Lessons from Others for Future U.S. Army Operations in and Through the Information Environment
Jun 7, 2018
Harnessing the potential of old and new technology, state and nonstate actors alike dedicate significant effort to developing and employing information power. This examination of the evolution of allied and adversary activities in and through the information environment and comparative analysis of capability areas in which these others excel can guide future U.S. Army force planning.
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Harnessing the power of old and new technology, it is easier than ever for U.S. allies and adversaries to reach — and influence — vast and varied audiences to achieve their strategic goals. Modern conflicts are fought as much in the information environment as on the physical battlefield, and the line between these domains is dissolving. Less sophisticated state actors and even nonstate actors have acquired capabilities previously available only to the most advanced nations to use information power in support of their objectives. Adversaries of the United States and its allies do not operate under the same legal and ethical constraints and are free to engage in offensive cyberwarfare, disseminate propaganda, censor traditional and online media, and threaten their detractors. As it prioritizes investments in future capabilities, the U.S. Army stands to benefit from an examination of the evolution of allied and adversary information campaigns, as well as their successes, failures, and potential future directions. This comparative analysis of 12 case studies highlights the capability areas in which others excel to guide the Army in either adopting or countering these principles and practices. A companion volume, Lessons from Others for Future U.S. Army Operations in and Through the Information Environment: Case Studies, supports this comparative analysis with detailed assessments of the information-related activities and strategic goals of a range of allies, adversaries, and potential adversaries.
Summary and Overview of the Cases
Comparative Analysis: Common Themes in the Cases
Comparative Analysis: Distinctive Features of the Cases
Conclusions and Recommendations
This research was sponsored by Deputy Chief of Staff, G-3/5/7, and conducted by the Strategy, Doctrine, and Resources Program within the RAND Arroyo Center.
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