Information Lawfare: Messaging and the Moral High Ground

__ Journal of National Security Law and Policy __ (forthcoming 2022).

13 Pages Posted: 17 Sep 2020 Last revised: 28 Dec 2021

See all articles by Jill I. Goldenziel

Jill I. Goldenziel

National Defense University; University of Pennsylvania

Date Written: December 27, 2021


The U.S. legal system is known as the envy of the world. Yet law as an instrument of national power has been woefully understudied. Traditional academic frameworks for studying the instruments of national power do not consider the full potential of law to be used as a weapon of war between states, a concept known as “Lawfare.” Meanwhile, U.S. adversaries understand that law can be a potent weapon, both to achieve concrete military objectives and to win battles in the information domain, and have wielded it against the U.S. As war escalates in the information domain, information lawfare will be a critical piece of any party’s strategy. Through a case study of the U.S.’s strike that killed Iranian Major General Soleimani in January 2020, this short article demonstrates how information lawfare can be used, and why the U.S. must develop its offensive and defensive lawfare capabilities. This paper won a prize in the 2020 Air Force Judge Advocate General School's National Security Law Writing Competition.

Keywords: Law, Law-Fare, International Law, International Relations, National Security, National Security Law, United States, Iran, War, Warfare, Information Operations

JEL Classification: K10, K39, F02, F50, F51, F52, F53, F55, F59

Suggested Citation

Goldenziel, Jill I., Information Lawfare: Messaging and the Moral High Ground (December 27, 2021). __ Journal of National Security Law and Policy __ (forthcoming 2022). , Available at SSRN: or

Jill I. Goldenziel (Contact Author)

National Defense University ( email )

300 5th Ave
Ft McNair
Washington, DC 20319
United States

University of Pennsylvania ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics