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Law, in particular international law, plays an increasingly significant role in todays military operations. In accordance with the principle of the rule of law, States can deploy their armed forces abroad based on a clear legal foundation while the deployed forces must operate within the applicable rules. The growing emphasis on this legal framework for military operation entails that today, law is not just a factor to be reckoned with when preparing for and conducting military operations, but can be a possible means to reach a military objective as well. Recently, to help understand this development the term lawfare has been introduced. Lawfare it is not generally accepted as a term of art yet. As it is a catchy phrase the term is also used for politically motivated reasons, criticizing the application of law to certain aspects of military operations, as it is felt to endanger national security or to curb armed forces unnecessarily, especially when dealing with less law abiding opponents. From a military operational law perspective, manipulating lawfare in this way threatens to turn the concept in an empty shell devoid of any meaningful content. As lawfare is a useful term to describe and understand the dynamics of the instrumental role law can play in the context of contemporary complex military operations, the sometime random use of it blurs the scope of its application. This article will, therefore, explore and clarify the meaning and scope of the concept.