The Military Perspective
U.S. involvement in Somalia provides excellent proof that information
warfare can be successfully executed by small organizations with
limited finances against much larger well financed adversaries.
Aideed succeeded because his intelligence forces were small, well
deployed, highly maneuverable, and used cellular phones and tricks
such as bouncing signals off of city walls to foil U.S. attempts
to pinpoint sources.
Aideed's ultimate success was in using this strategy to set up
an ambush of U.S. troops which was naturally televised via CNN into
every American home. This psychological information warfare operation,
which included televised images of dead Americans being dragged
through the streets, succeeded in eliminating most public support
for U.S. involvement in Somalia, and very soon afterwards, the U.S.
Source: Magsig, D.E., "Information Warfare: In the Information
Age," George Washington University, December 7, 1995.
Back to module 8.
The Army Perspective
Most of the following information was extracted from an unclassified
briefing from the Land Information Warfare Activity.
Army Modernization Objectives
- Own the Night
- 2nd gen FLIR
- Enhance Army's dominance at night and periods of limited visibility
- Combat ID
- Target ID
- Fratricide avoidance
- Extend the Depth of Precision Fires
- Smart & brilliant munitions
- Sensor to shooter linkages
- Control Information War
- Enhance our C2 capabilities
- Degrade enemy C2 capabilities
- Protect the Force
- Tiered defense against full range of threat
- Defeat weapons of mass destruction
- Digitize the Battlefield
- "Moving digits"
- Digital platforms.
Army Mod Plan
- Project and Sustain
- Protect Force
- Win Info War
- Conduct Precision Strike
- Dominate Maneuver
Conclusions of the Army Symposium
Information Warfare = paradigm shift
Army will execute through IO
- Balanced offense/defense
- Centralized planning - decentralized execution
Need: National Policy and clear ROE
Must have an IW Operations Center
- Roles and functions make it a logical host.
- Broad based intel support to all IW/C2W pillars
- Key EW Shooter
- Works for DA DCSOPS
- Commanded & managed by INSCOM
- Synchronization of Info Opns
- Coordinate intel and database support
- Liaison with USAF & USN IW Centers
- Black & White integration
Continuous military operations within the Military Information
Environment that enable, enhance, and protect the friendly force's
ability to collect, process and act on information to achieve an
advantage across the full range of military operations. Information
Operations include interacting with the Global Information Environment
and exploiting or degrading an adversary's information and decision
The degree of information superiority required to use information
systems and capabilities to achieve an operational advantage in
a conflict or to control the situation in operations short of war,
while denying those capabilities to the adversary.
A recent study completed by IOCADF resulted in the following recommendations:
- Integrate ongoing Army studies and planning initiatives.
- Coordinate with joint and other service IO/IW views.
- Identify deficiencies and short/long term DTLOMS requirements.
- Determine ability to simulate, experiment and evaluate IO.
- Prioritize DTLOMS requirements.
- Prepare action plan.
- Provide basis to focus and synchronize activities to organize
- Articulate where Army needs to go on IO.
LIWA will continue to:
- Support to Army exercises/contingencies
- Develop C2W capabilites - M&S /workstation
- Complete the ACERT
- Finalize/joint procedures/infrastructure
- Expand relationships/contribute to the IW community
Back to module 8.
The Air Force Perspective
Most of the following information was extracted from the Department
of the Air Force pamphlet, Cornerstones of Information Warfare.
Quote from the Secretary of the Air Force
As information systems permeate our military and civilian lives,
we are crossing a new frontier - the Information Age. It will
define the 21st Century and influence all we do as an Air Force.
Information Warfare has become central to the way nations fight
wars, and will be critical to Air Force operations in the 21st
Century. This means, of course, that today we must invest in our
people, planning, equipment, and research so our ambitions can
become a reality. We will involve every Air Force person in this
effort, generating a wave of momentum that will carry us into
the next millenium.
Information Warfare is not the exclusive domain of the Air Force,
or any other service. Information technology advances will make
dramatic changes in how this nation fights wars in the future.
It will allow a commander's vision and view of the battlespace
to be shared at the lowest level. Because of this, every practicioner
of the profession of arms has a responsibility to understand their
service's unique precepts for its use. From our unique perspectives
as soldier, sailor, marine, or airman, we can then forge a common
understanding of how to use information warfare to enhance joint
warfighting capabilities. Sheila E. Widnall, Secretary of the
What is Information?
