Table of Content
Army forces today are likely to encounter conditions of greater ambiguity
and uncertainty. Doctrine must be able to accommodate this wider variety
of threats. In so doing, the Army is prepared to respond to these worldwide
strategic challenges across the full range of possible operations as part
of a joint and combined team.
Commanders and their staffs operating in the Information Age face an
increasingly complex environment. Commanders and staffs at all levels
will encounter an expanding information domain termed the global information
environment (GIE). The GIE contains those information processes and
systems that are beyond the direct influence of the military or even the
National Command Authorities (NCA), but nevertheless may directly impact
the success or failure of military operations. The media, international
organizations, and even individuals represent a partial list of GIE players.
This chapter describes the GIE domain and introduces the concept of information
dominance as the key element for operating effectively within this
new environment. To achieve information dominance, the commander must
be able to dominate both the traditional maneuver-oriented battlefield
and the military information environment (MIE), defined as that
portion of the GIE relevant to his operation. To achieve the latter, the
commander directs the acquisition, use, and management of friendly and
enemy information and conducts command and control warfare (C2W) attack
and protect operations.
GEOSTRATEGIC AND TECHNOLOGICAL
Because of rapid advances in technology, especially in the information
arena, the geostrategic environment of today has become increasingly complex
and will become even more so in the future. Global communications accelerate
and expand collective awareness of events, issues, and concerns. They
ignite passions, spark new perspectives, crystallize deeply held beliefs,
and compel people, nations, organizations and institutions everywhere
to examine, define, and act on their interests. While many effects of
this phenomenon may be benign and beneficial, others will create turbulence,
confusion, chaos, and conflict. Such conflict may extend beyond the traditional
battlefield to encompass espionage, sabotage, terrorism, economic competition,
and efforts to shape public perceptions.In the Information Age, the United
States is in the forefront of exploiting modern information technology
to harness the explosive potential of rapid dissemination and use of information.
The US economy, social and civil structures, and federal, state, and local
governments have become dependent upon the rapid and accurate flow of
information. At the same time, America exerts extraordinary influence
throughout the world through its multinational media and commercial and
entertainment industries. To a lesser degree, America is influenced by
similar phenomena exerted from outside its borders. The global information
infrastructure (GII) electronically links organizations and individuals
around the globe and is characterized by a merging of civilian and military
information networks and technologies.Developments in information technology
will revolutionizeand indeed have already changedhow nations, organizations,
and people interact. The rapid diffusion of information, enabled by technological
advances, challenges the relevance of traditional organizational and managerial
principles. The military implications of new organizational sciences that
examine internetted, nonhierarchical versus hierarchical management models
are yet to be fully understood. Clearly, Information Age technology and
the management ideas it fosters greatly influence the armed forcesorganizations,
equipment, how they train, how they fight, how they protect the force,
or how they assist in resolving conflict.
Global Information Environment
All individuals, organizations, or systems, most of which are outside
the control of the military or National Command Authorities, that collect,
process, and disseminate information to national and international audiences.
All military operations take place within the GIE, which is both interactive
and pervasive in its presence and influence. Current and emerging electronic
technologies permit any aspect of a military operation to be made known
to a global audience in near-real time and without the benefit of filters.
With easy access to the global or national information network, suppression,
control, censorship, or limitations on the spread of information may be
neither feasible nor desirable (see Figure 1-1).
Figure 1-1. Information Environments (GIE and MIE)
Adversaries and other non-DOD organizations, including many actors,
agencies, and influences outside the traditional view of military conflict,
intrude into the MIE. Adversaries, perhaps supported by nonaligned nations,
will seek to gain an advantage in the GIE by employing battlespace systems
and organizations. In addition, the media, think tanks, academic institutions,
nongovernment organizations (NGOs), international agencies, and individuals
with access to the information highway are all potentially significant
players in the GIE. These entities can affect the strategic and operational
direction of military operations before they even begin. Independent of
military control, their impact is always situationally dependent. Their
activities may cause an unanticipated or unintentional effect on military
operations. Such actors include--
- Government agencies such as the Department of State (DOS) or Federal
Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
- Private voluntary organizations (PVOs).
