Jens David Ohlin
Remote warfare has evolved from the use of strategic airpower to attack an enemy’s economic infrastructure in World War II and the role of intercontinental ballistic missile systems in promoting strategic deterrence during the Cold War to the use of contemporary weapons systems and techniques, such as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles ( a.k.a. UAVs or ‘drones’) and cyber warfare which are designed to carry out strikes against targets far removed from a traditional battlefield, disrupt an adversary’s command, control and communications functions and maintaining initiative and information superiority in a non-geographically defined battle-space. While there is general agreement that international law, including international humanitarian law ( IHL/LOAC applies to these new weapons and techniques, it is not always clear how it must be interpreted and applied. Each of these new forms of remote warfare present specific challenges and raise particular questions. This contribution is aimed at identifying a number of the most important of these and providing initial indications on how these should be addressed.