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  • 1.
    Jonsson, Oscar
    Swedish Defence University, Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership (ISSL), Division of Strategy.
    Russian Information Warfare and its Challenges to International Law2019In: Routledge Handbook of War, Law and Technology / [ed] James Gow, Ernst Dijxhoorn, Rachel Kerr and Guglielmo Verdirame, London: Routledge, 2019, p. 339-353Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This chapter describes how Russian information warfare is changing and what challenges the poses for international law. It outlines the particularities of the Russian understanding of warfare and what has shaped this understanding. The chapter reviews the development in the information-psychological and the information-technical aspects of information warfare respectively. The information-technical domain of information warfare is concerned with the machine-driven data components, the means of transmission, and the information infrastructure. The possibilities within international law to counter information-psychological warfare are quite meagre. In the Vilnius regional court in Lithuania, action has been taken against Russian information warfare. In the war in Ukraine, Russia has showed an effective and well-coordinated effort on the information warfare front. The success of Russian information warfare is a development resulting from the bitter experiences on the information front during the First Chechen War in 1994–1996.The character of contemporary warfare has recently undergone significant transformation in several important respects: the nature of the actors, the changing technological capabilities available to them, and the sites and spaces in which war is fought. These changes have augmented the phenomenon of non-obvious warfare, making understanding warfare one of the key challenges. Such developments have been accompanied by significant flux and uncertainty in the international legal sphere. This handbook brings together a unique blend of expertise, combining scholars and practitioners in science and technology, international law, strategy and policy, in order properly to understand and identify the chief characteristics and features of a range of innovative developments, means and processes in the context of obvious and non-obvious warfare. 

  • 2.
    Jonsson, Oscar
    Swedish Defence University, Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership (ISSL), Division of Strategy.
    The Russian Understanding of War: Blurring the Lines between War and Peace2019 (ed. 1)Book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This book analyzes the evolution of Russian military thought and how Russia's current thinking about war is reflected in recent crises. While other books describe current Russian practice, Oscar Jonsson provides the long view to show how Russian military strategic thinking has developed from the Bolshevik Revolution to the present. He closely examines Russian primary sources including security doctrines and the writings and statements of Russian military theorists and political elites. What Jonsson reveals is that Russia's conception of the very nature of war is now changing, as Russian elites see information warfare and political subversion as the most important ways to conduct contemporary war. Since information warfare and political subversion are below the traditional threshold of armed violence, this has blurred the boundaries between war and peace. Jonsson also finds that Russian leaders have, particularly since 2011-12, considered themselves to be at war with the United States and its allies, albeit with non-violent means. This book provides much needed context and analysis to be able to understand recent Russian interventions in Crimea and eastern Ukraine, how to deter Russia on the eastern borders of NATO, and how the West must also learn to avoid inadvertent escalation.

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