Accession Number : AD1038880

Title :   Operationalizing Lawfare: Opportunity and Risk

Descriptive Note : Technical Report


Personal Author(s) : Bowman,Gerald L

Full Text :

Report Date : 25 May 2017

Pagination or Media Count : 52

Abstract : Lawfare is the use of law as a weapon of war, the substitute of law for military action in furtherance of a military objective. Its use is also a contentious and hotly debated issue. The United States, its allies, its competitors, and its adversaries have experimented with lawfare operations. However, the US approach and the future of lawfare are unclear. There are those who say adversaries are increasingly using lawfare and therefore the United States must develop a response. Others argue that the use of lawfare is a dangerous road that the United States should avoid. The disagreement is over the issues of time, opportunity, and risk. The US military will likely encounter lawfare on the battlefield and thus be forced to respond. Any lawfare planning should focus not only on current opportunities but future risks. In developing the response, lawfare policy makers, planners, and lawfare advocates should anticipate obstacles and dilemmas. These obstacles will likely include developing lawfare assessment methods and integrating lawfare operations with existing capabilities. Probable longer-term dilemmas include decisions on lawfare organizational structure and the changes within the broader US government because of the use of lawfare. Recognizing these challenges ahead of time can improve lawfare actions and future outcomes. Lawfare is an important concept for military planners, but its use will involve decision dilemmas that affect not only the military but American society and policy.

Descriptors :   Risk , Information operations , Psychological operations , law , military planning , military forces (united states) , ethics , military capabilities , theory

Subject Categories : Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
      Sociology and Law

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE