Improving Intelligence Support for Operations in the Information Environment
Dec 9, 2020
Operations in the information environment require close coordination between intelligence and information operations personnel. However, this coordination is hindered by a lack of understanding of each community's roles and responsibilities, a lack of shared processes, and low priority across the joint force, prompting a review of these challenges and the development of a comprehensive set of solutions to address them.
Dividing Roles and Responsibilities Between Intelligence and Information Professionals
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Both information operations (IO) and intelligence have long been core components of U.S. military operations, and information is the essence of both communities. What distinguishes them is how each community compiles, sorts, analyzes, and uses information. Gaps in understanding of each community's roles, responsibilities, and processes have important implications for operations in the information environment (OIE), which require a significant degree of coordination between the personnel who provide intelligence support to these operations and the personnel who are responsible for planning and conducting them. To support information operations practitioners, intelligence personnel must be familiar with the types of information that are relevant to OIE. Conversely, information operations practitioners must be familiar with intelligence products and processes for how that information is collected, analyzed, and disseminated.
Despite the recent surge in interest in OIE, there is still not sufficient appreciation across the joint force for what these operations can contribute. As a result, intelligence organizations do not understand intelligence needs for OIE or routinely provide OIE-specific intelligence products, and related requests for intelligence support are not prioritized. This situation is compounded by a lack of awareness of intelligence organizations' processes and requirements among information operations staffs.
A review of guidance, doctrine, and documentation on the information requirements for OIE, along with interviews with subject-matter experts, highlighted 40 challenges to effective intelligence support to OIE, along with 67 potential solutions to address them.
The Evolution of Operations in the Information Environment
Categorizing Challenges to Intelligence Support for Operations in the Information Environment
Solutions to Improve Intelligence Support for Operations in the Information Environment
Conclusions and Recommendations
Information-Related Capabilities, Operations, and Activities
Intelligence Product Categories
This research was sponsored by U.S. European Command and conducted within the International Security and Defense Policy Center of the RAND National Security Research Division (NSRD), which operates the National Defense Research Institute (NDRI).
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