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Chapter 2

Fundamentals

While reflecting the increased complexity and lethality of the modern battlefield, Army doctrine recognizes that advanced weapons and technologies are no better than the skill with which leaders and soldiers employ them against the enemy.

FM 100-5

This chapter outlines the nature of information and the fundamentals of IO by stating what they are, what they apply to, and how they relate to various activities of IO. The chapter discusses the components of IO--operations, relevant information and intelligence (RII), and information systems (INFOSYS). It concludes with a discussion of the six critical activities essential to a sound IO program: acquiring, using, protecting, exploiting, denying, and managing information and INFOSYS.

COGNITIVE HIERARCHY

Information is defined as--

Data collected from the environment and processed into a usable form.

A given piece of data is largely meaningless by itself. Only when data is processed, that is, placed into a situational context, does it gain meaning and become, by definition, information. Knowledge is derived from information. Knowledge is information that has been tested and accepted as factual--

  • Through cognition--the mental process that receives or develops unverified information (beliefs).
  • Through assessment or testing to prove the information.
  • By acceptance of the information as factual.

Commanders and their planners must always be sensitive to the difference between beliefs and knowledge. Untested beliefs, even when commonly held, differ from facts and are, in essence, opinions that can later prove to be wrong. Decisions based upon beliefs instead of facts are always at risk.

Understanding is achieved by using judgment to give knowledge relevance within a specific situational context. Ideally, understanding a situation supports a commander in battlefield visualization and creates the conditions from which plans can be formed and effective actions taken. See Figure 2-1.

Figure 2-1

Figure 2-1. The Cognitive Hierarchy

While it is certainly desirable to achieve full understanding of a situation before making decisions, commanders must be fully prepared to make decisions in an operational environment of ambiguity, characterized by imperfect information and incomplete understanding. Command decision-making will remain an art, not a science, even in the Information Age. A goal of IO is to narrow the gap between the art and science of command decision making.

STRATEGY

The National Military Strategy recognizes that information warfare (IW) is one of many capabilities within the US military elements of national power. IW can support the overall US Government strategic engagement policy during peacetime, crisis, conflict, and postconflict. The ability of the US Government to influence the perceptions and decision making of others greatly impacts the effectiveness of deterrence, power projection, and other strategic concepts.

This paragraph introduces and defines information warfare and explains its relationship with the Army's interpretation--information operations. In times of crisis, information can deter adversaries from initiating actions detrimental to interests of the US Government or its allies or detrimental to the conduct of friendly military operations. If carefully conceived, coordinated, and executed, IW--

  • Contributes to defusing crises.
  • Reduces the period of confrontation and enhances the impact of informational, diplomatic, economic, and military efforts.
  • Forestalls or eliminates the need to employ combat forces.

Information Warfare

Information warfare is the term adopted by the Department of Defense (DOD) and the joint staff to recognize a range of actions taken during conflict to achieve information superiority over an adversary. It is specifically defined in CJCSI 3210.01 as--

Actions taken to achieve information superiority by affecting 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.

The objective of IW is to attain a significant information advantage that enables the total force to quickly dominate and control the adversary. The strategic goal of IW is to seize and maintain a decisive advantage by attacking an adversary's NII through exploitation, denial, and influence, while protecting friendly INFOSYS. IW offers either side the chance to strike at a distance with relative safety.

The Army, recognizing that IW as currently defined by DOD is more narrowly focused on the impact of information during actual conflict, has chosen to take a somewhat broader approach to the impact of information on ground operations and adopted the term information operations. The Army has adopted this broader approach to recognize that information issues permeate the full range of military operations (beyond just the traditional context of warfare) from peace through global war. IO implement the IW policy for the land component commander.

Information Operations

Information operations integrate all aspects of information to support and enhance the elements of combat power, with the goal of dominating the battlespace at the right time, at the right place, and with the right weapons or resources. IO are defined as--

Continuous military operations within the MIE 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; IO include interacting with the GIE and exploiting or denying an adversary's information and decision capabilities.

Units conduct IO across the full range of military operations, from operations in garrison, through deployment, to combat operations, and continuing through redeployment upon mission completion.


COMPONENTS OF
INFORMATION OPERATIONS

Activities to support IO include acquiring, using, protecting, managing, exploiting, and denying information and INFOSYS. These activities take place within three interrelated components of IO: operations, RII, and INFOSYS. These components operate within a battlespace established by the MIE. (See Figure 2-2.) Army organizations conduct these IO activities as part of a dynamic, iterative process to support each component in an integrated full-dimensional operation.