- International agencies that provide a commercial service, such as
the European Space Agency.
- Agencies that coordinate international efforts, such as the International
Committee of the Red Cross or World Health Organization.
- Social and cultural elements, including religious movements and their
- Intelligence and military communications systems of other services,
allies, and adversaries.
- Individuals with the appropriate hardware and software to communicate
with a worldwide audience.
As technology enables ever greater numbers of individuals, groups, organizations,
and nation states to be linked to the world through the GIE, these actors
can be expected to pursue their interests by attempting to manipulate
and control the content and flow of information within the MIE.
The role of the news media will continue to expand. The number of news
organizations and their means to gather, process, and disseminate information
is increasing exponentially. From the 147 reporters who accompanied the
D-Day invasion in World War II, to the 800-plus reporters in Panama during
Just Cause, to the 1,300 reporters in the Kuwaiti theater in Desert Storm,
the ability and desire of the news media to cover US military operations
is a given. Likewise, the demand by the US and international public to
know what is happening, consistent with security and propriety, is also
FM 100-5 observes that the impact of media coverage can dramatically
affect strategic direction and the range of military operations. Clearly,
the effect of written, and, more importantly, visual information displayed
by US and international news organizations directly and rapidly influenced
the nature of US and international policy objectives and our use of military
force in Rwanda, Somalia, and in the former Yugoslavian republic.
Within the GIE, an intricate set of information infrastructures have
evolved to link individuals, groups, and nations into a comprehensive
network that allows for the increasingly rapid flow of information to
all elements having access to the network. In practice, subelement labels
are misleading as the information environment has no discrete boundaries.
Each subelement is inextricably intertwined, a trend that will only intensify
with the continuous application of rapidly advancing technology. This
worldwide telecommunications web transcends industry, the media, and the
military. It includes both government and nongovernment entities, the
GII, the national information infrastructure (NII), and the defense information
Global Information Infrastructure
An interconnection of communications networks, computers, data bases,
and consumer electronics that puts vast amounts of information at the
user's fingertips. The GII is a term that encompasses all these components
and captures the vision of a worldwide, seamless, dynamic web of transmission
mechanisms, information appliances, content, and people. Global accessibility
and use of information in the GII is especially critical, given the increasing
globalization of markets, resources, and economies. The GII--
- Includes more than just the physical facilities used to store, process,
and display voice, data, and imagery. It encompasses a wide array of
ever-expanding capabilities, including cameras, scanners, keyboards,
fax machines, and more.
- Electronically links organizations and individuals around the globe
and is characterized by a merging of civilian and military information
networks and technologies.
National Information Infrastructure
All nations' NIIs are an integral part of the GII. The composition of
the NII mirrors the GII, but on a reduced scale. The NII is--
- A series of components, including the collection of public and private
high-speed, interactive, narrow and broadband networks.
- The satellite, terrestrial, and wireless technologies that deliver
content to home, businesses, and other public and private institutions.
- The information and content that flows over the infrastructure, whether
in the form of data bases, the written word, television, or computer
- The computers, televisions, and other products that people employ
to access the infrastructure.
- The people who provide, manage, and generate new information and those
that help others to do the same.
Defense Information Infrastructure
DII encompasses transferring information and processing resources, including
information and data storage, manipulation, retrieval, and display. The
DII connects DOD mission support, command and control (C2), and intelligence
computers and users through voice, data imagery, video, and multimedia
services. It provides information processing and value-added services
to subscribers over the Defense Information Systems Network (DISN).
Military Information Environment
The sphere of information activity called the military information
environment is defined as--
The environment contained within the GIE, consisting of information
systems (INFOSYS) and organizations--friendly and adversary, military
and nonmilitary, that support, enable, or significantly influence a
specific military operation.
