PurposeInformation warfare (IW) is a novel and poorly understood threat to the international community, which may be used more commonly as a foreign policy tool in the future. By identifying the key components of modern IW, this paper seeks to formulate policy recommendations for how best to deal with this new threat. The general overview of the topic that this paper provides contributes to current efforts to develop strategies to counter IW operations around the world.Design/methodology/approachThe goal of this paper is to break down the components of modern IW and provide policy recommendations for domestic and international governance on the issue. These recommendations will be based in part of historical initiatives to counter IW and existing literature on cyber governance. Central to the framework used to analyze the cases of Russian and North Korean IW operations are the seven defining features of “strategic” IW established by a 1996 RAND Corporation report, modified to incorporate the importance of cyberspace to cases of IW in the modern day.FindingsModern IW presents a new, multifaceted threat to states. Because of the value of IW as a tool by weaker states to counter stronger ones and the weakness of existing legal and normative frameworks, use of IW can be expected to be increasingly common. States can take action to promote international governance on the issue and develop policy frameworks for protecting themselves against IW.Practical implicationsIW has historically been a very tricky tactic to define and identify. By analyzing IW’s basic features, this paper provides a framework for breaking down IW into its component parts, which reveals valuable policy implications. Preventative efforts against IW can help restore trust to global information networks and lower the risk of conflict.Originality/valueFormal scholarship on modern IW and related subjects is lacking in comparison with higher visibility threats. Increased awareness of this issue, especially amongst civilian leaders, can augment global efforts to counter IW.
foresight – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 9, 2019
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