Lieber Studies Volume 1

Complex Battlespaces

The Law of Armed Conflict and the Dynamics of Modern Warfare 

Edited by LTC Winston S. Williams and LTC Christopher M. Ford

Published 21 December 2018
552 Pages
ISBN: 9780190915360 

Published by Oxford University Press


Disclaimer: Books in the Lieber Studies Series are not official publications of the United States Military Academy, Department of the Army, or Department of Defense. The views expressed in these volumes represent the authors’ personal views and do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of Defense, the United States Army, the United States Military Academy, or any other department or agency of the United States Government. The analysis presented stems from academic research of publicly available sources, not from protected operational information. 


The conduct of warfare is constantly shaped by new forces that create complexities in the battlespace for military operations. As the nature of how and where wars are fought changes, new challenges to the application of the extant body of international law that regulates armed conflicts arise.  

 This inaugural volume of the Lieber Studies Series seeks to address several issues in the confluence of law and armed conflict, with the primary goal of providing the reader with both academic and practitioner perspectives. 

 Together world class scholars, policymakers and other government officials; military and civilian legal practitioners; and other thought leaders examine the role of the law of armed conflict in current and future armed conflicts around the world. Complex Battlespaces also explores several examples of battlespace dynamics through four “lenses of complexity”: complexity in legal regimes, governance, technology, and the urbanization of the battlefield.

Table of Contents

ieutenant General Charles Pede 

Colonel David Wallace 


PART ONE: Complexity in Legal Regimes 

Chapter 1. Fragmented Wars: Multi-Territorial Military Operations against Armed Groups
Noam Lubell  

Chapter 2. Accounting for Complexity of the Law Applicable to Modern Armed Conflicts
Marko Milanovic 

Chapter 3. The Use of Force in Armed Conflicts: Conduct of Hostilities, Law Enforcement, and Self-Defense
Gloria Gaggioli  

Chapter 4. Personal Self-Defense and the Standing Rules of Engagement
Christopher Ford 


PART TWO: Complexity in Governance 

Chapter 5. Conflict Management and the Political Economy of Recognition
Chris Borgen 

Chapter 6. Hybrid Warfare, Law and the Fulda Gap
Aurel Sari 

Chapter 7. Hybrid Conflict and Prisoners of War: The Case of Ukraine
Jeff Kahn 

Chapter 8. Legitimacy: The Linchpin of Military Success in Complex Battlespaces
Thomas Ayres and Jeffrey Thurnher 


PART THREE: Complexity in Technology 

Chapter 9. The Principle of Proportionality in an Era of High Technology
Jack Beard 

Chapter 10. Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems – Is It the End of the World as We Know It… Or Will We Be Just Fine
Michael Meier 

Chapter 11. New Technologies and the Interplay between Certainty and Reasonableness
Laurie Blank 

Chapter 12. Cyber National Security: Navigating Gray Zone Challenges In and Through Cyberspace
Gary Corn 


PART FOUR: Complexity in the Urbanization of the Battlefield 

Chapter 13. Be Careful What You Ask For: The Unintended Consequences of New Restrictions on Fires in Urban Areas
Geoff Corn 

Chapter 14. The Law & Policy of Human Shielding
Beth Van Schaack 


Volume 1 Masthead

Volume I Masthead
General Editor
Professor Michael N. Schmitt 

Managing Editors
LTC Shane R. Reeves
LTC Winston S. Williams 

Volume Editors 
LTC Winston Williams
LTC Christopher Ford  

Editorial Team
MAJ Phillip Dickerson
MAJ Trent Powell
MAJ  Ronald  Alcala
Professor Amy  McCarthy
CPT Robert  Lawless
LTC Scott Vansweringen
LTC Christopher Jacobs