Practice Relating to Rule 8. Definition of Military Objectives

Note: Practice concerning military vehicles, ships and aircraft has been included in Rule 8, Section D. Weapons and weapon systems.
Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property
Under Article 8 of the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property, cultural property may be placed under special protection provided, inter alia, that it is situated “at an adequate distance … from any important military objective constituting a vulnerable point, such as, for example, an aerodrome … a port or railway station of relative importance or a main line of communication”. 
Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, The Hague, 14 May 1954, Article 8.
Hague Rules of Air Warfare
According to Article 24(2) of the 1923 Hague Rules of Air Warfare, “lines of … transportation used for military purposes” 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 … lines of communication or transportation used for military purposes”. 
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 of the proposed annex to Article 7(2) of the 1956 New Delhi Draft Rules provided:
The objectives belonging to the following categories are those considered to be of generally recognized military importance:
(5) Airfields …
(6) Those of the lines and means of communication (railway lines, roads, bridges, tunnels and canals) which are of fundamental 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 of the proposed annex to Article 7(2).
Australia
Australia’s Defence Force Manual (1994) cites “transport facilities which support military operations” and “transportation systems for military supplies, transportation centres where lines of communication converge, [and] rail yards” as examples of military objectives. 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, §§ 527(b) and 527(f).
Australia
Australia’s LOAC Manual (2006) identifies “transport facilities which support military operations” and “transportation systems for military supplies, transportation centres where lines of communication converge, [and] rail yards” as examples of military objectives. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, § 5.31.
In its chapter on “Air Operations”, the manual states:
8.56 … If there is doubt as to the status of a civil aircraft, it should be called upon to clarify that status. If it fails to do so, or is engaged in non-civil activities, such as ferrying troops, it may be attacked …
8.57 Civil aircraft, which have been absorbed into a belligerent’s air force and are being ferried from the manufacturer to a belligerent for this purpose, may be attacked.
8.59 Civil aircraft on the ground may only be attacked in accordance with the normal rules relating to military objectives. However, since they may be used for transporting troops or supplies, their status will frequently depend upon the prevailing military situation. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, §§ 8.56–8.57 and 8.59.
The LOAC Manual (2006) replaces both the Defence Force Manual (1994) and the Commanders’ Guide (1994).
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (1999) considers that “military bases, … ports and airfields; and … military aircraft” are “generally accepted as being military objectives”. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 4-2, § 9(a).
The manual adds that “transportation systems for military supplies; … transportation centres where lines of communication converge; [and] railyards” “depending on the circumstances, may constitute military objectives”. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 4-2, § 11(a), (b) and (c).
Canada’s LOAC Manual (2001) states in its chapter on targeting:
1. The following are generally accepted as being military objectives:
a. military bases, … ports and airfields; and
b. military aircraft …
2. Civilian vessels, aircraft, vehicles and buildings are military objectives if they contain combatants, military equipment or supplies.
3. The following objects, depending on the circumstances, may constitute military objectives:
a. transportation systems for military supplies;
b. transportation centres where lines of communication converge;
c. rail yards. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 407.1–3(a–c).
Central African Republic
The Central African Republic’s Instructor’s Manual (1999) states in Volume 2 (Instruction for group and patrol leaders): “Only ships that are military objectives at sea may be attacked. Examples of these include: ships in convoy; ships carrying goods of military significance and members of the enemy armed forces; ships breaking a blockade.” 
Central African Republic, Le Droit de la Guerre, Fascicule No. 2: Formation pour l’obtention du certificat technique No. 2 (Chef de Groupe), du certificat Inter-Armé (CIA), du certificat d’aptitude de Chef de Patrouille (CACP), Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Centrafricaines, 1999, Chapter II, Section 1.2; see also Le Droit de la Guerre, Fascicule No. 3: Formation pour l’obtention du Brevet d’Armes No. 1, du Brevet d’Armes No. 2 et le stage d’Officier de Police Judiciaire (OPJ), Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Centrafricaines, 1999, Chapter III, Section 4.
Chad
Chad’s Instructor’s Manual (2006) states that military objectives may include “airports [and] means of transport”. 
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. 58.
Croatia
Croatia’s Commanders’ Guide (1992) includes “military means of transportation” among military objectives. 
Croatia, Basic Rules of the Law of Armed Conflicts – Commanders’ Manual, Republic of Croatia, Ministry of Defence, 1992, § 4.