Figure 2-2

Figure 2-2. Information Operations


Operations

C2W, CA, and PA are the three operations the Army currently uses to gain and maintain information dominance and effective C2.

C2W OPERATIONS

C2W is the warfighting application of IW in military operations. The aim of C2W is to influence, deny information to, degrade, or destroy adversary C2 capabilities while protecting C2 capabilities against such actions. C2W is composed of two major branches:

  • Command and control-attack (C2-attack).
  • Command and control-protect (C2-protect).

C2W planning is conducted throughout the military operational continuum, from peacetime through termination of hostilities. In the past, the primary warfighting objective was to concentrate physical and destructive combat power against the adversary's personnel and equipment, that is, tanks, airplanes, artillery, air defense. C2W is discussed in detail in Chapter 3.

By 1986, AirLand Battle further evolved this thinking by linking ground and air operations to achieve depth and synchronization. A paramount consequence of AirLand Battle was the intention to strike at reserve, reinforcing, and second-echelon forces. This led in 1993 to an extended operational strategy of deep operations, with long-range weapons and Special Forces. Looking at high-value targets, deep operations strategy sought to destroy, degrade, deny, and disrupt critical C2 nodes as one of its primary objectives.

Today, C2W operations integrate and synchronize the capabilities of PSYOP, deception, OPSEC, and EW to facilitate the application of appropriate systems and forces to execute IO. While C2W has had a primarily offensive focus in the past, it now includes both C2-attack and C2-protect. Although these two disciplines of C2W have been practiced by successful armies since the beginning of recorded history, modern warfare with its emphasis on information and INFOSYS requires a new perspective. Three factors make C2W considerations critical when operating in today's environment:

  • Continuous, high-volume information flow dictated by the relationship of modern military technology and military operations.
  • Vulnerabilities created by widespread incorporation of advanced technology for INFOSYS and intelligence.
  • The radical improvement in INFOSYS and intelligence capabilities resulting from explosive advances in technology.

The complexity and range of today's MIE increases the difficulty of achieving a comprehensive disruption of an adversary's C2 capabilities through any single attack or application of combat power. This places a premium upon the effective integration and synchronization of friendly physical destruction, EW, deception, and PSYOP to achieve maximum results when launching attacks. Likewise, careful integration and synchronization is also required to fully protect our critical INFOSYS/intelligence architecture from adversary attacks. Without the complete and thorough integration and synchronization of the five C2W elements across both C2-attack and C2-protect, operational effectiveness will be reduced and potential vulnerabilities exposed.

C2-Attack

The goal of offensive C2W, specifically C2-attack, is to gain control over our adversary's C2 function, both in terms of flow of information and level of situational awareness. With effective C2-attack, we can either prevent an adversary from exercising effective C2 or leverage it to our advantage.

C2-attack can strike at the adversary's capabilities at all echelons, targeting personnel, equipment, communications, and facilities in an effort to disrupt or shape adversary C2. RII plays a key role in C2-attack planning and operations, with the creation and maintenance of regional data bases on personal, historical, and cultural influences, intelligence-preparation-of-the battlefield (IPB), and battle damage assessments (BDA)--both soft and hard kill. The principal C2-attack approach for influencing the adversary's C2 is the synchronized application of the six information activities.

C2-Protect

C2-protect seeks to maintain effective C2 of friendly forces by negating or turning to a friendly advantage the adversary's efforts to influence, degrade, or destroy friendly C2 systems. C2-protect is divided into active and passive measures and seeks to limit the vulnerability of forces (personnel, equipment, and information) to hostile action, even as deployed forces face ever-expanding threats and adversary capabilities. C2-protect includes countering an adversary's propaganda to prevent it from affecting friendly operations, options, public opinion, and the morale of friendly troops.

CIVIL AFFAIRS OPERATIONS

CA support to IO provides an integral role of interfacing with critical actors and influences in the GIE. Whether in peace, conflict, or war, conducting military operations, consolidating combat power, and seeking information dominance are improved when leveraging CA support. Although conditions differ across the spectrum of conflict, CA activities establish, maintain, influence, or exploit relations among military forces, civil authorities, and the civilian populace in an AO to facilitate military operations. For example, during Operation Restore Democracy, CA activities informed the local populace through the news media, public discussion, and PSYOP informational products and programs about the reestablishment of the legitimate Haitian government. This created an information exchange that promoted understanding of, confidence in, and positive perception of measures supporting military operations.

The civil-military operations center (CMOC) can be established to interact with key actors and influences in the GIE, such as NGOs, PVOs, and local authorities. CA elements support military operations by applying their skills and experience in public administration, economics, public facilities, linguistics, cultural affairs, and civil information and by collecting information relevant to the commander's critical information requirements (CCIR). CA personnel have an intricate and important role in providing information during both the intelligence cycle and the operational planning cycle.

Commanders include CA operations in their planning guidance. CA planners must consider all available support and information to ensure successful completion of the CA mission. CA forces are well-suited to plan, coordinate, support, and, if directed, supervise various operations to support US objectives.

PUBLIC AFFAIRS OPERATIONS

Most military operations are conducted under the full glare of public scrutiny. National and international news media coverage plays a major role in quickly forming public debate and shaping public opinion. The news media serves as a public forum for the analysis and critique of goals, objectives, and actions. It can impact political, strategic, and operational planning, decisions, and mission success or failure. The reality of near real-time information, processed and transmitted at greater speeds and to wider audiences than in the past, has bridged the gap between what occurs on the ground and the goals and objectives of the National Military Strategy. Therefore, the public affairs officer (PAO) monitors public perceptions and develops and disseminates clear and objective messages about military operations. Moreover, commanders must involve themselves also in this dimension of IO. PA personnel--

  • Assist the commander by working to establish the conditions that lead to confidence in and support of the Army.
  • Support open, independent reporting and access to units and soldiers.
  • Seek a balanced, fair, and credible presentation of information that communicates the Army story through an expedited flow of complete, accurate, and timely information.

The commander uses his internal information program (formerly command information) to inform soldiers about where they fit in, what is expected of them, and how they help accomplish the mission. This information also helps soldiers combat the effects of enemy propaganda or misinformation. Commanders, through their PAO, initiate, direct, and emphasize internal information topics and programs. Every soldier must receive information specific to the operation through command channels and world, national, and local news. The media is an important information channel to the American public; however commanders, staff officers, and soldiers must balance OPSEC and other operational requirements when working with the media.

PA personnel support commanders by assessing the information environment and advising them on the PA implications of current and future operations. Leaders understand the importance of achieving a balanced, fair, and credible presentation of information to both internal and external audiences. Leaders integrate PA into their decision-making process by considering it in their assessment of the situation and development of courses of actions, plans, and orders. Commanders ensure that PA operations are synchronized with other combat functions and promote early coordination of PA, CA, and PSYOP functions during the planning process. A continual exchange of information must exist during execution as well. Although each function has a specific audience, information will overlap, making it crucial that messages are deconflicted and coordinated.

Relevant Information
and Intelligence

Leaders have struggled with how to best capitalize on available information throughout the history of organized warfare. The drive to know as much as possible about their own forces--location, combat effectiveness, current activity--and the enemy's--location, disposition, combat effectiveness, intended actions--has been a durable characteristic of successful commanders, regardless of the time period or nationality. Today, commanders operate in an environment increasingly marked by the rapid flow of information and decisions among strategic, operational, and tactical levels. These factors are complicated by an explosive expansion in the opportunities for access and the manipulation of operationally relevant information by the wide array of individuals, organizations, and systems found in the GIE.

Ultimately, effective C2 depends on ensuring that the right person has the right information at the right time. Intelligence, the commander's source of relevant information about the adversary, takes on increased, even crucial, importance in the Information Age. Because IO give battlespace global connectivity, intelligence on current or potential adversaries must be prepared on a global scale. Interaction with the MIE requires timely intelligence about many aspects of current or potential adversaries, to include cultural, political, and commercial aspects.

Commanders must have information to command. Information allows the commander's decision-execution cycle to function and gives direction to actions by the force to accomplish their operational missions.

The collection, processing, and dissemination of relevant information is the key to achieving situational awareness throughout the force, which creates the opportunity for unity of effort toward mission accomplishment. The commander operates within the GIE, adjusting his MIE to enhance his situational awareness as appropriate for the operation at hand.

