The Time Has Come To Regulate Cyber Warfare


(MENAFN- Asia Times) This is part two of a series, 'Lessons from the first cyberwar.' Read part one.

As the internet connects more people, businesses, governments and military systems, it also becomes a gateway for cyberattacks. National infrastructures, government systems and financial institutions, all linked by networks, are at risk.

The growing number of potential cyberattack vectors means that ordinary citizens can also become involved in waging cyber warfare, like Ukraine's volunteer IT Army, or they can become targets.

The 19th-century wartime strategist Carl von Clausewitz defined war as“an act of force to compel our enemy to do our will.” This perspective also views war as a state-directed effort to achieve political objectives.

Central to Clausewitz's theory is the“warfare trinity”: the people, the military and the government. Historically, this trinity operated in the physical realm, predominantly through physical force – a characteristic of the industrial age. Clausewitz argued that, while the nature of war remains constant, its manifestation evolves over time with advancements in technology.

In the transition to the information age, the principles of Clausewitz's warfare trinity remain relevant but the battlefield has transformed. Cyber warfare now represents a new domain where physical force is replaced by information and digital tools. This form of warfare simultaneously impacts all aspects of the trinity – people, military and government – almost instantaneously, and often with global scope.

The rise of cyber warfare illustrates Clausewitz's belief that, while the nature of war is immutable, the methods and arenas of warfare continue to evolve. Today, cyber warfare aims to achieve political and strategic objectives through cyberspace, extending the battleground beyond physical spaces.

Cyber warfare blurs traditional lines between combatants and non-combatants, as civilians – either willingly or unwittingly – become part of cyber conflicts. Russia also uses organized crime for cyber operations against the West.

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