The Law of Armed Conflict's 'Wicked' Problem: Levée En Masse in Cyber Warfare

89 Int’l L. Stud. 646 (2013)

24 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2013

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: May 15, 2013

Abstract

The Law of Armed Conflict is often ill-suited for application in the cyber context. One particular example — trying to reconcile the concept of levée en masse with the "cyber conflicts between nations and ad hoc assemblages" — starkly illustrates this truth. To support this proposition this article begins with a brief discussion on the history of a levée en masse. An explanation of how the law of armed conflict defines and characterizes the individual battlefield status associated with levée en masse follows. The article then explores the unique aspects of hostilities in cyberspace and delves into the impracticality of applying the concept of levée en masse in the context of cyber warfare. It concludes with specific recommendations in terms of the reconceptualising of a levée en masse in cyber warfare and a hope that, by focusing on this nuanced provision of the law of armed conflict, a broader discussion will ensue.

Keywords: cyber war, cyber conflicts, cyber space, Law of Armed Conflict, international humanitarian law, law of war, levee en masse, Tallinn Manual, combatant status

JEL Classification: K33

Suggested Citation

Wallace, David A. and Reeves, Shane, The Law of Armed Conflict's 'Wicked' Problem: Levée En Masse in Cyber Warfare (May 15, 2013). 89 Int’l L. Stud. 646 (2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2295088

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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