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Information Warfare: Turning the Tide in the South China Sea

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Technical Report

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U.S. Naval War College Newport United States

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China is in the midst of a protracted struggle to seize control of the South China Sea SCS. In order to counter Chinas aggression in the SCS, the United States needs to expand its current legal approach to a broader information warfare IW approach, in conjunction with the Philippines and other regional partners when appropriate and unilaterally through covert means as required. This paper focuses on justifying and developing an IW approach capable of offsetting Chinas successes. First, the United States requires a more robust response to China in order to deter future aggression and maintain US influence in the Pacific. Second, IW is the best method of response, because it is powerful enough to deter aggression while being restrained enough to avoid major escalation. Third, an IW approach should build upon the United States current legal strategy by incorporating bilateral actions with the Philippines, including coordinated public affairs, defensive cyber, and attributable electronic attack, and covert unilateral actions, including psychological warfare, offensive cyber, and non-attributable electronic attack.

Subject Categories:

  • Unconventional Warfare
  • Government and Political Science

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