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“Staccato warfare” describes the prevailing characteristic of modern American warfare, which features military operations that are increasingly characterized by frequent, disconnected offensives in the battlefield of cyberspace rather than a physical battlefield. Stakeholders in political and military circles will benefit from a better understanding of the President’s cyberattack arsenal as the executive branch gradually turns to cyber operations over traditional kinetic options. Historically, the President’s legal advisers have construed the unilateral war powers of the executive branch very broadly, foregoing robust and traditional notions of congressional scrutiny and public review. Nevertheless, staccato warfare remains a powerful and lawful tool at the President’s disposal. This Article argues that staccato warfare protects the American homeland and is justifiable under the President’s noncombat military powers and intelligence activities. Staccato warfare achieves vital national security objectives while minimizing the risk of spilling American blood and wasting scarce resources.


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7 Sep 2022
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  • Subject
    • Internet Law

    • Military, War, and Peace

    • President/Executive Department

  • Journal title
    • Boston College Law Review

  • Volume
    • 63

  • Issue
    • 9

  • Pagination
    • E.Supp. I.-1

  • Date submitted

    7 September 2022

  • Additional information
    • Suggested Citation:

      Matthew H. Ormsbee, Staccato Warfare, 63 B.C. L. Rev. E. Supp. I.-1 (2022),