Ecuador
Ecuador’s Naval Manual (1989) lists airfields, bridges, railyards, docks, port facilities, harbours and embarkation points as 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.
France
According to France’s LOAC Summary Note (1992), “military means of transportation” 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.
Ireland
Ireland’s Basic LOAC Guide (2005) states: “Military objectives … obviously include military … vehicles”. 
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 Rules of Warfare (2006) states: “The war effort is not only expressed in attacking fighters at the front, but, also in striking at the enemy’s logistical infrastructure – … mobilisation centres and communications.” 
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 on the Rules of Warfare (2006) is a second edition of the Manual on the Laws of War (1998).
Italy
Italy’s LOAC Elementary Rules Manual (1991) includes “military means of transportation” among military objectives. 
Italy, Regole elementari di diritto di guerra, SMD-G-012, Stato Maggiore della Difesa, I Reparto, Ufficio Addestramento e Regolamenti, Rome, 1991, § 4.
Madagascar
Madagascar’s Military Manual (1994) states that “military means of transportation” are military objectives. 
Madagascar, Le Droit des Conflits Armés, Ministère des Forces Armées, August 1994, Fiche No. 2-O, § 4.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (1993) of the Netherlands states:
Whether a road or railway constitutes a military objective depends on the military situation on the spot. The answer to the question of whether the acquisition of such an object at that moment yields a definite military advantage is decisive for the qualification of the object. 
Netherlands, Toepassing Humanitair Oorlogsrecht, Voorschift No. 27-412/1, Koninklijke Landmacht, Ministerie van Defensie, 1993, p. V-3.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states that “the equipment used by [armed forces] (tanks, vehicles, aircraft, etc)” constitutes military objectives. 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 0509.
The manual further states: “Whether a road or railway line forms a military objective depends on the military situation in the field.” 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 0510.
New Zealand
New Zealand’s Military Manual (1992) states that “[military] transport, ports [and] airfields are examples of objects universally regarded as 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(2); see also § 623(2).
The manual further considers that “transportation systems for military supplies, transportation centres where lines of communication converge, railyards … may be attacked if they meet the criteria for 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(4); see also § 623(4).
Peru
Peru’s IHL Manual (2004) states: “[Air] bombardment is legitimate only when directed exclusively against the following objectives: … lines of … transport which are used for military purposes.” 
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.
The manual also states: “Merchant ships escorted by enemy warships and civilian aircraft escorted by enemy military aircraft can be attacked.” 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial Nº 1394-2004-DE/CCFFAA/CDIH-FFAA, Lima, 1 December 2004, § 29.n.
Peru
Peru’s IHL and Human Rights Manual (2010) states: “[Air] bombardment is only legitimate when it is exclusively directed against the following objectives: … lines of … transport which are used for military purposes.” 
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.
The manual also states:
a. Enemy Merchant Ships
(1) Enemy merchant ships can only be attacked if they meet the definition of military objective.
(2) The following activities can turn an enemy merchant ship into a military objective:
(d) Navigating in convoy with warships or enemy military aircraft.
b. Enemy Civil Aircraft
(1) Enemy civil aircraft can only be attacked if it meets the definition of military objective.
(2) The following activities can turn an enemy civil aircraft into a military objective:
(d) Flying under the protection of accompanying warships or enemy military aircraft. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, § 121(a)(1)–(2)(d) and (b)(1)–(2)(d), p. 312.
Republic of Korea
The Republic of Korea’s Military Law Manual (1996) considers highways, railways, ports and airfields used for military operations as military objectives. 
Republic of Korea, Military Law Manual, 1996, p. 87.
Spain
Spain’s Field Regulations (1882) stipulates that bridges and railway equipment are legitimate objects of attack. 
Spain, El Reglamento para el Servicio de Campaña, 4 January 1882, § 880.
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (2007) states that military objectives include:
[C]ivilian vehicles, ships and aircraft when they take part in hostilities, transport troops or military supplies, are escorted by military personnel (unless there is an agreement to the contrary), cross duly marked prohibited areas (unless there is an agreement to the contrary), disobey an order to stop or actively resist inspection.  
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.(2).(a).
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Basic Military Manual (1987) considers “means of transportation of military importance” as military objectives. 
Switzerland, Lois et coutumes de la guerre (Extrait et commentaire), Règlement 51.7/II f, Armée Suisse, 1987, Article 28.
