Originally posted by ahmad
The Colonel didn't know it was the right decision. It was a SWAG (scientific wild-*** guess). He did in fact disobey orders...
As for international law, a sovereign country has the right, and responsibility, to set their own standards for a military action. That fact is recognized by international law. "Retaliation by international law" is a formula for disaster.
As with any orders, one must be certain the conditions apply before the order is carried out. If the conditions are ambiguous and unclear, then doing nothing is also carrying out orders.
International law isn't going to stop a war if two countries decide to fight. What it does do is offer some guidelines to situations that may be less than clear. Oddly enough, the Geneva Convention is sometimes respected during war even though it's nearly unenforceable while a war is in progress. It offers hope, maybe not much else.