The MIE, at a minimum--
- Reaches into space from the home station to the area of operation
- Reaches into time, from the alert phase through the redeployment phase.
- Reaches across purposes, from tactical missions to economic or social
- Includes people, from deployed soldiers and families at home to local
or regional populations and global audiences.
Within the context of the MIE, Army leaders exercising battle command
will face many new challenges. They will also have many new operational
opportunities. To realize these opportunities, information operations
(IO) need to become an integral part of full-dimensional operations. The
intertwined relationship between geopolitical strategic factors, technology,
and management requires the adoption of a new perspective.
The proliferation of INFOSYS and the global information explosion brings
more actors into the battlespace, implies new ways of managing force and
forces, compresses the traditional levels of war in time and space, and
gives operations a simultaneous and continuous character. A commander's
battlespace now includes global information connectivity. As a result,
tactical military actions can have political and social implications that
commanders must consider as they plan, prepare for, and conduct operations.
Know the situation now requires additional focus on nonmilitary
factors. Commanders can best leverage the effects of new technology on
their organizations by employing new and emerging automated planning and
decision aids and new or different methods and techniques of control and
THREATS TO THE INFORMATION
The threats to the information infrastructure are genuine, worldwide
in origin, technically multifaceted, and growing. They come from individuals
and groups motivated by military, political, social, cultural, ethnic,
religious, or personal/industrial gain. They come from information vandals
who invade INFOSYS for thrill and to demonstrate their ability. The globalization
of networked communications creates vulnerabilities due to increased access
to our information infrastructure from points around the world. Threats
against computers, computer systems, and networks vary by the level of
hostility (peacetime, conflict, or war), by technical capabilities, and
by motivation (see Figure 1-2). The bottom line
is that threats to all forces, from strategic to tactical, exist from
a variety of new and different sources, and they exist on a continuing
basis even during periods of relative peace.
Figure 1-2. Threats to Information Systems
Adversaries have several options to influence or attack opposing INFOSYS
and services. Attacks can be designed with a delayed effect, such as corrupting
a data base or controlling program as well as immediate actions to degrade
or physically destroy. Examples include--
- Unauthorized access, either to gain information or insert data.
- Inserting malicious software to cause a computer to operate in a manner
other than that intended by its users. This category includes computer
viruses, logic bombs, and programs designed to bypass protective programs.
- Corrupting data through use of malicious software, alteration of data,
or use of electronic attack (EA) to make data misleading or useless.
- Collecting electronic intelligence, whether signals, radiation, or
- Conducting EA actions such as jamming, broadcasting false signals,
or generating bursts of electromagnetic pulse (EMP).
- Using psychological operations (PSYOP) and deception to influence
or oppose friendly INFOSYS.
- Attacking to physically destroy, degrade, or disrupt military communications
and control networks or civilian systems upon which military operations
rely. Weapons employed in such efforts range from terrorist bombs to
artillery, missiles, and direct air attack.
- Using jamming and deceptive transmissions (EA) to attack commercial
communications systems on which the Army relies. In such cases, more
than communications can be disrupted. Sensors at all levels of operation
can be jammed or triggered to produce misleading information. Both commercial
systems and sensors are particularly vulnerable to the effects of EMP.
The effectiveness of military operations can be degraded if the user's
confidence in the quality of the data can be eroded. Spurious data or
false signals could be transmitted to erode confidence in the accuracy
and effectiveness of such critical systems as the global positioning system
Sources of Threats
Threats come from a range of sourcesfrom individuals (unauthorized users
or insiders) to complex national organizations (foreign intelligence services
and adversary militaries). Boundaries between these groups are indistinct,
and it is often difficult to discern the origins of any particular incident.
