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By Force or by Fraud: Optimizing U.S. Information Strategy With Deception

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Technical Report

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Naval Postgraduate School Monterey United States

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Military deception MILDEC operations have a long and illustrious place in Americas battlefield history. To great effect, MILDEC has enabled countless victories in every U.S. conflict since the Revolutionary War. However, the United States has allowed its deception capability to atrophy. Possible explanations for our MILDEC divestiture range from structural insufficiencies to an ethical framework that emphasizes truth and transparency. Simultaneously, the onset of the Information Age has leveled the playing field between state and non-state actors NSA and proved that lasting victory cannot be achieved by force alone. Yet, due in part to the difficulty involved in quantifiably measuring information strategy, the contemporary militarys acceptance and understanding of information warfare has been limited. This necessitates the re-examination of U.S. information strategy formulation to address more effectively the challenges and complexities encountered in the human domain. To overcome this impediment, this thesis examines the intangible aspects of information warfare and proposes a structured decision-making tool capable of generating precise computations of optimal information strategies. By Force or by Fraud is a quantitative assessment of MILDECs utility on the modern battlefield that is qualitatively tested against historic cases of information warfare.

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