Index. - "This workshop, Complex Battlespaces: The Law of Armed Conflict and the Dynamics of Modern Warfare, was held at West Point on October 24-26, 2016. It marked the official opening of the Lieber Institute." (page xiii)
The conduct of warfare is constantly shaped by forces beyond the battlefield. These forces create complexities in the battlespace for military operations. The ever-changing nature of how and where wars are fought creates challenges for the application of the unchanging body of international law that regulates armed conflicts. The term “complex” is often used to describe modern warfare, but what makes modern warfare complex? Is it the increasingly urbanized battlefield where wars are fought, which is cluttered with civilians and civilian objects? Is it the rise of State-like organized armed groups that leverage the governance vacuum created by failed or failing States? Is it the introduction of new technologies to military operations like autonomous weapons, cyber capabilities, and unmanned aerial systems? Or is it the application of multiple legal regimes to a single conflict? Collectively, these questions formed the basis for the Complex Battlespaces Workshop in which legal scholars and experts from the field of practice came together to discuss these complexities. During the workshop, there was a general consensus that the existing law was sufficient to regulate modern warfare. The challenge, however, arises in application of the law to new technologies, military operations in urban environments, and other issues related to applying international human rights law and international humanitarian law to non-international armed conflicts. This inaugural volume of the Lieber Book Series seeks to address many of the complexities that arise during the application of international law to modern warfare.