For example, actions that appear to be the work of hackers may actually
be the work of a foreign intelligence service. Sources include unauthorized
users, insiders, terrorists, nonstate groups, foreign intelligence services,
and opposing militaries or political opponents.
Unauthorized users such as hackers are the source of most of the attacks
against INFOSYS in peacetime. While to date, they have mainly targeted
personal computers, the threat they pose to networks and mainframe computers
Individuals with legitimate access to a system pose one of the most difficult
threats from which to defend. Whether recruited or self-motivated, the
insider has access to systems normally protected against attack. While
an insider can attack a system at almost any time during its lifetime,
periods of increased vulnerability for a system include design, production,
transport, and maintenance.
Terrorists are increasing their use of commercial INFOSYS. Their actions
range from unauthorized access, to an information network, up to direct
attacks against the infrastructure (bombing, and so forth). Terrorist
groups have also been identified using computer bulletin boards to pass
intelligence and technical data across international borders.
New players, ranging from drug cartels to social activists, are taking
advantage of the possibilities offered by the Information Age. They can
acquire, at low cost, the capabilities to strike at their foes' commercial,
security, and communications infrastructures. Moreover, they can strike
with relative impunity from a distance. Besides attacking opponents directly,
these actors use the international news media to attempt to influence
global public opinion and shape perceptions of a conflict. They even attempt
to inflame dormant issues into conflicts that otherwise would not arise.
FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE SERVICES
Active during periods of both peace and conflict, foreign intelligence
services take advantage of the anonymity offered by computer bulletin
boards to hide organized collection or disruption activities behind the
facade of unorganized hackers. Their primary targets are often commercial
and scientific networks rather than direct attacks on the military.
OPPOSING MILITARIES OR POLITICAL OPPONENTS
While the adversary's activities are more traditionally associated with
open conflict or war, his manipulation of the news media during peacetime
may help frame the situation to his advantage prior to the onset of hostilities.
Level of Hostility
The level of hostility generally reflects the scope and scale of an adversary's
actions against friendly INFOSYS. In peacetime, unauthorized access to
and use of computers, computer systems, and networks is the greatest current
threat. Deliberate use of malicious software by an adversary could be
used against communications, transportation, banking, power, and computation
systems upon which both industry and the military might depend. We can
expect an adversary to use malicious software to assess the vulnerability
of our information networks.
As the crisis moves toward overt conflict or war, more direct and far-reaching
attacks can arise against information and INFOSYS. Targets can include
both units and their supporting infrastructures. Deployed tactical units
may face the results of earlier intrusions and insertions, allowing embedded
malicious software to cripple systems or degrade communications. By the
time a unit is engaged in combat, it could have been subjected to a variety
of overt and covert attacks against its INFOSYS.
On the battlefield, reliance on an extensive and potentially fragile
communications infrastructure presents a vulnerability that entices exploitation.
The initial candidates for attack could be vital information nodes or
links such as CPs and communications centers. In addition to striking
battlefield information nodes, adversaries can also strike the supporting
infrastructure, both on and off the battlefield. Central system support
assets such as power sources can be very difficult to repair or replace.
Artillery, tactical ballistic missiles, and air power provide the major
attack systems for most adversaries today. The ability of an adversary
to strike will only grow as more capable systems, such as cruise missiles
and precision-guided munitions, proliferate. This ability to strike with
precision will be enhanced by the spread of such technologies as GPS,
unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and near-real time imagery satellites.
If INFOSYS or facilities cannot be destroyed, they can be made untenable
through contamination by chemical or biological weapons.
Commanders and national leaders face significant and interrelated challenges
in dealing with and anticipating the effects of the global visibility
of operations and rapid changes in information technology and their impacts
in the GIE.
Two commonly recognized facts address why information security (INFOSEC)
is an important challenge. First, the Defense Information Systems Agency
(DISA) reports that over 95 percent of DOD communications during peacetime
travel over the relatively unprotected public switch network (PSN) and
are largely outside the direct control or influence of the military. In
addition, a significant amount of open-source intelligence is carried
by commercial means.
Because of the pervasive and intrusive nature of the MIE, preparation
for dealing with IO must not wait until a unit receives a warning order
to deploy. By that time, the commander and his staff must have already
developed plans and procedures for dealing with the myriad aspects and
influences in the MIE or risk being rapidly overcome by events.
Policy and Public Opinion
With global visibility, dramatic information displays and expert analyses
of military operations in progress can rapidly influence public opinion
and, therefore, policy related to the conduct of military operations.
The population that receives and potentially reacts to this coverage includes
the US public, decision makers, alliance or coalition partners, and other
nations. It also includes potential or actual adversaries of the US. The
news media will most likely provide 24-hour coverage of all perspectives
on the operation.
Global visibility of operations can also affect a commander's decision-making.
When the information in the GIE is inaccurate, incomplete, not presented
in context, based on rumor or the result of purposeful misinformation
or disinformation efforts, a commander may react in haste, make an emotional
decision, or make choices that are inconsistent with the real situation,
up to and including a termination of an ongoing operation. Effective commanders
anticipate how the adversary might attempt to manipulate the news media
in order to prevent a potential foe from setting the terms of the conflict
in the public arena.
The global visibility of operations impacts a command's combat power
by either enhancing or degrading soldier morale. Soldier spirit and perseverance,
the will to win, dedication to the cause, and devotion to fellow soldiers
and the unit can be rapidly undermined by what is being said in the GIE.
The instant communications capabilities of these INFOSYS often disseminate
information to soldierswhether accurate or inaccuratefaster than the military
chain of command. Bad news, misinterpretation, inaccurate information,
and misinformation (or disinformation) impact families and communities
as well as soldiers, affecting their morale and commitment to the objective
at hand and potentially undermining the critically important human psychological
dimensions discussed in FM 100-5. Nevertheless, Americans on and
off the battlefield will continue to have free access to radio, television,
and the press and be aware of events and circumstances.
Relatively few rules and laws govern the use of or access to many new
INFOSYS or technologies. For that reason, IO confront legal challenges
and other constraints such as rules of engagement (ROE) or status of forces
agreements/status of mission agreements. Tension exists both in peace
and during times of conflict. Collection of intelligence, or, simply,
information in peacetime, is often limited by policy and/or law. Many
policies and laws for using nonmilitary computer systems and other information
networks during peacetime are yet to be determined. For example, the control
or regulation of access on the internet to protect sensitive information
or critical network nodes is largely unaddressed. What are the ROE for
the INFOSYS in peace? In war? Close coordination with the supporting judge
advocate is critical in confronting IO challenges based on legal considerations.
Because many of the actors and influences in the MIE are outside friendly
military control, contracts or legal restrictions may prevent the military
from controlling or influencing the use of civilian assets by an adversary.
As an example, during hostilities an allied coalition force may depend
upon an international agency to change the access codes for an imagery
satellite to protect critical information in the area of responsibility
(AOR). Without the change, the imagery is available in the open market.
An adversary could, under commercial contract, download critical satellite
imagery of the geographic region in near-real time as the satellite passed
over the ground station.
THE RESPONSE TO THE CHALLENGES
Information dominance is defined as--
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.
As we have come to recognize and depend on air superiority as a key condition
for military success, information dominance has taken on a similar importance
for military operations. This means that friendly knowledge and understanding
of the situation must be more certain, more timely, and more accurate
than the adversary's, revealing to the friendly commander the conditions
that will lead to success. Creating information dominance has two equally
- Building up and protecting friendly information capabilities.
- Degrading enemy information capabilities.
The friendly commander achieves information dominance by gaining a knowledge
advantage over an enemy.
The knowledge advantage generated by commanders using innovative technical
and human techniques permits the force to more readily seize or retain
the overall initiative and increase its lethality and survivability. Building
a knowledge advantage requires a highly developed sense of what information
is required and an ability to manage the use and dissemination of that
knowledge to the right place, at the right time, for the desired purpose.
