Practice Relating to Rule 8. Definition of Military Objectives
Belgium’s Law of War Manual (1983) states:
Considered as military objectives are:
1) Persons: combatants
2) Objects: a) objects which by their nature, location, purpose or use make an effective contribution to military action
b) whose total or partial destruction, capture or neutralization, in the circumstances ruling at the time, offers a definite military advantage
3) Places: every defended position. This does not necessarily mean that it must be reinforced: it is sufficient that enemy troops go through it, or that it is protected by mine fields, or that its access is closed by artillery fire.
Belgium’s Regulations on the Tactical Use of Large Units (1994) states: “An objective is the final goal of an action. It is defined as either an area of land of tactical importance or as enemy elements that have to be destroyed or neutralized.”