The commander focuses on RII requirements. The commander's operational requirements dictate the critical information requirements, which in turn dictate the RII collection effort. To be effective, the unit's intelligence cycle must be managed to provide information based on the priorities in the concept of operations. A key to successful IO is an accurate IPB focused on the MIE. During combat operations intelligence analysts must continually perform an information-oriented BDA to ensure IO remain effective. RII support to IO begins in peacetime and must be continuous throughout all phases of an operation or campaign.

Advances in information technology are mandating changes in how RII support is provided. First, communications connectivity allows broadcast dissemination of information. This incorporates direct downlink of raw data from multiple sensors to multiple echelons simultaneously and the broadcast of finished information products from theater, departmental, or national production agencies to deployed forces. Information can be provided on a push or pull mode to deployed units.

IO requires the fusion of information from a variety of sources. Advances in sensors, processors, and communicators are combining to provide detailed, timely reconnaissance and surveillance of almost any place on the globe. Both military and nonmilitary sources provide information that can be used to produce RII. Open-source intelligence or reporting will provide much order of battle (OB) and technical data. An OB focused on command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence (C4I) includes data collection and information processing systems, command systems, and reconnaissance, intelligence, surveillance, and target acquisition (RISTA) systems.

Successful integration of IO requires an IPB grounded in a thorough understanding of an adversary's capabilities and decision-making style. An IPB based on C4I focuses on an adversary's decision requirements. These are selected in relation to the friendly commander's priority intelligence requirements (PIR) and describe in detail the decisions the adversary must make to conduct his battle plan. From there, the focus shifts to the information sources that feed or influence the adversary's decisions such as sensors, the platforms on which they are deployed, and their supporting C3 systems. The results should include data on current operations, capabilities, and vulnerabilities. RII as a component of IO is addressed in detail in Chapter 4.

Information Systems

INFOSYS collect, process, and disseminate information relating to current and future operations. Automation has made great advances in information processing, but human beings remain the most effective system for determining relevance and fusing information. INFOSYS are those means that enable commanders and their staffs to--

  • Monitor the current situation.
  • Synchronize operations.
  • Integrate and synchronize operations across battlefield operating systems (BOSs).
  • Coordinate joint air and naval support.
  • Update weapon systems targeting parameters.
  • Control close, deep and rear operations as one operation.

ARCHITECTURE

INFOSYS are essential to the effective application of military power. The Army's integrated architecture of advanced INFOSYS maximizes the C2 capabilities of land forces in all operating environments. The road map for exploiting current and future information technologies to enhance Army operations is the Army Enterprise Strategy (AES). The AES and other initiatives like C4I for the Warrior are reinforcing the important contributions INFOSYS make to information-based warfare. Of particular importance is the evolution of the Army's comprehensive information architecture with its three supporting initiatives focused on operational, system, and technical architectures. When completed, this initiative will create a common operating environment (COE) of standardized, interactive systems and templates for the collection, storage, and manipulation of all Army data bases.

Operational Architecture
The operational architecture will establish the required connectivity among processes, functions, information, and organizations. It will show what we do, what information we need to do it, and how often we need to exchange information within the force.

System Architecture
The system architecture seeks to identify relationships among C4I components of systems and create physical connectivity within the information system. It uses an organizational context to show system allocation and network structures and helps document engineering decisions, such as specific information protocols and bandwidth.

Technical Architecture
The technical architecture will establish a set of rules governing the arrangement, interaction, and interdependence of all the parts and elements that together constitute our INFOSYS. It specifies the permissible standards for designing C4I capabilities and is critical to the creation and maintenance of interactive systems.

INTEGRATION

The integration of INFOSYS--both vertically and horizontally--facilitates tactical and operational agility, initiative, depth, synchronization, and versatility essential to Army success in joint and combined operations.

GLOBAL CONNECTIVITY

Global connectivity is essential for linking strategic, operational, and tactical aspects of IO and the ability to project forces worldwide. INFOSYS support operations globally with communications automation architectures, both space- and terrain-based. However configured, INFOSYS can provide such support with a minimum of physical repositioning to support C2, whether in a strategic deployment phase or moving for a tactical attack. Both military and commercial INFOSYS play important roles in this architecture.

Today, the Army applies information technologies to digitize the battlefield by providing integrated C2 that flows across each level of operation or war. The migration of the current Army Command and Control System (ACCS) to the Army Battle Command System (ABCS) incorporates a common C2 operating environment at all echelons. This integration of modern INFOSYS with our tactical units continues to enhance their connectivity, decision-making, and, ultimately, lethality, survivability, and the ability to control the tempo of operations. Advanced weapons system and sensor technologies based on interoperability, digitization, and spectrum supremacy will contribute directly to improved effectiveness of the force. Chapter 5 discusses the Army INFOSYS architecture in detail.