Successful leaders use the knowledge advantage by combining technical
and human information capabilities with a broad intent statement and a
clearly articulated concept of operation. Like air power, a ground commander
can enjoy levels of knowledge advantage ranging from information supremacy
to information parity. An enemy can also achieve a knowledge advantage
at our expense. Information also vary dominance can change over space
and time; it can by echelon. An Army may achieve information dominance
at the operational level but lose it at the tactical level. The notion
of information dominance is not new. Throughout history, commanders have
sought to leverage the temporary opportunity that comes from an information
advantage, whether it comes from knowledge of terrain or satellite imagery.
For nearly two hours a succession of young officers, of about the rank
of major, presented themselves. Each had come back from a different sector
of the front. They were the direct personal representatives of the Commander-in-Chief,
and could go anywhere and see anything and ask any questions they liked
of any commander, whether at the divisional headquarters or with the forward
troops. In turn, they made their reports and were searchingly questioned
by their chief to unfold the whole story of the day's battle. This gave
Field Marshal Montgomery a complete account of what had happened by highly
competent men whom he knew well and whose eyes he trusted. It afforded
an invaluable cross-check to the reports from all the various headquarters
and from the commanders. I thought the system admirable, and indeed the
only way in which a modern Commander-in-Chief could see as well as read
what was going on in every part of the front.
Sir Winston Churchill
Triumph and Tragedy, 1953
High-performing units are in large part distinguished from other units
by their ability to effectively acquire and use information. Historically,
high-performing units often gained the information advantage by using
nontraditional means and methods. One such method is often referred to
as the directed telescope. In concept, the directed telescope acquires
information by supplementing the routine information flow, normally by-
- Going outside the traditional command and its hierarchical information
- Using special operations units, reconnaissance teams or officers,
and special communications networks.
These techniques are still valid and in use today. Modern technological
innovations potentially make the advantages gained via the directed telescope
technique almost routine. Innovations in sensors, processors, communications,
and computers can give commanders immediate access to enemy and friendly
situation information and thus a subsequent operational knowledge
Creation of an operational knowledge advantage supports the commander's
battlefield visualization. Battlefield visualization is the process
whereby the commander--
- Develops a clear understanding of his current state in relation to
the enemy and environment.
- Envisions a desired end state that represents mission accomplishment.
- Visualizes the sequence of activity that will move his force from
its current state to its end state.
A key step toward achieving information dominance is reached when one
commander's level of battlefield visualization is significantly greater
than his opponent's.
In the past, leveraging a knowledge advantage to decisively achieve a
desired end state has been largely an intuitive process. Truly exceptional
commanders have almost always possessed this trait; less successful commanders
often have not. Information technologies now hold a potential for making
this grasp of the battlespace, and the inherent opportunities it affords,
more accessible to every leader, from field army to rifle platoon. The
effect of these changes will be to enhance battlefield visualization by
better supporting leaders with a deliberate and systematic information
process based upon building blocks of raw data parsed and collated by
both man and machines, synthesized into a coherent whole, and focused
upon drawing understanding from the chaos of battle. Additionally, by
linking commanders at different echelons, this same technology will enhance
situational awareness and promote synchronized operational planning and
execution. Ideally, the command will see and think as one.
A critical aspect of achieving a knowledge advantage over your adversary
is the achievement of a condition of situational awareness throughout
the force. Situational awareness includes--
- A common understanding of the commander's assessment of the situation.
- The commander's intent.
- The commander's concept of operation, combined with a clear picture
of friendly and enemy force dispositions and capabilities.
IO potentially assure situational awareness appropriate to every level
of an organization, down to the individual soldier. Systems being tested
and fielded today offer commanders at all levels the potential of a collective,
shared understanding of the battlespace. The commander's assessment of
the situation, his intent, and the concept of operation provide the framework
that applies throughout the organization. This framework fosters increased
cohesion and unity of effort in the execution of operations. Figure
1-3 illustrates this relationship.
