Norma relacionada
United States of America
Practice Relating to Rule 7. The Principle of Distinction between Civilian Objects and Military Objectives
Section C. Attacks against civilian objects in general
The US Air Force Pamphlet (1976) provides: “Civilian objects shall not be made the object of attack.” 
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(a)(1)(b).
The Pamphlet also states:
In addition to the grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions of 1949, the following acts are representative of situations involving individual criminal responsibility: … (4) aerial bombardment for the deliberate purpose of … destroying protected areas, buildings or objects. 
United States, Air Force Pamphlet 110-31, International Law – The Conduct of Armed Conflict and Air Operations, US Department of the Air Force, 1976, § 15-3(c)(4).
The US Rules of Engagement for Operation Desert Storm (1991) states:
Avoid harming civilian property unless necessary to save US lives. Do not attack traditional civilian objects, such as houses, unless they are being used by the enemy for military purposes and neutralization assists in mission accomplishment. 
United States, Desert Storm – Rules of Engagement, Pocket Card, US Central Command, January 1991, reprinted in Operational Law Handbook, International and Operational Law Department, The Judge Advocate General’s School, United States Army, Charlottesville, Virginia, 1995, pp. 8-7 and 8-8, § G.
The US Naval Handbook (1995) provides: “Civilians and civilian objects may not be made the object of attack.” 
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), § 8.1.2.
The US Manual for Military Commissions (2007), Part IV, Crimes and Elements, includes in the list of crimes triable by military commissions:
ATTACKING CIVILIAN OBJECTS.
a. Text. “Any person subject to this chapter who intentionally engages in an attack upon a civilian object that is not a military objective shall be punished as a military commission under this chapter may direct.”
b. Elements.
(1) The accused engaged in an attack;
(2) The object of the attack was civilian property, that is, property that was not a military objective;
(3) The accused intended such civilian property to be an object of the attack;
(4) The accused knew or should have known that such property was not a military objective; and
(5) The attack took place in the context of and was associated with armed conflict.
c. Comment. The intent required for this offense precludes its applicability with regard to collateral damage or death, damage, or injury incident to a lawful attack.
d. Maximum punishment. Confinement for 20 years. 
United States, Manual for Military Commissions, published in implementation of the Military Commissions Act of 2006, 10 U.S.C. §§ 948a, et seq., 18 January 2007, Part IV, § 6(3), p. IV-4.
The US Naval Handbook (2007) states: “Civilians and civilian objects may not be made the object of deliberate or indiscriminate attack.” 
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, § 8.3.
The Handbook also states: “Commanders … must distinguish valid military objectives from … civilian objects before attacking.” 
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, § 5.3.2.
The US Manual for Military Commissions (2010), Part IV, Crimes and Elements, includes in the list of crimes triable by military commissions:
ATTACKING CIVILIAN OBJECTS.
a. Text. “Any person subject to this chapter who intentionally engages in an attack upon a civilian object that is not a military objective shall be punished as a military commission under this chapter may direct.”
b. Elements.
(1) The accused engaged in an attack;
(2) The object of the attack was civilian property, that is, property that was not a military objective;
(3) The accused intended such civilian property to be an object of the attack;
(4) The accused knew or should have known that such property was not a military objective; and
(5) The attack took place in the context of and was associated with hostilities.
c. Comment. The intent required for this offense precludes its applicability with regard to collateral damage or death, damage, or injury incident to a lawful attack.
d. Maximum punishment. Confinement for 20 years. 
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(3), p. IV-4.
The US Military Commissions Act (2006), passed by Congress following the Supreme Court’s decision in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld in 2006, amends Title 10 of the United States Code as follows:
§ 950v. Crimes triable by military commissions
(b) OFFENSES. – The following offenses shall be triable by military commission under this chapter at any time without limitation:
(3) ATTACKING CIVILIAN OBJECTS. – Any person subject to this chapter who intentionally engages in an attack upon a civilian object that is not a military objective shall be punished as a military commission under this chapter may direct. 
United States, Military Commissions Act, 2006, Public Law 109-366, Chapter 47A of Title 10 of the United States Code, 17 October 2006, p. 120 Stat. 2626, § 950v(b)(3).
The US Military Commissions Act (2009) amends Chapter 47A of Title 10 of the United States Code as follows:
§ 950t. Crimes triable by military commission
“The following offenses shall be triable by military commission under this chapter at any time without limitation:
“ …
“(3) ATTACKING CIVILIAN OBJECTS.—Any person subject to this chapter who intentionally engages in an attack upon a civilian object that is not a military objective shall be punished as a military commission under this chapter may direct. 
United States, Military Commissions Act, 2009, § 950t(3).
In 1966, in reply to an inquiry from a member of the US House of Representatives asking for a restatement of US policy on targeting in North Vietnam, a US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense wrote: “No United States aircraft have been ordered to strike any civilian targets in North Vietnam at any time … We have no knowledge that any pilot has disobeyed his orders and deliberately attacked these or any other nonmilitary targets in North Vietnam.” 
United States, Letter from Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Goulding to US Representative Ogden Reid from New York, 30 December 1966, reprinted in Marjorie Whiteman, Digest of International Law, Vol. 10, Department of State Publication 8367, Washington, D.C., 1968, p. 428.
In 1974, at the Lucerne Conference of Government Experts on Weapons which may Cause Unnecessary Suffering or have Indiscriminate Effects, the head of the US delegation stated that “the law of war also prohibits attacks on civilians and civilian objects as such”. 
United States, Statement of 25 September 1974 at the Conference of Government Experts on Weapons which may Cause Unnecessary Suffering or have Indiscriminate Effects, Lucerne, 24 September–18 October 1974, reprinted in Arthur W. Rovine, Digest of United States Practice in International Law, 1974 , Department of State Publication 8809, Washington, D.C., 1975, p. 713.
In 1991, in a report submitted to the UN Security Council on operations in the Gulf War, the United States stated: “Over 52,000 coalition air sorties have been carried out since hostilities began on 16 January. These sorties were not flown against any civilian or religious targets.” 
United States, Letter dated 8 February 1991 to the President of the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/22216, 13 February 1991, p. 1
In a declaration on Yugoslavia adopted in 1991, the European Community and its member States, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the United States stated that they were “particularly disturbed by reports of continued attacks on civilian targets by elements of the federal armed forces and by both Serbian and Croat irregular forces”. 
European Community, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and United States of America, Declaration on Yugoslavia, The Hague, 18 October 1991, annexed to Letter dated 21 October 1991 from the Netherlands, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the United States to the UN Secretary-General, UN Doc. A/C.1/46/11, 24 October 1991.
In 1993, in its report to Congress on the protection of natural and cultural resources during times of war, the US Department of Defense stated:
The United States considers the obligations to protect natural, civilian, and cultural property to be customary international law … Cultural property, civilian objects, and natural resources are protected from intentional attack so long as they are not utilized for military purposes. 
United States, Department of Defense, Report to Congress on International Policies and Procedures Regarding the Protection of Natural and Cultural Resources During Times of War, 19 January 1993, p. 202.