United States of America
The US Air Force Pamphlet (1976) states:
Controversy exists over whether, and the circumstances under which, other objects, such as civilian transportation and communications systems, dams and dikes can be classified properly as military objectives … A key factor in classification of objects as military objectives is whether they make an effective contribution to an adversary’s military action so that their capture, destruction or neutralization offers a definite military advantage in the circumstances ruling at the time. 
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
The US Naval Handbook (1995) lists airfields, bridges, railyards, docks, port facilities, harbours and embarkation points as 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: “Proper objects of attack include, but are not limited to, such military objectives as … embarkation points … docks, port facilities, harbors, bridges, [and] airfields”. 
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.
Cuba
Cuba’s Military Criminal Code (1979) includes “means of transportation” in a list of military objects. 
Cuba, Military Criminal Code, 1979, Article 33(1).
Cuba
Cuba’s National Defence Act (1994) lists “means of land, air and water transport [and] airfields, ports and port installations, and plants, workshops, service centres, fuel stores and other installations intended for the exploitation, maintenance and repair of transport facilities and equipment” among the objects integrated within the “Military Reserve of Facilities and Equipment of the National Economy” to guarantee the necessities of defence in wartime. 
Cuba, National Defence Act, 1994, Article 119(a) and (d).
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]:
bb)
At the time of the order to drop the bombs, both fuel tankers, the fuel contained therein and the two towing vehicles located in close proximity to the fuel tankers constituted legitimate military objectives under the international law of armed conflict.
… The fuel tankers and the fuel … became military objectives with the abduction by the Taliban because they were suited to effectively contribute to military action from this moment on. The fuel could be used to refuel vehicles used for attacks and used in combination with explosives as improvised explosive devices. It thus constitutes a military objective in any case as its destruction would offer a considerable military advantage. The fuel tankers also constituted a military objective … The reason is that they could be used for attacks with vehicle-based explosive devices as already happened in Afghanistan five times in 2009 until 4 September 2009. It is irrelevant that the fuel tankers were immobilized on a sandbank. Colonel (Oberst) Klein wanted to prevent any future movement of the tankers. There was the risk that the insurgents would successfully free the tankers and use them for military purposes. … The same holds true for both vehicles present in the immediate surroundings of the fuel tankers. Because of their concrete use they were meant to make an effective contribution to the Taliban’s military action. Therefore, criminal responsibility under § 11 para. 11 no. 3 VStGB can be excluded. 
Germany, Federal Court of Justice, Federal Prosecutor General, Fuel Tankers case, Decision, 16 April 2010, pp. 47–50.
Algeria
According to the Report on the Practice of Algeria, the destruction of railways, bridges and roads was part of a policy of “economic sabotage” conducted by the ALN during the war of independence. 
Report on the Practice of Algeria, 1997, Chapter 1.3, referring to El Moudjahid, Vol. 1, pp. 25–26.
Israel
In 2006, Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated:
IDF [Israel Defense Force] operations in Lebanon have also included operations directed against infrastructure and property. These have included:
Bridges and roads – The activity of terrorist groups in Lebanon is dependent on major transportation arteries, through which weaponry and ammunition, as well as missile launchers and terrorist reinforcements are transported. Damage to key routes is intended to prevent or obstruct the terrorists in planning and perpetrating their attacks. In this case it is also intended to prevent the kidnapped soldiers being smuggled out of the country.
Under international law there is widespread recognition that lines of transportation which can serve military purposes are a legitimate military target. In its Commentary on the Additional Protocols to the Geneva Conventions, the ICRC includes in its list of military objectives considered to be of “generally recognized military importance”: “Lines and means of communications (railway lines, roads, bridges, tunnels and canals) which are of fundamental military importance”.
A useful practical test for gauging the military importance of lines of transportation is proposed in the US Air Force Pamphlet, which asks “whether they make an effective contribution to an adversary’s military action so that their capture, destruction or neutralization offers a definite military advantage in the circumstances ruling at the time”.
In the current situation, notwithstanding the security justifications for targeting major roads, the IDF takes pains to ensure that sufficient routes remain open to enable civilians to leave combat zones, and to permit the access of humanitarian supplies. Efforts are also made to ensure that damage to civilian vehicles is minimized.
