Reference Guide: Tracking Protection of Civilians Through the NDAA

Reference Guide: Tracking Protection of Civilians Through the NDAA  The United States National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is legislation that provides annual authorization of appropriations for the Department of Defense (DoD) and defense-related activities at other federal agencies. In so doing, the NDAA also establishes, guides, and at times restrains defense policy. In recent years,…

Toward A More Responsible US Arms Trade Policy: Recommendations for the Biden-Harris Administration

By Annie Shiel, Seth Binder, Jeff Abramson, William Hartung, Rachel Stohl, Diana Ohlbaum, Adam Isacson, Brittany Benowitz and Daniel R. Mahanty In recent years, U.S. arms sold and transferred abroad have been used to commit gross violations of human rights and international humanitarian law (IHL) and fueled widespread civilian harm, corruption, and humanitarian crises in countries…

DOD’s New Ex Gratia Policy: What’s Right, What’s Wrong, and What’s Next

By Annie Shiel On June 22, the Department of Defense (DOD) issued an interim policy regulation for providing ex gratia payments to civilians harmed as a result of U.S. military operations. The issuance of this regulation is a welcome step forward in institutionalizing the practice of making amends and recognizing the significant harm that occurs in military operations. However,…

Civil Society Guidance for a Model DoD Policy on Civilian Harm

The FY19 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) enacted by Congress required the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to develop a comprehensive department-wide policy addressing civilian casualties resulting from U.S. military operations. This provision also required the Secretary of Defense to appoint a senior-level civilian to develop, coordinate, and oversee compliance with DoD policy related to…

A CIVIC Quick Reference Guide: US Law & Policy on the Use of Military Force and Lethal Operations – Part II (Partnered Operations)

Our first guide focused on US law and policy on the use of military force in the context of counterterrorism operations. The US also conducts operations “by, with, and through” local partners by training, advising, accompanying, or providing intelligence or logistical support. In these cases, US forces may be indirectly involved, or at risk of…