Figure 1-3. Situational Awareness
Situational awareness is inherently local, providing immediate context
and relevance for the interpretation and use of new information as it
is received by a soldier in a particular situation. The local situation
relevant to each level and individual is developed within the common framework
and shared vertically and laterally as appropriate. This situation not
only retains the advantage of hierarchical structure (common framework
and intent) but also adds the advantage of nonhierarchical INFOSYS that
enable decentralized adaptation and action to local situations throughout
Developing the flexibility of a nonhierarchical structure places a greater
obligation on the commander to clearly articulate his intent and concept
of operations. Traditionally, commanders ensured that both intent and
concept were understood two echelons up and down in a hierarchical structure.
Information technology now makes it possible for a senior commander's
intent and concept to be relatively easily shared throughout the command
whenever doing so will enhance the operation. The art of command requires
clearly stating a common framework with sufficient freedom for local adaptation
and application. Proliferation of that understanding, potentially to all
leaders on the battlefield, gives the force a singular perspective and
a clarity of focus that optimizes its combat power against an opponent
or enables it to control a situation in other operations. Denying an adversary
a similar capability, such as degrading his situational awareness, is
an equally important objective and is addressed in Chapter
3 under C2W.
Our traditional operational vision must expand to take full advantage
of the potential contribution of IO to dominate the enemy while protecting
friendly forces. Before any mental constraints are placed on intent or
operational concept, commanders at every level assess those actors and
elements that can affect upcoming operations, to include informational
aspects. The commanders' assessments include actors and elements both
within and outside of their control. The result of this process of thinking
about the GIE is a manageable number of informational elements with which
commanders decide to deal, which, by definition, constitutes the MIE for
a particular operation. This expanded vision of the battlespace can include
various combinations of space, time, purpose, and people.
The elements of an IO vision align with the combat functions associated
with traditional operations. The MIE equivalent of the tactical advantage
of high ground, or the flanking position, might be transformed into an
information advantage of local and international recognition that the
military operation is legitimate and has international support. Just as
successful maneuver gives a commander more options than the enemy,
a perception of credibility and support, or an ability to command and
control, provides an advantage for informational maneuver. Maintaining
this advantage requires constant assessment and adjustment. To this end,
PSYOP-supported Special Forces (SF) teams in the countryside, civil affairs
(CA) teams in urban areas, reports from PVOs, and media coverage provide
a form of reconnaissance and surveillance, just as standard military reconnaissance
and surveillance operations provide information that drives subsequent
fire and maneuver.
The purpose of firepower in combat is the generation of destructive force
against an enemy's capabilities and will to fight. The MIE equivalent
of firepower, already included in doctrine, is the employment of lethal
and nonlethal, direct and indirect capabilities through C2W. C2W uses
deception, PSYOP, electronic warfare (EW), operations security (OPSEC),
and destruction to attack an adversary's capabilities. At the same time,
C2W protects friendly operations. US armed forces have always employed
these capabilities, but they were recently integrated into operations
under C2W. This integration improves the friendly targeting process by
directing the power of traditional attack, deception, PSYOP, EW, and OPSEC
at the adversary's decision cycle, thus gaining control of that cycle
and helping generate information dominance.
While the 1993 version of FM 100-5 recognizes the impact of global news
coverage on the scope, nature, and duration of major operations, recent
events demonstrate that the GIE also affects operations at brigade, battalion,
and company levels. Commanders at every level may now find that CA, military
police (MP), public affairs (PA), PSYOP, and SF activities that support,
enable, or influence operations have become integral to their decision
process and operations and require careful coordination and synchronization
to achieve maximum effect. Commanders must continue to carefully manage
the separation of PA and PSYOP functions to preserve the integrity and
credibility of PA operations. The methods of using C2W, PA, and CA together
to enhance operations is discussed in detail in Chapter
Activities that affect how operations are seen and perceived by different
audiences are an increasingly prevalent and required calculation of battle
command and a prerequisite for effectively visualizing battlespace. The
requirement to identify the critical audiences, messages, and communications
means is not new to leaders. However, it is gaining major significance
for successful operations.