Runways at Beirut International Airport – In the view of the IDF, rendering the runways unusable constituted the most appropriate method of preventing reinforcements and supplies of weaponry and military materiel reaching the terrorist organizations. It is also a response to reports that it is the intention of the terrorists to fly the kidnapped Israelis out of Lebanon.
Airports are widely recognized to be legitimate military targets. The Canadian Law of Armed Conflict Manual, for example, notes that “ports and airfields are generally accepted as being military objectives” (14) while the ICRC list of generally recognized military objectives includes: “airfields, rocket launching ramps and naval base installations”.
It should be also be noted that, in its operation at Beirut Airport, the IDF was careful not to damage the central facilities of the airport, including the radar and control towers, allowing the airport to continue to control international flights over its airspace. 
Israel, Responding to Hizbullah Attacks from Lebanon: Issues of Proportionality, Legal Background, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel, 25 July 2006, § 4.
Israel
In 2007, Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated in a diplomatic note:
The guiding principle adopted by the IDF [Israel Defense Forces] was to target only infrastructure that was making a significant contribution to the operational capabilities of the Hizbullah terrorists. This meant that, for the most part, Israeli attacks were limited to the transportation infrastructure. Most of the other infrastructure (medical, cultural, railroad, tunnels, ports, banking, manufacturing, farming, tourism, sewage, financial, electricity, drainage, water and the like) was left almost completely untouched.
All IDF operations in Lebanon were directed against legitimate military objectives, and specifically in relation to infrastructure, included the following:
Bridges and roads – The activity of terrorist groups in Lebanon was dependent on major transportation arteries through which weaponry and ammunition, as well as missile launchers and terrorist reinforcements, were transported. Damage to key routes was intended to prevent or obstruct the planning and perpetrating of attacks by the terrorists. It was also intended to prevent the kidnapped Israeli soldiers from being smuggled out of the country.
Under international law there is widespread recognition that lines of transportation which can serve military purposes are a legitimate military target. In its Commentary on the Additional Protocols to the Geneva Conventions, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) includes in its list of military objectives considered to be of “generally recognized military importance”: “Lines and means of communications (railway lines, roads, bridges, tunnels and canals) which are of fundamental military importance.”
A useful practical test for gauging the military importance of lines of transportation is proposed in the US Air Force Pamphlet, which asks “whether they make an effective contribution to an adversary’s military action so that their capture, destruction or neutralization offers a definite military advantage in the circumstances ruling at the time.”
Notwithstanding the operational justifications for targeting major roads in Lebanon, the IDF took pains to ensure that sufficient routes remained open to enable civilians to leave combat zones and to permit access for humanitarian supplies. Efforts were also made to ensure that damage to civilian vehicles was minimized.
Runways at Beirut International Airport – In the view of the IDF, rendering the runways unusable constituted one of the most important and appropriate methods of preventing reinforcements and supplies of weaponry and military materiel reaching the terrorist organizations. It was also a response to reports that the Hizbullah terrorists intended to fly the kidnapped Israelis out of Lebanon.
Airports are widely recognized to be legitimate military targets. The Canadian Law of Armed Conflict Manual, for example, notes that “ports and airfields are generally accepted as being military objectives” while the ICRC list of generally recognized military objectives includes: “airfields, rocket launching ramps and naval base installations.”
It should also be noted that, in its operation at Beirut Airport, the IDF was careful not to damage the central facilities of the airport, including the radar and control towers, allowing the airport to continue to control international flights over its airspace. 
Israel, Israel’s War with Hizbullah. Preserving Humanitarian Principles While Combating Terrorism, Diplomatic Notes No. 1, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel, April 2007, pp. 15–16.
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 it had attacked “main Iraqi military airfields”. 
United Kingdom, Letter dated 28 January 1991 to the President of the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/22156, 28 January 1991, p. 1.
In a further report, it stated that “airfields” and “bridges vital to the military supply effort to and from Kuwait” had been attacked. 
United Kingdom, Letter dated 13 February 1991 to the President of the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/22218, 13 February 1991, p. 1.
United States of America
During the Korean War, the US Joint Chiefs of Staff informed General MacArthur that mass air operations against industrial targets in North Korea were “highly desirable”. The Joint Chiefs of Staff accordingly designated, inter alia, the following targets: the railway yards and shops at Pyongyang, the railway yards and shops at Wonsan, the railway yards and shops and the harbour facilities at Chongjin, the railway yards at Chinnampo, the railway yards and shops and the docks and storage areas at Songjin, the railway yards at Hamhung and the railway yards at Haeju. 
