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Information Dominance Point Paper



This point paper has been drafted in conjunction with the development of a revised Information Operations(IO) concept that focuses on Information Dominance (ID). This ID paper represents current documentation and thoughts concerning what it is, how to get it and how to know you’ve got it. Comments concerning recommended additions, changes or deletions should be provided to one or both of the following POCs:


Jim Winters, DSN 680-4351, (757) 727-4351, FAX - 3199, wintersj@monroe.army.mil

John Giffin, DSN 680-3321, (757) 727-3321, FAX -3199,


Information Dominance


This point paper outlines information dominance -- what it is, how to get it and how to know you’ve got it.


What is Information Dominance (ID)?


Information Dominance is the degree of information superiority that allows the possessor 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 (FM 100-6 definition).


ID attributes are as follows:


ID is a condition that results from the use of offensive and defensive information operations (IO) to build a comprehensive knowledge advantage at a time, place and on decision issues critical to accomplishing the mission quickly and decisively.


ID applies in peace through war, including nonstate actors through major competitors at all echelons. It is effected by asymmetric threats and asymmetric information requirements.


ID is a transient condition with frequent changes over time, space and echelon that depend upon effectiveness of friendly and adversary offensive and defensive IO. Even when we possess ID, enemy forces have niche capabilities that may overmatch some aspects of friendly operations.


ID is a key condition requiring friendly knowledge/understanding of the situation that is significantly more certain, timely, and accurate than the adversary’s. ID requires a significant disparity between what we know about our battlespace and operations within it... and what the enemy knows about his battlespace. If the disparity is great enough, our leaders can make timely, informed decisions, while the enemy is guessing at a decision with incomplete or erroneous information.


ID provides a temporary opportunity that comes from a knowledge advantage, regardless of the information source, e.g., RSTA data, intelligence, governmental/non governmental agency, open system information and civil/public affairs.


Achieving ID involves two components: 1) building up and protecting friendly information; and 2) degrading information received by your adversary.



How do we get Information Dominance?


The steps that yield ID at the decisive time and place must be planned for, and worked for, to be achieved. The building blocks that must be put in place to establish an operational state of ID are as follows: (NOTE: The ID METL, the "how to", is at Incl 1.)


Shape the "Inforspace". The commander must establish his information requirements (EEFI/CCIR/PIR); continuously adapt these requirements based on METT-T; maximize the use of information acquisition means; dynamically task surveillance, reconnaissance and intelligence collection assets; in sum - focus offensive and defensive IO to achieve ID.


Provide Command and Control Protection (C2 Protect). The commander must ensure the integration and application of all necessary operational, technical engineering, security and intelligence (or counter-intelligence) disciplines to provide the availability, integrity, and confidentiality of information when and where it is needed throughout the battlespace. The goal of this integration and application of disciplines is an information infrastructure capable of providing complete and unaltered information while withstanding natural and/or malicious (insider and adversary) disruptions or attacks against the infrastructure.


Conduct Command and Control Attack (C2 Attack). Attack lethality or nonlethality to delay, degrade, or destroy the adversary’s means of C2. Such attack requires significant intelligence input to allow for the attack of the right links/nodes at the proper time. C2 Attack must be integrated in the commander’s attack plan and synchronized across the elements of C2W.


Practice Spectrum Adaptability. To achieve the maximum amount of freedom of action our use of the electromagnetic spectrum must have the ability to adapt. Provision must be made to deal with enemy attack across the spectrum; prevent it, reduce its effects, and/or provide for redundancy or agility. Adaptability includes aggressive, effective management measures concerning spectrum use (or non-use) by friendly forces, host nations, and/or contiguous neutrals. Electronic fratracide may be the worst enemy in the infospace. Finally, we must account for effects of the environment - lightening, sun spots, etc.


Establish Situation Understanding. An accurate and timely relevant common picture of the friendly status, adversary status (where applicable) and other state/non-state actors status establishes situation awareness. The application of the commander’s knowledge, skills, judgement, intuition and experience result in achievement of the level of understanding that is key to gaining information dominance, and, in turn, full spectrum dominance.


Achieve High Performance. The commander must understand the value of information and drive the processes that bring the right information at the right time. The commander must create a team that understands his intent, and can act in concert on an internetted basis. The correct decision, at the optimum time, immediately understood and executed as the commander envisions, is the essence of victory.



How do we know when we’ve got Information Dominance?


We know we have gained Information Dominance when we can:


Provide the commander with timely, accurate and relevant information/intelligence that satisfies the Commander’s Critical Information Requirements (CCIR) -- intelligence, friendly forces and non-military -- for planning and execution, i.e. provides situational awareness and supports successful battlefield visualization.

Enable the commander to shape the battlefield and make quicker, better combat decisions than the adversary or more timely decisions in non-combat situations.

Gain time for the commander to refine and implement the best course of action, while denying that time and flexibility to the adversary.

Move forces faster based on situation awareness and inability of the adversary to identify where our primary forces are located and where they are moving.

Engage the adversary more precisely and with greater lethal/non-lethal effects, because of our information advantage and the enemy’s corresponding inability to move or protect itself.

Protect our forces economically, resulting from our ability to deny, degrade, destroy and/or effectively blind his IO/C4I/C2W capabilities.

Create high performance units that use information in a manner that allows them to accomplish their missions more effectively and quickly with minimum casualties.


Information dominance can be assessed qualitatively through the following processes:


Assess the knowledge of the friendly and enemy/adversary decision-making processes to include the information infrastructure that supports them.

Assess the ability of the friendly versus enemy force to identify and manage critical requirements (CCIR, PIR, EEFI, non-military) that support decision-making.

Assess friendly versus enemy ability to acquire, use, manage, protect, exploit and deny information, i.e. conduct information operations to include employing intelligence preparation of the battlefield, information systems, spectrum management.

Assess friendly versus enemy ability to filter, focus, fuse, act on and disseminate information/intelligence for decision-making and Command and Control (C2), to include an evaluation of the information/intelligence systems that support these activities.

Assess friendly versus enemy IO/C4I/C2W vulnerabilities.

Assess friendly versus enemy employment of synchronized C2W attack and protect means including OPSEC, deception, PSYOP, EW, physical destruction, public affairs and civil affairs.

Assess the effect of friendly versus enemy information operations on the objectives stated at the top of the page.


ATCD-HW 30 Dec 96


Revised Information Dominance Mission Essential Task List (METL)


1. Collect, analyze, focus, fuse and report Relevant Information and Intelligence (RII), based on established requirements.


Establish linked processes to collect, process and provide critical information and intelligence, that supports battlefield visualization, decision-making and information operations - both defensive and offensive.

Identify commander’s critical information and intelligence requirements (CCIR/PIR) to support decisions.

Develop essential elements of friendly information (EEFI) and non-military information requirements.

Assess friendly IO/C4I/C2W capabilities and vulnerabilities.

Assess adversary IO/C4I/C2W capabilities and vulnerabilities.



2. Employ Information Systems to obtain, move, disseminate, display and release information.


Construct, maintain and protect the information battlespace by establishing redundant, secure, global, dynamic C4 networks.

Employ C4 link, transport, reachback and extend capabilities (e.g., C4 on the move) to support battle command.

Employ models and simulations for IO training, mission planning, mission rehearsal and decision making.

Establish information interfaces with foreign and domestic governmental and non-governmental organizations; establish media release systems.


3. Employ Operations to achieve C2 protect and attack objectives.


Establish and integrate C2 Attack targeting, planning and battle damage assessment systems.

Attack, deny, degrade, exploit and/or influence adversary C4I/C2W across the full spectrum of military operations.

Employ measures to conceal friendly information operations and protect friendly C2 from attack.

Employ Public Affairs to improve public/leader understanding and influence coalition/adversary perceptions.

Employ Civil Affairs to gain information, secure public acceptance and support of military forces/operations.