Table of Content
The Army is embracing a new era characterized by the accelerating growth
of information, information sources, and information dissemination capabilities
supported by information technology. This new era, the so-called Information
Age, offers unique opportunities as well as some formidable challenges.
New technology will enhance the Army's ability to achieve situational
dominance on land, where the decisive element of victory for our nation
has always been critical. At the same time, it will enable adversaries
to employ many of these same capabilities. This new technology also allows
the Army to transform itself.
The Army is changing the way it does business in the foxhole; in its
schools and training centers; and in its doctrine, training, leader development,
organizations, materiel development, and soldier development. Responding
to the challenges and opportunities of the Information Age, the Army is
preparing the warfighter for operations today as well as in the twenty-first
century. Information and the knowledge that flows from it empower soldiers
and their leaders. When transformed into capabilities, information is
the currency of victory.
Information operations integrate all aspects of information to accomplish
the full potential for enhancing the conduct of military operations. Information
operations are not new. In their simplest form they are the activities
that gain information and knowledge and improve friendly execution of
operations while denying an adversary similar capabilities by whatever
possible means. Effects of IO produce significant military advantage for
forces conducting such operations.
Information is an essential foundation of knowledge-based warfare. It
enables commanders to coordinate, integrate, and synchronize combat functions
on the battlefield. To gain the relative advantage of position (maneuver)
and massing of effects (firepower), commanders must act while information
is relevant and before the adversary can react. Targeting an adversary's
information flow to influence his perception of the situation or prevent
him from having or using relevant information contributes directly to
decisive operations. As the commander targets the adversary's information
systems (INFOSYS), he protects his own. Realizing that absolute and sustained
dominance of the information environment is not possible, commanders seek
to achieve information dominance at the right place, the right time, and
in the right circumstances. They seek information dominance that defines
how the adversary sees the battlespace, creating the opportunity to seize
the initiative and set the tempo of operations.
- The accuracy, lethality, and range of modern weapons have forced commanders
to disperse their formations, decentralizing control and execution.
Massing the effects of these dispersed systems depends on accurate information.
Disruption of the flow of information or corruption of the information
itself can negate the effects of weapons and systems. Instead of being
limited to the physical destruction of people or war machines as the
only path to battlefield success, armies now can target information
or an adversary's INFOSYS to alter the battlefield chemistry and yield
- The speed and pervasiveness of data transmission in the Information
Age are causing a revolutionary change in the nature of military operations
and warfare. Targeting information extends beyond the battlefield and
involves more than attacking an adversary's information flow while protecting
the friendly information flow. It also requires awareness of, and sensitivity
to, information published by nonmilitary sources. These information
sources are able to provide tactical-level information in near real
time to audiences throughout the world, with the potential of profoundly
influencing the context of those operations.
- IO define the operational situation by generating understanding, providing
context, and influencing perceptions. They enable and protect friendly
INFOSYS; synchronize force application; connect hierarchical and nonhierarchical
systems; link sensors, shooters, and commanders; and degrade, disrupt,
or exploit adversary operations by attacking the adversary's command
and control (C2). Units conduct IO across the full range of military
operations, from operations in garrison, through deployment, to combat
operations, to redeployment. IO greatly expand a commander's battlespace,
including interaction with the media, industry, joint forces, multinational
forces, and computer networks worldwide.
- Within the context of joint and/or multinational operations, the Army
must be able to dominate the information environment in order to perform
its missions in any contingency or conflict. The Army's force-projection
capability is based upon accurate and timely information. IO can significantly
enhance the Army's ability to deter aggression, to effectively execute
the full range of operations, and to win decisively in combat.
Notwithstanding the synergy possible with the power of information and
information technology, fog and friction will remain; the challenge of
sorting out the signals from the noise amidst a mass of expanding data
will also remain. Many solutions to the dilemma of uncertainty for the
commander are technical. But there can be no information revolution
without the human influence and understanding of soldiers and commanders
who link and integrate information, technology, and action. IO do not
offer any panaceas. Perfect knowledge is not the objective. The military
objective remainsóto enter an operational theater capable of achieving
superior relative combat power against an enemy, or to establish situational
dominance in operations other than war (OOTW).
The Army's keystone doctrine in FM 100-5 describes how the Army thinks
about the conduct of operations. This manual, while designed to enhance
and enable the operations in FM 100-5, reaches out to accommodate
and leverage newly emerging information technologies, especially digitization.
As the Army's capstone publication for information operations, this manual
supports the National Military Strategy and explains the fundamentals
of IO for the Army. IO doctrine reflects, and goes beyond, the joint military
strategy of command and control warfare (C2W), which implements Department
of Defense (DOD) information warfare policy. This manual --
- Identifies information as a major influence on operations at the tactical,
operational, and strategic levels.
- Enables commanders to successfully integrate information, INFOSYS,
and their effects across the full range of military operations. Such
integration enables and enhances the elements of combat power.
- Creates synergy, which contributes to increased lethality, survivability,
and tempo in combat, as well as highly credible and capable forces in
This publication provides Army capstone doctrine and facilitates the
transition to the Information Age.