United States, Letter dated 13 February 1991 to the President of the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/22218, 13 February 1991, p. 1.
United States of America
In 1966, in the context of the Vietnam War, the US Secretary of Defense stated:
We are directing the aircraft against military targets, only military targets, and those particularly associated with the lines of communication between North Vietnam and South Vietnam over which they are sending the men and equipment which are the foundation of the Viet Cong effort to subvert the Government of South Vietnam. 
United States, Secretary of Defense, Statement on targeting policy in Vietnam, 2 February 1966, reprinted in Marjorie Whiteman, Digest of International Law, Vol. 10, Department of State Publication 8367, Washington, D.C., 1968, p. 427.
United States of America
In 1966, in the context of the Vietnam War, the US Department of Defense stated:
U.S. policy is to target military targets only, particularly those which have a direct impact on the movement of men and supplies into South Vietnam. These targets include but are not limited to roads, railroads, bridges [and] road junctions … In the specific case of Nam Dinh and Phu Li, targets have been limited to railroad and highway bridges, railroad yards … 
United States, Department of Defense, Statement on targeting policy in Vietnam, 26 December 1966, reprinted in Marjorie Whiteman, Digest of International Law, Vol. 10, Department of State Publication 8367, Washington, D.C., 1968, p. 427.
United States of America
In 1991, in a report submitted to the UN Security Council on operations in the Gulf War, the United States included “supply lines” among Iraq’s military targets. 
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 another such report, the United States stated that “the supply lines leading from Iraq into Kuwait” were to be targeted by coalition forces. 
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 “airfields” 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 airfields, its port facilities, and its railroads and bridges 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.
In the same report, the US Department of Defense stated:
A bridge or highway vital to daily commuter and business traffic can be equally crucial to military traffic, or support for a nation’s war effort. Railroads, airports, seaports and the interstate highway system in the United States have been funded by the Congress in part because of US national security concerns, for example; each proved invaluable to the movement of US military units to various ports for deployment to Southwest Asia (SWA) for Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Destruction of a bridge, airport, or port facility, or interdiction of a highway can be equally important in impeding an enemy’s war effort. 
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, p. 623; see also James P. Coyne, Plan of Attack, Air Force Magazine, April 1992, pp. 40–42.
No data.
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International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
In its final report to the ICTY Prosecutor in 2000, the Committee Established to Review the NATO Bombing Campaign Against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia stated, concerning the “attack on a civilian passenger train at the Grdelica Gorge on 12 April 1999”, that the railway bridge on which the train was hit “was a legitimate military objective”. 
ICTY, Final Report to the Prosecutor by the Committee Established to Review the NATO Bombing Campaign Against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, The Hague, 14 June 2000, § 62.
No data.
Americas Watch
In 1985, in a report on violations of the laws of war in Nicaragua, Americas Watch listed “objects which, while not directly connected with combat operations, effectively contribute to military operations in the circumstances ruling at the time, such as transportation and communication systems and facilities” as objects 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.
This view was reiterated in its 1986 report on the use of landmines in the conflicts in El Salvador and Nicaragua. 
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 “objects that, while not directly connected with combat operations, effectively contribute to military operations in the circumstances ruling at the time, such as transportation and communication systems and facilities, airfields, ports” as objects 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. 140.
Human Rights Watch
Following NATO’s air campaign in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1999, Human Rights Watch stated:
The attacks on the Novi Sad bridge and six other bridges in which civilian deaths occurred … also were of questionable military effect. All are road bridges. Most are urban or town bridges that are not major routes of communications. Human Rights Watch questions individual target selection in the case of these bridges. U.S. military sources have told Human Rights Watch that bridges were often selected for attack for reasons other than their role in transportation (for example, they were conduits for communications cables, or because they were symbolic and psychologically lucrative, such as in the case of the bridge over the Danube in Novi Sad). The destruction of bridges that are not central to transportation arteries or have a purely psychological importance does not satisfy the criterion of making an “effective contribution to military action” or offering a “definite military advantage, “ the baseline tests for legitimate military targets codified in [the 1977 Additional] Protocol I, art. 52. 
Human Rights Watch, Civilian Deaths in the NATO Air Campaign, New York, 7 February 2000, p. 11.