Volume 111, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0002-5275
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1244



Although some claim that the term cyber war is merely metaphorical, there are good reasons to see cyber war as a form of warfare – even if it is not war as we have hitherto known it. This poses the question whether the principles of the Just War Tradition, which claims to offer an alternative for pacifism and realism, apply to this specific kind of war too. This article argues that the jus in bello principles of discrimination and proportionality are applicable, and that actually applying them would limit the harm cyber-attacks currently cause. Most cyber-attacks of recent years wrongly target civilians, and this amounts to a serious breach of these principles. The final part of this article looks at those who actually conduct the cyber-attacks, the cyber soldiers – how do they fit into the military profession, and to what extent can we expect them to uphold the principles of Just War?


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): cyber war; discrimination; Just War Theory; proportionality
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