Accession Number:

ADA619415

Title:

Cyberwar: Are Civilians Back on the Battlefield

Descriptive Note:

Research rept.

Corporate Author:

AIR WAR COLL MAXWELL AFB AL

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2015-02-17

Pagination or Media Count:

28.0

Abstract:

The growth of cyberspace is posing challenges to many aspects of the international system and foremost among them is the current Law of Armed Conflict LOAC paradigm. While humanitarian concerns have strongly influenced recent LOAC development, state interests and not humanitarian concerns ultimately determine how states conduct war. Accordingly, states will continually explore and consider the nascent opportunities presented by cyberspace to determine whether cyberspace operations enables them to more easily or efficiently achieve their political objectives. In doing so, state practice will challenge many of the current LOAC provisions. Chief among these are rules regarding combatantcy and targeting of civilians. The rule s concerning combatantcy developed because the state controlled a monopoly on the use of for ce and could only employ this force effectively through an organized military structure. However, the unique aspects of cyberspace challenges both the monopoly states have on the use of force and the need to employ that force through an organized military structure. Similarly, the rules concerning the targeting of civilians developed after states concluded that targeting civilians did not ultimately further their political objectives However, cyberspace provide states the opportunity to target civilians in a more efficient and less directly violent manner.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE