With the emergence of cyberspace as the fifth domain of warfare, the prospects of cyber conflicts have increased significantly. Around 300 state-sponsored cyber operations have been conducted since 2005. The future uncertainty of cyber-warfare has prompted calls for necessary measures to regulate the actions of states in cyberspace. In this regard, cyber-peacekeeping has also emerged as a significant research area to distinctively deal with the cyber component of future conflicts. Although, a number of challenges exist regarding materialization of full fledge cyber-peacekeeping force, it can be easily integrated into the current United Nations (UN) peacekeeping organizational structure. In legal terms, operationalization of cyber-peacekeeping force will depend on the mandate of peace operations approved by the UN Security Council (UNSC). This paper discusses the challenges confronting the creation of a cyber-peacekeeping force and also offers recommendations by presenting a general framework regarding how such a force can be operationalized. Despite the fact that a dedicated cyber-peacekeeping force seems a far sighted idea in present times, a distinct cyber unit can certainly be formed and integrated into UN peace operations in near future.
This article was originally published by NUST Journal of International Peace and Stability.