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Rules of Engagement: Controlling the Use of Force

18 July 2006, 8:00 to 14:00

Rules of engagement imageArmed Forces deployed on operations may look upon their 'Rules of Engagement' (ROE) as either helpful guidelines or serious constraints in how they go about achieving their mission.  However, well planned and thoroughly prepared ROEs are essential when deploying professional and accountable armed forces into often complex conflict situations.     

Confirmed Speakers Include:                                                                                                     

  • Mr Martin Hemming CB, Director General Legal Services, UK Ministry of Defence   
  • Major General Jonathon Riley DSO, Senior British Military Advisor, US CENTCOM            
  • Brigadier Philip McEvoy, Operational Law, Army Legal Services                                        
  • Professor Nicholas Rengger, Professor of Political Theory and International Relations, St Andrews University                                                                                                                                  
  • Colonel Tim Spicer, Cheif Executive, AEGIS Defence Services

This conference will look at the issues surrounding the law as applied to armed conflict.   It will set out to explore the nature of ROE and define their role in military operations.  We will also look at the full spectrum that ROE covers including the use of physical force, the positioning and movement of troops In sensitive areas, search and detention of civilians, use of the electromagnetic spectrum and the employment of unmanned vehicles.  ROE profiles therefore must be sufficiently flexible to allow for changes in situation as well as considering human rights, collateral damage estimation and guidance on the use of force when there is a risk of injury to civilians or damage to civilian property.  How ROEs fit into perceived 'Hearts and Minds' campaigns will also be considered.

From this basis we will investigate the mechanics of how ROEs are formulated for different military deployments and situations and how there needs to be clear understanding of other nation's ROEs when working in a coalition.   Training will be considered from pre-deployment to refresher training whilst deployed and possible retraining if the situation significantly changes.  This conference will also look at previous deployments as examples, highlighting specific incidents where the ROEs were either used or challenged, hearing from previous commanders on how ROEs either hindered, defended or shaped their actions.  

To further the debate we will consider how the actions of national troops abroad operating within their own ROE may reflect on the standing and foreign policy of the actual nation.  The legal consequences of using force, even within ROE, will be discussed and whether regulation such as ROE should help expedite investigation into incidents or whether thorough questioning is still an integral part of fielding a professional and accountable force.   

Why attend?

Legal issues and Rules of Engagement are of increasing interest to the public and the media as military operations become more transparent.  For those who are interested in the current issues that face soldiers on the ground and commanders who make decisions in the face of extreme pressure this will be an unavoidable event.  This conference will have particular resonance with military personnel wishing to learn more about the process of how ROE are decided upon but will be equally popular with individuals from the media and academia who are considering the future of military intervention operations and how legal issues may impact on the use of military force as a ready solution.  Presentations will be given from the perspective of <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />UK and NATO militaries and will not deal with the use of force by civilian organisations such as the police and their armed response teams.

 

If you have any questions about this conference or wish to be involved in the event then please contact Mr Amyas Godfrey on 0207 747 2635 or at amyasg@rusi.org 

Registration:                                                                                                                       Although registration for this event has not yet begun if you are interested in early booking then please be in contact with the event manager Ms Rachel Bowden on 0207 747 2648 or at rachelb@rusi.org

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