Non-State Armed Groups and Technology: The Humanitarian Tragedy at Our Doorstep?

3 U. Miami Nat. Sec. & Law of Armed Conflict J. 26-45 (Summer 2013)

21 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2013 Last revised: 7 Apr 2015

See all articles by David A. Wallace

David A. Wallace

United States Military Academy, West Point

Shane Reeves

United States Military Academy, West Point

Date Written: January 15, 2013

Abstract

Technological advances are altering the contemporary asymmetric conflicts between non-state armed groups and state actors. This article discusses the humanitarian consequences of these changing conflicts by first illustrating the dangers posed by non-state armed groups gaining access to advanced technologies. A subsequent examination of the increasing ability of non-state armed groups to use new technologies, such as cyber operations, to mitigate state actor advantages and the resultant risks to civilian populations follows. The article concludes that the humanitarian challenges presented by this growing intimacy between non-state armed groups and technology, whether through a potentially devastating attack or by the dramatic erosion to the principle of distinction, are immense and cannot be ignored.

Keywords: Non-state armed groups, terrorism, technology, humanitarian, asymmetric warfare, Law of Armed Conflict, international humanitarian law, law of war

JEL Classification: K33

Suggested Citation

Wallace, David A. and Reeves, Shane, Non-State Armed Groups and Technology: The Humanitarian Tragedy at Our Doorstep? (January 15, 2013). 3 U. Miami Nat. Sec. & Law of Armed Conflict J. 26-45 (Summer 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2295078

David A. Wallace

United States Military Academy, West Point ( email )

600 Thayer Rd
West Point, NY 10996
United States

Shane Reeves (Contact Author)

United States Military Academy, West Point ( email )

600 Thayer Rd
West Point, NY 10996
United States

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