Legal Complexities in the Service of Hybrid Warfare

Authors

  • René Värk University of Tartu, Estonia

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.18523/kmlpj220732.2020-6.27-43

Keywords:

hybrid warfare, lawfare, rules of warfare, use of force, Russia, Ukraine

Abstract

Hybrid warfare is about using military and non-military measures in a non-linear and complimentary fashion. Different means and methods are not necessarily effective separately, but it is their synergy that leads to the desired outcome. Law has also become a method of warfare. States exploit deliberately legal complexities to strengthen their own positions and to undermine the positions of their opponents. They may wish to keep the intensity of the employed measures below the threshold of the use or threat of force in order to argue that international law has not been breached and that the opponents may not exercise self-defense. States may equally try to avoid the application of the rules of warfare by claiming that the situation has not crossed the threshold of an armed conflict. Because the rules governing the resort to armed force and the conduct of hostilities were drafted for conventional warfare, the ambiguities, loopholes and thresholds in these rules provide opportunities, for better or for worse, in the era of modern warfare. 

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Published

2020-12-24

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