1 June 2011
As usually for international military operations led by an international organization, States participating in the NATO-led Operation Unified Protector placed their military contingents under the operational command of NATO. However the Rules of Engagement – which define the conditions under which members of a national contingent can engage force – may differ amongst participating States.
The Netherlands, for instance, decided to send planes to Libya but limited their mission to providing support in enforcing the UNSC Resolution, while forbidding them to participate in ground bombings. In military terms, the Dutch forces can provide surveillance, intelligence or air-to-air refuelling, but they do not engage in air-to-ground missions. This limited engagement probably stems from a will of limiting the Dutch responsibility in case of a wrongful act of the coalition. However, one can wonder to what extent the Netherlands could be held liable for the injuries resulting of wrongful acts of the Operation Unified Protector. (more…)