With two years having passed since the infamous cyber conflict between Estonia and Russia, international society still lacks a coherent set of principles, rules, and norms governing state security and military operations in cyberspace. For parties committed to promoting the cause of peace and stability in a multipolar world, this is a troubling notion since history shows that the likelihood of a new arms race is high when disruptive technologies dramatically alter the means and methods of war. As more nations aspire to project national power in cyberspace, a new digital arms race appears to be imminent if not already upon us. Thus, there is a central question confronting international society and more specifically the diplomatic community in cyberspace: What steps can be taken both today and into the future to forestall a major arms race and interstate competition in cyberspace? In order to begin addressing this complex question from the perspective of the Euro-Atlantic Community, this paper discusses both the challenges and opportunities of regulating 21st century cyber warfare. The paper is divided into three sections. Section 1 examines the evolution of the laws of armed conflict (LOAC) since the late 19th century. Section 2 examines how the LOAC apply to cyber warfare as viewed primarily from a US perspective (since US scholars have dominated the international regime discourse thus far). Section 3 examines what is needed to create a global regime for cyber warfare and specifically the role that NATO and the Euro-Atlantic Community can play.
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