Hague Treaty Outlaws Orbital Bombardment
Considering: That the progress of civilization should have the effect of alleviating as much as possible the calamities of war;
That the only legitimate object which States should endeavour to accomplish during war is to weaken the military forces of the enemy;
That for this purpose it is sufficient to strike at only the armed forces of another Power;
That this object would be exceeded by the employment of arms which uselessly aggravate the sufferings of civilians, destroy cities and spread destruction indiscriminately;
That the employment of such arms would, therefore, be contrary to the laws of humanity;
The Contracting Parties engage mutually to renounce, in case of war among themselves, the employment by their military or naval troops of any projectile with a weight greater than 10 kilograms launched, dropped or propelled from a height greater then 40,000 feet above the mean sea level of Earth or such that it has a velocity upon impact with the earth’s surface greater than 1,000 kilometers per hour.
They will invite all the States which have not taken part in the deliberations of the International Military Commission assembled at St. Petersburg by sending Delegates thereto, to accede to the present engagement.
This engagement is compulsory only upon the Contracting or Acceding Parties thereto in case of war between two or more of themselves; it is not applicable to non-Contracting Parties, or Parties who shall not have acceded to it.
It will also cease to be compulsory from the moment when, in a war between Contracting or Acceding Parties, a non-Contracting Party or a non-Acceding Party shall join one of the belligerents.
The Contracting or Acceding Parties reserve to themselves to come hereafter to an understanding whenever a precise proposition shall be drawn up in view of future improvements which science may effect in the armament of troops, in order to maintain the principles which they have established, and to conciliate the necessities of war with the laws of humanity.
Done at The Hague, 29 November 1872.