Talking the Talk: Why Warfighters Don't Understand Information Operations   [open pdf - 277KB]

"The value of information as a military enabler has always been a factor in warfare. But the rapid evolution of the information environment has caused information to rise in importance to where it is effectively used by adversaries as an asymmetric weapon of choice. The improvised explosive device may be a tactical kinetic weapon, but it is, more importantly, a strategic information weapon when the detonator is paired with a videographer. In an attempt to both counter this information-savvy enemy, as well as exploit that same environment to achieve military objectives, the United States military has struggled to establish definitions and doctrine concurrent with applying those nascent concepts in combat. The result is a developmental process that has muddied the waters outside the very narrow subset of military service members and academicians who claim some form of 'information' as their primary specialty; ironic, given the communications and marketing expertise espoused by some of those very same practitioners. A review of current military and U.S. government information-related lexicon and definitions points out a very obvious flaw: this stuff is confusing…and in some cases, self-defeating. It's time for a doctrinal pause to allow a clean slate review of information operations, strategic communication and, yes, cyberspace operations. Such a review may find that simpler is better."

2009 Association of Old Crows
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Center for Strategic Leadership, U.S. Army War College: http://www.csl.army.mil/
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