The U.S. Army is studying ways to apply its cyber power and is reconsidering doctrinally defined areas that are integral to cyberspace operations. An examination of network operations, information operations, and several other, more focused areas across the U.S. military found significant overlap and potential boundary progression that could inform the development of future Army doctrine.
Redefining Information Warfare Boundaries for an Army in a Wireless World
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- In what kinds of electronic and cyber operations does the Army currently engage? Where are the boundaries between them?
- How are recent and ongoing changes in the information world, especially the explosion in different modes of communication, affecting the Army's information operations?
- How should the Army adapt, organizationally and operationally, to best respond to these changes?
In the U.S. Army as elsewhere, transmission of digitized packets on Internet-protocol and space-based networks is rapidly supplanting the use of old technology (e.g., dedicated analog channels) when it comes to information sharing and media broadcasting. As the Army moves forward with these changes, it will be important to identify the implications and potential boundaries of cyberspace operations. An examination of network operations, information operations, and the more focused areas of electronic warfare, signals intelligence, electromagnetic spectrum operations, public affairs, and psychological operations in the U.S. military found significant overlap that could inform the development of future Army doctrine in these areas. In clarifying the prevailing boundaries between these areas of interest, it is possible to predict the progression of these boundaries in the near future. The investigation also entailed developing new definitions that better capture this overlap for such concepts as information warfare. This is important because the Army is now studying ways to apply its cyber power and is reconsidering doctrinally defined areas that are integral to operations in cyberspace. It will also be critical for the Army to approach information operations with a plan to organize and, if possible, consolidate its operations in two realms: the psychological, which is focused on message content and people, and the technological, which is focused on content delivery and machines.
Revisions in Army Doctrine Will Be Needed to Meet the Challenges the Changing Information Environment Presents
- This will be necessary in part to address variant authorities for different operations.
- It is also necessary to address and standardize terminology.
Technology and Content Areas Require Specific Expertise
- A distinction needs to be made between the actual information and the means used to move it about.
- It might be helpful to consolidate areas of expertise into the broad areas of "inform and influence operations" and "information technical operations."
- Having dedicated career paths for these two areas would also be helpful.
Table of Contents
The Information Environment and Information Warfare
The Problem with Information Operations
Redefining and Reorganizing Information Operations
How Electronic Warfare Overlaps with Other Areas
Overlaps Between Public Affairs and Military Information Support Operations
Better Integrating the Technical Realm
Better Integrating the Psychological Realm
Conclusions and Recommendations
Existing Terminology, Doctrine, and Ongoing Studies
Information Operations in Doctrine
Issues Regarding Information Operations as Integration, Advocacy, and/or a Capability
Common Electronic Warfare and Electromagnetic Spectrum Operations Tasks and Overlaps
Discussion: Information Operations in the 1/25 Stryker Brigade Combat Team
Proposals for Navy Cyber Career Paths and Pipelines