DOD 2nd Revision to Law of War Manual

by Travis Normand
December 28, 2016

The Defense Department recently published a new revision to its Law of War manual. This is only the second time the document has been changed since its initial release in 2015.

The first set of revisions focused on journalists and altered some language in order to provide greater protection to reporters working in “war” zones. This second/newest set of revisions attempts to provide more clarity on how the Defense Department views laws concerning human shields and civilians working on military objects.

For the best coverage on the newly revised Law of War manual, I would suggest visiting as they have read, digested, and written extensively on the changes to the manual.

While I would suggest reading everything has published on the topic, I understand that your time may be limited, so I am listing some of the best postings they have to offer:

  1. How to Read the Department of Defense’s Revised Law of War Manual, by Ryan Goodman, December 22, 2016,, found here:
  2. Initial Observations on the Law of War Manual Revision: “Three ups/Three downs,” by Geoffrey S. Corn, December 14, 2016,, found here:

You can download a copy of the Department of Defense Law of War Manual, June 2015 (Updated December 2016) version HERE.


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