Any military--like any company or corporation--has to perform at least four key functions with respect to knowledge. It must acquire, process, distribute, and protect information, while selectively denying or distributing it to its adversaries and or allies.

Alvin and Heidi Toffler

War and Anti-War: Survival at the Dawn of the 21st Century


INFORMATION ACTIVITIES

IO involves acquiring, using, protecting, exploiting, denying, and managing information and INFOSYS. When effectively executed, these critical activities supplement the human skills of battle command, speed decision making, minimize or eliminate uncertainty, focus combat power, help protect the force, harness organizational capabilities, link the MIE to the GIE, and enhance situational awareness for soldiers and leaders. These activities apply to both information and INFOSYS (hardware, people, organizations, and processes). Although listed sequentially, these activities are concurrent and seamless in their application (see Figure 2-3).

Figure 2-3

Figure 2-3. Information Operations Activities

Acquire

Commanders must consider the nature of the information required before allocating resources to acquire it. Initial questions include--

  • What information is needed?
  • What is the nature of that information?
  • How can that information be acquired?

Necessary information includes mission, enemy, troops, terrain and weather, and time available (METT-T) and the basic who, what, when, where, why questions. The nature of that information includes its accuracy, timeliness, and its overall relevance to the situation in consonance with the CCIR. Considering the available information sources and the nature of that information, commanders develop technical and tactical plans to acquire critical information.

Information can be acquired through personnel, technical means, intelligence collection systems, tactical reporting, and intelligence or information disseminated from other DOD or non-DOD agencies at operational, strategic, or national levels. Collection of information about adversaries and the environment is managed through the RII collection cycle.

Commanders determine the critical information for each operation and publish those requirements through their CCIR. The commander alone decides what information is critical based on the mission, his experience, and the higher echelon commander's intent. The staff may recommend CCIR to the commander as--

  • Priority intelligence requirements to determine what the commander wants or needs to know about the enemy, his purpose, and/or terrain (how I see the enemy).
  • Friendly forces information requirements (FFIR) to allow the commander to determine the combat capabilities of his or adjacent friendly units (how I see myself).
  • Essential elements of friendly information (EEFI) to allow the commander to determine how he must protect the force from the enemy's information-gathering systems (how can I prevent the enemy force from seeing me).

The CCIR is normally noted in paragraph 3d of the operations order/operations plan (OPORD/OPLAN). Information about friendly activities and status is coordinated through unit SOPs and OPLANs. Information is also acquired using a more general information collection cycle focusing on gathering relevant information from other sources and influences in the MIE. The information needs of the commander are not answered by a single source, but by--

  • A combination of his own electronic systems.
  • Operational activities such as reconnaissance and security.
  • Human intelligence (HUMINT) activities.
  • Strategic or national intelligence.
  • Interface with local or international police and news media.

Information is perishable and has a temporal quality that is often controlled by a set of dynamic conditions or decisions. Events can make an item of information irrelevant or so unrepresentative as to portray a highly inaccurate picture of reality. Information beyond a certain age will detract from the commander's situational awareness. Standard operating procedures (SOPs), CCIRs, OPLANs, and collection plans must all be sensitive to perishability of information. Moreover, from a technical perspective, INFOSYS managers must respond by managing the systems and information to enable assured, timely communication and decision making.

Use

The commander is able to see his battlespace through the use of space, air, and ground systems to acquire relevant information and provide a current situation. The commander expands his thinking to include all INFOSYS and organizations accessible in the GIE. Once the data is acquired, analyzed, and collated, the information is used to update and validate a common situational awareness. This common situational awareness provides the basis to refine, continue, or adjust decisions, plans, and operations.

  • Information is focused and used by issuing guidance, prioritizing assets, and establishing requirements.
  • Staffs then refine the guidance into OPLANS or OPORDS. They seek to integrate information at all echelons and plan the use of all available information, regardless of the source.