Information is the result of two things: perceived phenomena (data)
and the instructions required to interpret that data and give it
Why is the Air Force Talking About Information?
The Information Age is transforming all military operations by
providing commanders with information unprecedented in quantity
and quality. The commander with the advantage in observing the battlespace,
analyzing events, and distributing information possesses a powerful,
if not decisive, lever over the adversary.
What are Some Military Information Functions?
Quality information is the counter to the fog of war. The commander
with better information holds a powerful advantage over his adversary.
- Surveillance and reconnaissance are our powers of observation.
- Intelligence and weather analysis are the basis for orienting
- We use that basis to form an Air Tasking Order (ATO), which
command and control operations execute and monitor in directing
- Precision navigation enhances mission performance.
Together, these are the kinds of military information functions
that enhance all military operations.
The Air Force Definition of Information Warfare
Any action to deny, exploit, corrupt, or destroy the enemy's information
and its functions; protecting ourselves against those actions; and
exploiting our own military information functions.
- Information Warfare is any attack against an information function,
regardless of the means. Bombing a telephone switching facility
is information warfare. So is destroying the switching facility's
- Information Warfare is any action to protect our information
functions, regardless of the means. Hardening and defending
the switching facility against air attack is information warfare.
So is using an anti-virus program to protect the facility's software.
- Information Warfare is a means, not an end, in precisely the
same manner that air warfare is a means, and not end. We may
use information warfare as a means to conduct strategic attack
and interdiction, for example, just as we may use air warfare
to conduct strategic attack and inderdiction.
Modern technology now permits an adversary to change or create
information without relying on observation and interpretation.
What Comprises Information Warfare?
The following comprise the foundation of Information Warfare:
- Psychological Operations use information to affect the enemy's
- Electronic Warfare denies accurate information to the enemy.
- Physical Destruction can do information warfare by affecting
information system elements through the conversion of stored energy
to destructive power. The means of physical attack range from
conventional bombs to electromagnetic pulse weapons.
- Security Measures seek to keep the adversary from learning about
our military capabilities and intentions.
- Military Deception misleads the enemy about our capabilities
How is Information Attack Different?
There are two ways to influence the adversary's information functions:
indirectly and directly.
- Indirect information warfare affects information by creating
phenomena, which the adversary will perceive, interpret, and act
upon. Military deception, physical attack, and OPSEC traditionally
achieved their ends directly.
- Direct information warfare affects information through altering
its components without relying on the adversary's powers of perception
What is the Other Edge of the Information Warfare Sword?
Future security measures must evolve as information technology
advances. Consequently, new measures will likely take forms entirely
different from today's security measures, rooted as they are in
previous security measures.
Why is Information Warfare Inportant to the US Air Force?
- Because information warfare offers important means to accomplish
Air Force missions.
- Because the widespread integration of information systems into
Air Force operations makes our military information functions
a valuable target set.
Future Air Force Doctrine Challenges
There are strong conceptual parallels between the conceiving of
air and information as realms. Let us compare the objectives of
air warfare and information warfare:
|Control the air while protecting our forces from
||Control the information realm so we can exploit it
while protecting our own military information functions from
|Exploit control of the air to employ forces against
||Exploit control of information to employ information
warfare against the enemy.
|Enhance our overall force effectiveness.
||Enhance overall force effectiveness by fully developing
military information functions.
What is the Relationship Between Information Warfare and Command
and Control Warfare?
The focus of information warfare is any information function, whether
it is Command and Control (C2), a refinery's control system, or
a telephone switching station.
As the Air Force becomes more technologically sophisticated, it
becomes more technologically dependent.
- We need to use that technological sophistication to avail ourselves
of all the opportunities that information, as a target, presents.
- We also need to be aware that our technical dependencies represent
potentially crippling vulnerabilities.
Information, combined with modern information functions, has distinct
characteristics that warrant it being considered a realm, just as
land, sea, air, and space are realms. Information warfare does not
fill a discrete place in Air Force doctrine. Just as when space
warfare was integrated into Air Force doctrine, viewing information
as a realm now leads us to add several missions.
Back to module 8.