Mapping War, Peace and Terrorism in the Global Information Environment

in Journal of International Humanitarian Legal Studies
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This article outlines in general terms how the environment of 21st century transnational organised crime, terrorism and unconventional conflict is being shaped by information-related capabilities (IRCs) that foster global networked connectivity and asymmetric responses to conventional military supremacy. This article explores how the conceptual apparatus regarding the distinction between wartime and peacetime, as well as war zones and peace zones, which has been developed within the framework of international criminal law and humanitarian law, can contribute to military-strategic operational and capability concepts. Integration of these conceptual frameworks within strategic analysis can serve to promote the effective use of force within a full spectrum operational environment in which information, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance thresholds are being lowered as deeper understandings of the social dynamic that sustains ongoing fighting within a global information environment become increasingly feasible through innovations in IRCs. In this context, this article suggests that law enforcement frameworks and approaches have a high threshold of applicability, i.e. to increasingly serious and organised situations of violence, if the strategic failures associated with conventional military operations are to be avoided. Rather than offering an analysis of cyber warfare/cyber attacks or information operations per se, this article is more generally concerned with understanding how military support and command and control operations are being conducted in the global information environment in order to achieve physical effects that can be characterised as non-international armed conflict.