The most timely, accurate, or relevant information, particularly in operations other than war (OOTW), may come from sources outside the unit or military channels. A unit must make use of both organic and nonorganic INFOSYS. Nonorganic systems are either DOD governmental or non-DOD (GIE). Use of other US Government systems, (DOD and non-DOD) is coordinated with higher commands. Using systems outside the government is more complex. Units can use some services openly and passively, such as listening to, or subscribing to, broadcast media. Units can also make overt use of services such as communications relays or weather forecasting. However, commanders must be aware of the legal and policy limits on their use of any non-DOD INFOSYS.

How the information nets within an organization are linked together can provide multiple conduits for information. Horizontal internetting of INFOSYS at the lowest possible levels provides a deeper, multidimensional picture than traditional, stovepipe reporting.

Protect

While the proliferation of information and information technology can be a great advantage, it is also a potentially significant risk that must be accounted for in every operation. Protection of soldiers and equipment, although not new, has increased in importance in today's information-rich environment. Friendly information and INFOSYS must be protected throughout the battlespace. Operationally, protecting information requires viewing friendly vulnerabilities from the enemy's C2-attack perspective. Commanders must examine the vulnerability of their soldiers and systems to exploitation or attack by an enemy capable of attacking friendly C2 on a wide front by employing EW, destruction, deception, and propaganda.

In order to stop or delay a weapon or system from functioning, an adversary might attack the information or INFOSYS that enable that system. For example, an adversary might introduce a malicious software code through a communications network directly into the Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System (AFATDS) to disrupt the sharing and distribution of combat information with other Army and joint C2 systems. Actions taken to protect the capability to operate unconstrained in the MIE battlespace are considered part of C2W (C2-protect).

Information and INFOSYS must be protected at the electronic, physical, and human levels, as described in relationship to the potential threat--all without impeding the overall operation. Security programs that identify threats to C4I systems also take on increased importance while in garrison because the porous and open nature of the GIE makes the C4I information infrastructure vulnerable to attack or exploitation at any time. As part of planning for both battlespace and garrison operations, the signal officer analyzes the unit's information structure to prioritize critical paths, systems, and data for protection. Everything cannot be protected. Therefore, the operations officer must perform a risk management analysis to identify essential information and INFOSYS that must be kept free from disruption or corruption.

Elements of the infrastructure to be protected are data, computers, communications systems, and support facilities. Planners must integrate elements of the GIE into plans to ensure that commanders consider their impact, or potential impact in any operation. Assessment and vulnerability analysis systems must provide the timely and accurate data needed to identify and target threats and potential threats to friendly INFOSYS.

Protecting computer and communications systems from enemy intrusion, disruption, and destruction is an initial basic step in an overall protection approach. However, commanders must also be sensitive to enemy attempts at deception and propaganda. A resourceful enemy may employ propaganda to predispose a commander and his staff toward a specific course of action and then exploit that mindset with a deception operation. IO may often take place under degraded conditions. Besides adversary or accidental actions, natural phenomena may degrade or disrupt equipment or services. Because of the complexity and fragility of INFOSYS, a unit's plans should include procedures for operating without all the information infrastructure.

Exploit

Joint Pub 1-02 describes exploitation as "taking full advantage of any information that has come to hand for. . . military operational purposes." All information environments and systems surrounding an operation, friendly and adversarial, military and nonmilitary, offer chances for exploitation. Generally, exploiting an adversary's INFOSYS is making use of that adversary's INFOSYS data or communications without his knowledge. A flexible approach to exploitation is preferred. The level of exploitation, whether simply monitoring or corrupting data bases, depends on the situation and the desired objective. It may not always mean directly attacking or degrading an adversary's ability to C2. Exploitation involves--

  • Reading the adversary's signals.
  • Intercepting communications.
  • Analyzing signatures.
  • Extracting from data bases.
  • Establishing the order of battle.
  • Taking action to deny, degrade, or manipulate those information capabilities.

Exploitation depends on a thorough understanding of the adversary and the GIE surrounding a potential AO.

Information-gathering and intelligence work must begin in peacetime to establish the analysis of the AO and how potential adversaries operate. Knowledge of the adversary's information infrastructure is as important as knowledge of a potential adversary's strategies, tactics, techniques, and procedures. Knowledge of the adversary's infrastructure will lead to an assessment of personnel, facilities, sensors, processors, and decision-making process. The assessment model asks the question: "How reliant is the adversary on the GIE for information?" This in turn affects how the unit (friendly) interacts with the GIE, to include the media, government agencies, NGOs, and foreign governments. Intelligence gained through exploitation supports C2W planning and operations, especially deception, PSYOP, and physical destruction.

