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Complex Battlespaces – The Law of Armed Conflict and the Dynamics of Modern Warfare - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Complex Battlespaces: The Law of Armed Conflict and the Dynamics of Modern Warfare

Winston S. Williams and Christopher M. Ford


The conduct of warfare is constantly shaped by forces beyond the battlefield. These forces create complexities in the battlespace for military operations. The ever-changing nature of how and where wars are fought creates challenges for the application of the unchanging body of international law that regulates armed conflicts. The term “complex” is often used to describe modern warfare, but what makes modern warfare complex? Is it the increasingly urbanized battlefield where wars are fought, which is cluttered with civilians and civilian objects? Is it the rise of State-like organized armed gro ... More

Keywords: non-State actors, self-defense, distinction, proportionality, international humanitarian law, jus in bello, non-international armed conflict, NIAC, cyberspace, human shields

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9780190915360
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2018 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190915360.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Winston S. Williams, editor
Academy Professor, Department of Law, United States Military Academy, USA

Christopher M. Ford, editor
Deputy Legal Adviser, The Pentagon, USA

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Part One Complexity in Legal Regimes

1 Fragmented Wars

Noam Lubell*

4 Personal Self-Defense and the Standing Rules of Engagement

Lieutenant Colonel Christopher M. Ford*

Part Two Complexity in Governance

8 Legitimacy

Major General (ret.) Thomas E. Ayres and Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey S. Thurnher*

Part Three Complexity in Technology

12 Cyber National Security

Colonel Gary P. Corn*

Part Four Complexity in the Urbanization of the Battlefield

13 Be Careful What You Ask For

Geoffrey S. Corn*

End Matter