The Officer’s School of the Swiss Air Force attended training on targeting rules in the Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC) at GCSP
On 8 November 2018, 20 cadets from the Officer’s School of the Swiss Air Force in Payerne visited GCSP to attend a three-hour training session on the international rules and principles applicable to targeting in air operations. This is the third time GCSP hosts such training, which is organised as a step-by-step analysis of the movie ‘Eye in the Sky’ (UK, 2015) from a legal perspective.
Alessandro Mario Amoroso, Junior Programme Officer in the Security and Law Programme, introduced the legal framework of targeting operations, clarifying the notion of armed conflict and the basic principles of LOAC. The cadets were then guided in an interactive discussion of the movie, which shows the entire decision-making process of an operation to capture terrorists in Kenya. When the situation on the ground changes and all non-lethal options are suddenly ruled-out, the protagonists find themselves confronted with the legal, political and ethical dilemmas raised by targeted killing.
The unfolding of the operation stimulated a lively discussion of the entangled scenario in which quick decisions on the use of lethal force and the risk of collateral damage must be taken, while all sort of concerns seem to slow down the operation. The cadets learned therefore to distinguish ethical and political considerations from the legalities informing decision-making, and understood how international law relates to strategic, operational and ethical questions.
GCSP hopes that the cadets acquired important insights for their career and is eager to continue strengthening future leaders through executive education, dialogue and policy analysis on security and law.