Deny

The offensive aspect of IO, C2-attack, makes possible the goal of attacking an adversary simultaneously at all levels with overwhelming force. C2-attack is intended to prevent an adversary from exercising effective C2 of his forces by denying the adversary information or influencing, degrading, or destroying the adversary's information and INFOSYS.

IO gives the commander the means to attack an adversary throughout the depth of the battlespace, far beyond the range of direct or indirect fire systems. The goal is to degrade the adversary's confidence in either his data or his ability to command and control operations. By attacking or confusing his sense of the battlefield, friendly forces gain information dominance and a subsequent relative advantage in applying combat power or controlling a situation in OOTW.

Information denial operations generally require time and occur over relatively large areas. To blind or deafen an adversary requires that most of his major surveillance and reconnaissance systems be influenced or engaged. Therefore, attacks of adversary INFOSYS are normally planned as a series of engagements, contributing to a larger operation or higher objective. These engagements are normally conducted quickly and against a specific target, such as jamming a receiver or using the Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) to destroy an adversary's C2 node.

Adversary space-based systems and UAVs pose significant problems. Because of difficulties in locating or engaging these platforms, commanders may be forced to use indirect means, such as camouflage or deception, to counter them. At echelons below corps level, the commander may lack the assets to perform all C2-attack missions, particularly those involving battlefield deception and PSYOP. However, the value in denying an adversary effective command remains important and commanders at all levels need to be prepared to contribute to achieving that objective. Depending on METT-T, the commander might target an element of the adversary's information flow to blind him or prevent effective response. For example, by targeting RISTA, fire direction, or command nets, a commander can limit the effectiveness of an adversary's indirect fire systems.

Commanders must continually assess exploit and deny capabilities to strike an optimum balance that will achieve the greatest payoff in dominating enemy IO. Multiple attack options in IO will result from analysis and assessment of potential targets. Generally, the earlier an adversary's decision-making cycle is disrupted, the greater the effect it can have on his capabilities. It is often more effective to disrupt the adversary's early sensing or decision-making processes rather than trying to disrupt execution of a decision already made. Operational commanders must weigh the relative advantages to be gained by attacking adversary C2 nodes against the potential loss of intelligence from adversary signatures, radiation, or emissions and the need to protect intelligence methods and sources.

Manage

In order to conduct full-dimensional operations, information and INFOSYS require careful coordination and synchronization. With guidance issued, the staff coordinates and integrates information requirements and INFOSYS to synchronize the critical information flow with the operational concept. Management information and INFOSYS must focus on operational requirements that will derive information from reconnaissance, counterreconnaissance, communications, and security operations. Managing information includes managing the electromagnetic spectrum (EMS); deciding what sources and systems to use; ensuring a reliable flow of information between nodes and levels (horizontal and vertical integration); and resolving differences among information from multiple sources.

Operational requirements guide the management of the EMS. The principal functions using the EMS that require planning and control are--

  • Communications.
  • Intelligence collection.
  • Jamming.
  • Resolving electromagnetic interference.

This planning must be an integral part of operations planning--in many cases preceding a decision on a scheme of maneuver or fire support and definitely preceding mission execution.

Effective management of information and assets allows information to flow horizontally and vertically across BOSs to enable effective planning, preparation, decision making, and execution. Information should also flow vertically between echelons to enable concurrent planning. This serves to eliminate duplicate efforts and unnecessary redundancy, which allows systems to deal with time-sensitive, relevant information. It also reduces the signature and noise levels of units in the battlespace. The keys to this effective communications and information flow are connectivity, throughput, and resilience. Units can manage connectivity among their organic assets. The difficulty comes in maintaining horizontal and vertical connectivity outside the unit, particularly when dealing with forces using older or different communications and INFOSYS. Connectivity is accomplished through the maintenance of electronic and human links vertically and laterally outside the unit. When dealing with forces or units less technically capable, teams must be prepared to deploy with specialists or liaison personnel equipped with updated equipment.

Resilience is the ability of INFOSYS, from a technical and management perspective, to provide the necessary connectivity and continuity when INFOSYS are degraded. Additionally, Army leaders and planners must understand how military information and systems interconnect and interact with the GIE. Overreliance on commercial systems, particularly satellites and host nation telecommunications networks, may impose restrictions or limitations. Close management and consistent coordination will help assure the availability, reliability, and timeliness of C4I assets.