46 J.L. Pol'y & Globalization 1 (2016)

handle is hein.journals/jawpglob46 and id is 1 raw text is: 


Journal of Law, Policy and Globalization                                                     wwwiisteorg
ISSN 2224-3240 (Paper) ISSN 2224-3259 (Online)                                                         I
Vol.46, 2016IllS[


      Calculating the Proportionality of Aerial Attacks Towards
      Electrical Power Systems: A Study on the Proportionality of
 Attacks Towards Iraqi Electrical Power Systems in the First Gulf

                                                War

            Syofirman SyofyanI    Alma Manuputty2     S. M. Noorl   Oky Deviany Burhamzah4
                           1.PhD student at Postgraduate Hasanuddin University
           2.Professor on Legal Science, Faculty of Law, Hasanuddin University and as a Promotor
           3.Professor on Legal Science, Faculty of Law, Hasanuddin University and as a co-Promotor
                 4.Lecturer at Faculty of Law, Hasanuddin University and as a co-Promotor

Abstract
One group of targets attacked using armed force was the Iraqi electrical system. A direct impact of that attack
was the damaging of four hydroelectric power plants, six thermoelectric power plants as well as several other
power plants and it was suspected that a few deaths or wounds were a direct side effect on civilians. The
damaging of 10 power plants resulted in the there being a lack of power both for Iraq's military facilities as well
as for civil uses. Attacks are ideally defined as acts of violence done against an enemy done either when
attacking or when defending but it also needs to be specified on what level is it done. On a tactical level attacks
are defined as single attacks or individual attackson each target such as the ones on the electrical power plants.
that it is balanced with military interests/necessity which is also not specified by International Humanitarian
These civillian losses are such losses that have the traits of being concrete, direct and overall which bear the
same definition as the traits concrete, direct and overall applied in military advantages or conversely, if the
mlitary advantages do not bear the traits of being concrete, direct and overall.
Keywords: Proportionality of Aerial Attacks, Iraqi Electrical Power Systems, First Gulf War.

1. Introduction
On 17 January Coalition Forces who were authorised based on UNSC Resolution 678 (1990) of 29 November
1990 began an air war, followed by a war on the ground against Iraqi forces. This is due to Iraq having invaded
and subsequently annexing the whole of Kuwait on 2nd August. This air war consisted of two campaigns done
consecutively; Operation Instant Thunder which was then followed by Operation Desert Storm.
        One group of targets attacked using armed force was the Iraqi electrical system. A direct impact of that
attack was the damaging of four hydroelectric power plants,1 six thermoelectric power plants2 as well as several
other power plants and it was suspected that a few deaths or wounds were a direct side effect on civilians3. The
damaging of 10 power plants resulted in the there being a lack of power both for Iraq's military facilities as well
as for civil uses. Said lack of power for the Iraqi military resulted in the disabling of the facilities which
supported Iraq's military strength and aided in reducing Iraq's ability to respond to Coalition attacks.' This was
the military advantage that was intended by the operation against the Iraqi electrical power system.
        Conversely the severe shortage of power for Iraqi civillians resulted ib nabt facilities such as those for
health, food and sanitation were unable to function, for example; food processing plants, clean water, sewafe
treatment and disposal systems, hospitals, farming systems including irrigation and food storage facilities were
unable to function. As a result, Iraqi civilians experienced a shortage of food and clean water as well as their
environments becoming dirty due to sewage overflowing insde and outside their homes. Another consequence
was that civillians suffered from malnutrition and infectious diseases which were further exacerbated by the lack
of available treatment facilities and it was surmised that over 70,000 civilians died .
        The existence of those two effects due to the use of force towards electrical production resulted in
debates regarding the proportionality of those attacks. On one side, the attacks towards the Iraqi electrical power
system was viewed as being proportional.6 And on the other, it was viewed as being disproportional.1 The

'Human Rights Watch, Needless Deaths In The Gulf War, Civilian Casualties During the Air Campaign and Violations of the Laws of War, A
Middle East Watch Report, New York, p. P. 169
2Ibidp.171
'SeeU.S., Air Force, Gulf WarAir Power Survey, H, p. 342-343. As quoted inDR, J.W. Crawford, III, The Law of Non-Combatan Immunity
and The Targeting of National Electrical Power Systems, p. 110. online at dl.tufts.edu/file assets/tufts:UP149.001.00042.00010.
4CDR, J.W. Crawford, III, The Law of Non-Combatan Immunity and The Targeting of National Electrical Power Systems, p. 101, online
pada dl.tuflts.edu/file assets/tufts:UP149.001.00042.00010.
'William M. Arkin, Tactical Bombing of Iraqi Forces Outstripped Value of Strategic Hits, Analyst Contends, Aviation Week &Space
Technology, (January 27,1992): p. 63; Walid Doleh, Warren Piper, Abdel Qamhieh, and Kamel al Tallaq, Report by the International Study
Team, Health and Welfare in Iraq After the Gulf Crisis. An In-Depth Assessment, Electrical Facilities Survey, October 1991.
6Coalition forces, for example, viewed that attack as being porportional due to the existence of a large military advantage (though not one

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