Given the U.S. military’s dependence on cyberspace, adversaries have identified it as a potential center of gravity. With the pervasiveness of technology comes a low threshold of entry for any adversary desiring to engage the United States in this domain. Their inability to compete in a conventional military capability leads them to pursue cyberspace capabilities for an asymmetric advantage. The resulting potential threat to the United States has led to the recognition of cyberspace as an independent warfighting area.
Although cyberspace is a relatively new warfare area, the international laws that aim to regulate armed conflict between nation states are not. Known collectively as the Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC), they are as equally applicable in cyberspace as in any other warfare area. But unique challenges remain in interpreting appropriate limits on military operations in cyberspace.