April 18, 2022

When Can You Disobey a Lawful Order

The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) is the backbone or foundation of military law in the United States. Its sole purpose is to “promote justice, help maintain good order and discipline in the armed forces, promote efficiency and effectiveness in the military establishment, and thus strengthen the national security of the United States.” It was created and founded by the U.S. Congress in the 1950s. In 2016, Captain Nathan Michael Smith was sent to Kuwait to support the fight against ISIL, but he also filed a lawsuit in a federal district court to challenge the legality of the order. The lawsuit was dismissed for the same reason that Watanda`s defense failed: the judge ruled that the decision to wage war was reserved for the political branches. The fundamental problem in the Watanda and Smith cases was that the order to send was not manifestly illegal. Soldiers who do not obey the legitimate orders of their superiors risk serious consequences. Article 90 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) describes the crime of wilful disobedience committed by a member of the military and a senior officer. Section 91 deals with the deliberate disobedience of a senior non-commissioned officer or warrant officer. Article 92 expresses what constitutes the crime of disobedience to a legitimate order (disobedience does not need to be “intentional” according to this article). The defense of superiors in the event of retaliatory attacks is so weak that it is almost never attempted. In the spring of 2008, soldiers from alpha Co, the 1-18th Infantry, placed four Iraqi prisoners near a canal and executed them. The Iraqis were captured in a raid on a house where weapons were found.

They denied knowing anything about the origin of the guns, which was almost certainly a lie. The company`s first sergeant ordered the Iraqis to be transported to a nearby canal, where he ordered his men to shoot at them, saying it was revenge for the fallen comrades. Some of the men in the unit resisted and refused, but others participated in the killings. When the incident was finally revealed, those involved in the killings were court-martialed. One soldier simply pleaded guilty. Another fought the charges, but did not try to defend himself by saying he was under command. On the contrary, he said he was so stressed because of the struggle that he couldn`t be held accountable. This soldier was sentenced and sentenced to life imprisonment. The first sergeant who gave the order denied that the murders had taken place. He was also convicted.

None of those involved claimed that the First Sergeant`s order would excuse his behavior, as this defense had no realistic chance of success. These articles require the obedience of TERRIBLE commandments. Not only should an illegal order not be followed, but compliance with such an order can lead to criminal prosecution. Military courts have long ruled that military personnel are responsible for their actions, even if they follow orders. The president`s power to use military force is a hotly debated legal issue. In recent years, presidents have resorted to violence against al-Qaeda and associated groups, and more recently against ISIL in places as far away as Yemen, Somalia, Iraq and Syria. These presidents relied for their authority on the 2001 authorization for the use of military force, a reading that extends the meaning of authorization to its logical limits and arguably far beyond. In 2011, President Barack Obama went even further and launched major military action in Libya without seeking congressional approval or attempting to cite authorization to use military force. Instead, he relied on a vote in the UN Security Council to create a no-fly zone as a legal endorsement of a violent change in the Libyan regime. Either way, the fact that the president`s war powers are being hotly debated is why it would be virtually impossible for a soldier to refuse deployment because he believed the war had been unjustly unleashed. If both parties have a plausible argument in their favour, the order is not “substantially unlawful”.

When am I presumed to be aware of other orders or regulations? The order to deploy soldiers is a political issue without judgment. A defendant must not excuse his disobedience to a field service order on the grounds that our presence there does not correspond to his conceptions of legality. As mentioned earlier, every military officer takes an oath when called. Nevertheless, if analyzed in depth, this wish does not mean that they must blindly follow all orders without further consideration. Of course, every soldier has the right to a defense if he is accused of insubordination. A soldier can rely on various arguments against a charge of insubordination. .

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