Accession Number:



War in the Information Age: The Message is the Mission

Descriptive Note:

[Technical Report, Monograph]

Corporate Author:

U.S. Army Command and General Staff College

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



The confluence of advancements in information technology and postmodernist philosophies that thrive on confusion have created conditions where contests of narrative are, by far, the dominant method of achieving political and military aims. More operationally and strategically significant actions in future conflict will occur in the information environment than elsewhere. Events in the physical domains will become increasingly tactical in nature, and the portrayal of these events in the form of narrative will become a dominant form of operational art. Current conceptions of Multi-Domain Operations MDO and Large-Scale Combat Operations LSCO overemphasize the intrinsically tactical aspects of future warfare and do not address the contemporarily dominant form of operational art, which exploits information technology and postmodernism through the power of narrative. The US military must recognize the significance of the social change wrought by the internet and social media, and its effects on the character of war. Just as the Enlightenment brought Leve en masse, and the Industrial Revolution brought Industrial warfare, this new Information Revolution is shifting the character of war and placing information warfare at the forefront. In contemporary war, information is not simply a capability it is the essence of strategy and operational art. As a result, Commanders and planners must view the message itself as the mission, and not just an enabler to tactical and operational-level missions.

Subject Categories:

  • Information Science
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement:

[A, Approved For Public Release]