Information Warfare Arms Control: Risks and Costs   [open pdf - 446KB]

"Since the end of the 1991 Gulf War, information warfare has taken a prominent role in transforming the military as envisioned in Joint Vision 2010. However, due to the rapid changes in information technologies and the low cost, wide availability and high payoff of information warfare weapons, some have seen it as a destabilizing influence and have called for international arms control agreements to govern its use. Although the international legal system and the modern concept of arms control were able to provide for national and international collective security during the Cold War, information warfare presents many challenges that question their viability. The most significant challenges are to the international legal system, which include undermining the ordering principle of the post-Westphalian international system. Despite these challenges, an information warfare arms control regime is still achievable; however, at potentially significant costs and risks. Although some of these costs would be similar to previous nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons arms control agreements, the lack of available data makes it difficult to determine the expected costs with any degree of accuracy. In addition, some of these costs cannot be expressed in budgetary terms; therefore, they are presented as risks and include increased proliferation, intelligence loss, cheating, and a false sense of security. Since there are also political risks by not becoming a signatory to international agreements on this issue, the U.S. would be best served by staying engaged in the discourse to shape the norm for information warfare in the international arena."

Public Domain
Retrieved From:
U.S. Air Force Academy: http://www.usafa.af.mil/
Media Type:
Institute for National Security Studies Occasional Paper (March 2006), no.63
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