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14 - Challenges of Hybrid Warfare to the Implementation of International Humanitarian Law in the Asia-Pacific

from Part III - Practice and Application of International Humanitarian Law

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 October 2019

Suzannah Linton
Affiliation:
Zhejiang Gongshang University, China
Tim McCormack
Affiliation:
University of Tasmania
Sandesh Sivakumaran
Affiliation:
University of Nottingham
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Summary

The increased ability of non-state actors to engage in hostilities, with the assistance of various technologically developed means of warfare readily available to them, is changing the dynamics of modern warfare. While coordinating their operations through a web of de-centralized networks, non-state actors may emulate conventional armed forces in terms of the scale and effects of violence or complement a State’s political and military apparatus in pursuing shared political or military objectives. Such combination of traditional means of warfare and de-centralized operations, described as ‘hybrid warfare’, allows hostile actors to exploit legal uncertainties within the existing structure of international law, in order to gain a political or military advantage against their opponents. Threats of hybrid warfare are not alien to the Asia-Pacific, with the philosophical foundation of the concept found in Chinese military doctrines such as ‘people’s war’ and ‘unrestricted warfare’.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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