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Air University Student Research Paper 1997

Title: International Law: How it Affects Rules of Engagement and Responses in Information Warfare?

Subject: Study the rules of engagement for information warfare.

Author(s): Robert D. Miller; Michael R. Foster (Faculty Advisor)


Abstract: The importance of reliable, timely information to the success of military operations, while precluding an adversary from accessing information, has been known since wars began. Today, a combination of electronic devices, such as computers and sensors, are creating an "information age" that redefines how we conduct military operations. A major challenge to decision makers and military leaders is to understand the impact of international laws in the information age and its influence on rules of engagement (ROE), and response development. By all accounts, our dependence on information and information systems will continue to grow along with technological advances, enhancing our own command, control, communications, computer, and information capabilities, while also increasing our vulnerabilities. As a result, a key issue our decision makers and military leaders must be aware of concerns the legal considerations in using IW and in responding to IW threats and attacks. Developers of our ROE must provide the guidance for legally, appropriately responding to IW attacks, while ensuring the right to self-defense. Our leaders must also devise appropriate response options against foreign powers conducting IW operations against the US. We must base responses on the level of threat to our national interests, while considering intent, international law, and elements such as proportionality and necessity inherent in the Law of Armed Conflict.

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