The threat of imminent use of force by a foreign force, terrorist(s), or organization against the United States and US national interests, US forces and, in certain circumstances, US nationals, their property, US commercial assets, and other designated non-US forces, foreign nationals, and their property. When hostile intent is present, the right exists to use proportional force, including armed force, in self-defense by all necessary means available to deter or neutralize the potential attacker or, if necessary, to destroy the threat. A determination that hostile intent exists and requires the use of proportional force in self-defense must be based on evidence that an attack is imminent. Evidence necessary to determine hostile intent will vary depending on the state of international and regional political tension, military preparations, intelligence, and indications and warning information. (US DoD)
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