is Information Warfare?
This tutorial is designed for you to learn about a very
interesting topic, information warfare (IW). We will look at what it
is, how it is used, strategies the United States have developed to deter
IW, and what the future holds for our warfighters.
I believe our first step before we can define Information
Warfare, is to define information? For the purpose of this tutorial,
I have presented two definitions. As you read them, take note of the
key words -- knowledge, facts, data -- and most importantly the communication
Encarta's Electronic World English Dictionary defines information
as "knowledge: definite
knowledge acquired or supplied about something or somebody; gathered facts: the collected facts and data
about a particular subject; and making facts
known: the communication of facts and knowledge."
Joint Pub, 6-0 defines information as "data collected from the environment and processed into useable
form; combining pieces of information
with context produces ideas or provides knowledge; and
by applying judgement, knowledge is transformed
Information can present the opportunity to gain the advantage
of our adversaries. Military information functions, such as surveillance
and reconnaissance provide commanders the ability to gather facts. Other
functions, for example, intelligence and weather analysis aid in creating
the commander's battlefield vision to assist in the execution of their
mission. As you can only imagine, information in itself is vital to
the success of the warfighter.
Information Warfare is not a new thing. The buzzword
has changed over the years and it has evolved to include new technologies
that pose strategic challenges to our National interests and values.
The term, Information in War preceded Information Warfare.
The concept of Information Warfare was introduced in 1992 in the DOD
Directive TS3600.1. A good source that emphasized the distinction between
the use of Information in War and the newer concept of Information
Warfare is the 1997 Science and Technology Committee Report . This report
provided that Information in War refers to tactical and strategic deception,
war propaganda, and destruction of command and control systems. One
example of Information in War is the use of propaganda in forms of post
cards, pamphlets, speeches, and posters disseminated by Americans and
Germans during WWI & II. There are many websites that provide illustrations
of such, as well as other war examples -- use any search engine to explore.
The 1997 Science and Technology Committee Report suggests Information
Warfare extends far beyond the traditional battlefield.
As we proceed you should gain a better understanding of just how far.........
So you ask, what is information warfare? According
to the Joint Chiefs of Staff Instruction No. 3210.0, Information
Warfare (IW) is defined as "actions taken to achieve information
superiority by affecting an adversary information, information-based
processes, information systems, and computer-based networks while defending
one's own information, information-based processes, information systems,
and computer-based networks."
This definition suggests that Information Warfare involve
offensive, as well as defensive measures. Offensive measures
are those measures taken to affect adversary's information and
information systems, while defensive measures are those that
protect our own informational type assets. Joint Vision (JV)
2020 proposes there is significant potential for asymmetric
engagements in the information domain. For this reason it is
more than ever imperative that the United States prepare itself
for an uncertain future. The National Security Strategy (NSS,
Dec 2000) reveals that the wide array of security threats require
the United States to transform its capabilities and its organizations.
Transformation in the 21st century promises a faster, more lethal,
and precise force that is dominant across a full spectrum of
military operations (JV 2020). This transformation of the joint
force relies heavily on information
superiority as a key enabler. Equally important to realize
is that the United States while advancing technologically, so
are our adversaries. Increasingly they are adopting and
using approaches to exploit our vulnerabilities, as well as
delay, deter, or counter ours.
We will look at some IW methods later in this lesson.
as the United States technologically and globally advances; hence, strengthening
our nation, it most certainly presents new challenges to the warfighter.