theater of operations” as a legitimate target of attack. 
United States, Letter dated 8 February 1991 to the President of the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/22216, 13 February 1991, p. 1
United States of America
In 1991, during a news briefing concerning the Gulf War, the US Secretary of Defense stated that the “mainstay of Saddam’s command forces, the Republican Guard units located near the Iraqi/Kuwaiti border” were considered military targets and had been attacked. 
United States, News Briefing by the US Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington, 23 January 1991, annexed to Letter dated 25 January 1991 to the President of the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/22168, 29 January 1991, p. 3.
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 that Iraq’s air forces, naval forces and army units, including the Republican Guard, had been included among the 12 target sets for the coalition’s attacks. 
United States, Department of Defense, Final Report to Congress on the Conduct of the Persian Gulf War, 10 April 1992, Chapter VI, The Air Campaign, pp. 96–98.
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ICRC
To fulfil its task of disseminating IHL, the ICRC has delegates around the world teaching armed and security forces that military objectives include: “the armed forces except medical service and religious personnel and objects”. 
Frédéric de Mulinen, Handbook on the Law of War for Armed Forces, ICRC, Geneva, 1987, § 55.
Americas Watch
In 1985, in a report on violations of the laws of war in Nicaragua, Americas Watch listed “members of the Popular Sandinista Army and militias”, as well as “members of ARDE, FDN, MISURA and MISURASATA [two indigenous organizations fighting against the Nicaraguan Government]”, as persons which “can arguably be regarded as legitimate military objectives subject to direct attack”. 
Americas Watch, Violations of the Laws of War by Both Sides in Nicaragua: 1981–1985, New York, March 1985, p. 33.
Americas Watch
In 1986, in a report on the use of landmines in the conflicts in El Salvador and Nicaragua, Americas Watch listed the following persons as legitimate military objectives subject to direct attack:
1. In Nicaragua
(a) Members of the Popular Sandinista Army and Militias
(b) Members of ARDE, FDN, KISAN and MISURASATA [two indigenous organizations fighting against the Nicaraguan Government]
2. In El Salvador
(a) Members of the Salvadoran combined armed forces and civil defense forces
(b) Members of the FMLN [Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional]. 
Americas Watch, Land Mines in El Salvador and Nicaragua: The Civilian Victims, New York, December 1986, pp. 99–100.
Africa Watch
In 1989, in a report on violations of the laws of war in Angola, Africa Watch listed “members of the armed forces and civil defense of Angola and other armed forces assisting the defense of Angola, such as the Cuban armed forces”, as well as “members of UNITA [União Nacional para Independência Total de Angola] armed forces and other armed forces assisting UNITA, such as the South African Defense Force and South West Africa armed forces”, as persons which “may be regarded as legitimate military objectives subject to direct attack by combatants and mines”. 
Africa Watch, Angola: Violations of the Laws of War by Both Sides, New York, April 1989, p. 139.