Brigadier General Richard C. “Rich” Gross is the US Army Legal Counsel to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He attended the Military Academy at West Point and was commissioned in the US Army as a second lieutenant in the Infantry. He also attended the University of Virginia School of Law and the US Army Judge Advocate General's Corps. He holds a Master's degree in strategic studies from the US Army War College. Prior to his current position, he served as the Chief Legal Adviser for the Joint Special Operations Command, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), US Forces-Afghanistan (USFOR-A) and at US Central Command.
The scope of application of international humanitarian law (IHL) is a deceptively simple concept; broadly speaking, it is where, when and to whom the IHL rules apply. Although this has always been a precondition for discussing IHL issues, the outer limits of the law's applicability remain unsettled. To open this issue on the nuances of the scope of the law's application, Brigadier General Gross gave the following interview providing the US perspective on the circumstances in which IHL applies, and the challenges that lie ahead in light of the ongoing evolution of the way war is waged.