Israel Law Review


The Principle of Proportionality: ‘Force Protection’ as a Military Advantage

Robin Geissa1

a1 University of Potsdam (email:


‘Force protection’ is a primary concern of every military commander. Undoubtedly, it is an important and legitimate factor in the planning of every attack. However, when it comes to the humanitarian proportionality principle there is considerable controversy over the question to what extent ‘force protection’ can be factored into the humanitarian proportionality calculus as a relevant military advantage to be weighed against expected civilian casualties, injuries and damage. This question is pursued in this article.

(Online publication March 05 2012)


  • principle of proportionality;
  • military advantage;
  • risks for soldiers


Warm thanks are due to Cordula Droege, Nils Melzer, Yaël Ronen, Henning Lahmann and the anonymous reviewers for their critique and helpful comments.