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,…

Protecting Civilians Still Matters in Great-Power Conflict

It’s easy to see why counterinsurgency campaigns tread carefully around local bystanders. It’s no less important in larger-scale war. As the U.S. military shifts its focus from counterinsurgency to large-scale combat against near-peer competitors, the value of preventing civilian harm in the battle for “hearts and minds” has been largely displaced by an emphasis on the speed and decisiveness…