During the course of the Gulf War, the combined operations of the allied
coalition effectively isolated, both physically and psychologically,
a large element of Iraqi forces on Faylaka Island. Rather then reduce
the island by direct assault, a tactical PSYOP team from the 9th PSYOP
Battalion, aboard a UH-1N helicopter, flew aerial loudspeaker missions
around the island with cobra gunships providing escort. The message
told the adversary below to surrender the next day in formation at the
radio tower. The next day 1,405 Iraqis, including a general officer,
waited in formation at the radio tower to surrender to the Marine forces
without a single shot having been fired.
Open Media Coverage
Besides forcing a broader view of the environment, IO imply closer attention
to the media and the global visibility of operations. DOD and Army policy
for principles of combat coverage require Army commanders to provide open
and independent coverage by the news media as the standard means of providing
the American public information about the employment and capabilities
of their armed forces. This policy gives commanders and leaders at all
levels the clear mission of preparing their soldiers to effectively deal
with the media before, during, and after all operations.
The commander's primary tool at division-level and above for dealing
with the news media is PA. PA addresses issues that are integral to all
levels of war. Below division level, however, the commander has no special
staff to discharge this responsibility. Often, brigade and smaller units
have to house, support, and escort reporters. Commanders must understand
and train their soldiers, as well as themselves, to plan for the presence
of media and provide effective interviews to communicate legitimate information
to the public, strengthen soldier morale and unit cohesion, and enhance
their ability to accomplish their mission.
While the clear intent of this doctrine is to require commanders to pay
closer attention to the media and its potential impact upon military operations,
it is also clear that doctrine does not sanction in any way actions intended
to mislead or manipulate media coverage of military operations. To the
contrary, the Army accepts and fully endorses the healthy tension that
exists between the normal desire of the media to inform the public as
much as possible about military operations and the normal desire of commanders
to control the information environment about those same operations to
the greatest possible degree.
Information management takes on increasing importance in meeting
the challenges of global visibility, rapidly changing information technology,
and their impact on the GIE. Mountains of data must be acquired and quickly
translated into knowledge and understanding. Accomplishing this challenge
requires a continuous, cyclical process. Decision-making has become increasingly
dynamic and multidimensional. Decisions about current operations must
occur simultaneously with decisions and planning about future operations.
Decision-making must match the pace with which situational awareness changes.
Information technology now permits the horizontal movement and integration
of information and provides a framework for local decision-making, potentially
allowing the commander's span of control to increase without losing effectiveness.
The dynamics affecting a commander's span of control are critical because
the modern battlefield sees forces increasingly separated, leaving large
gaps between formations and requiring each cluster of forces to act with
greater autonomy within an expanded AO. Dispersion creates more subordinate
force clusters, decentralizes decision authority, and creates a major
requirement for coordinated effort. The nominal span of control is increased
and overall situational awareness is more complicated.
Harnessing the potential of information to transform how the Army operates
is critical to its success in the future. However, technology alone cannot
provide leaders with automatic battlefield visualization, flawless situational
awareness, easily expanded vision, or highly effective information management.
In the final analysis, the products of our initiative to harness the potential
of information can only support the application of a leader's judgment,
wisdom, experience, and intuition to enhance his battle command.
An increase in the amount of information available does not guarantee
certainty; in fact, it potentially increases ambiguity. Current staff
organizations, procedures, and analytical methods must adjust to master
the richer flow, faster pace, and huge volume of information. The challenge
is to find better, not just faster, analysis and decision-making procedures.