Nov 1, 2018
It is difficult to achieve command and control and situational awareness of the information environment (IE) because it is not a physical place. Although every military activity has informational aspects, the IE is often not effectively integrated into operational planning, doctrine, or processes. Addressing gaps and shortfalls will require a stronger understanding of the IE, associated concepts and capabilities, and roles and responsibilities.
The information environment (IE) is not a physical place and has not yet been defined as a warfighting domain in U.S. military doctrine. Targets of operations in and through the IE include human perceptions or behaviors: Weapons are ideas, and defenses are norms, beliefs, and traditions.
Adding to the complexity of achieving command and control (C2) and situational awareness of the IE is the fact that the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has not effectively integrated the IE into operational planning, doctrine, or processes, instead considering traditional land, air, and sea operations separately from operations in the information space. However, every military activity has inherent informational aspects, and adversaries are increasingly using propaganda, misinformation, and other means to influence public perceptions, alliances, and decisions.
Drawing on a review of doctrine and processes, the history of information operations and information-related capabilities, and interviews with subject-matter experts and stakeholders, this report presents a three-tiered vision for the role of information in U.S. military operations. It also identifies requirements for achieving effective C2 and situational awareness of the IE and presents a detailed analysis of seven ways to organize for this objective. Ultimately, addressing the gaps and shortfalls identified in this report will require a much stronger understanding of the IE, associated concepts and capabilities, and roles and responsibilities across the joint force.
Introduction, Research Questions, and Research Approach
What Is the Information Environment, and Why Is It Important?
Current Concepts and Practices for C2 and Situational Awareness
Identifying Requirements for Effective C2 and Situational Awareness of the IE
Provisional Evaluation of Organizational Alternatives for C2
Conclusions and Recommendations
Automation, Machine Learning, and Computational Propaganda