Strategic Information Warfare: Challenges for the United States.
AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSONAFB OH
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This work examines the potential for strategic information warfare and the challenges posed for the United States. Strategic information warfare consists of attacks against, and the defense of information infrastructures for achieving political objectives. My analysis includes consideration of both state and non-state actors. The work focuses on the use of digital means and the cyberspace operating environment for the conduct of such warfare. The first half develops a theoretical basis for addressing strategic information warfare. The work outlines frameworks for the analysis of strategic warfare based on past theories and historical experience. Relying on literature dealing with technology, how it is acquired, assimilated, and diffused, it also creates a framework of factors which facilitate the establishment of organizational technological capability. These frameworks are then applied to the potential offensive and defensive challenges posed by strategic information warfare to identity key areas of concern and uncertainty. The second half undertakes two case studies comparing the development of strategic warfare capabilities. The case studies empirically illustrate the utility of the frameworks across different time periods and types of technologies. The development of air bombardment capabilities by the U.S. and their employment in World War II illustrates the difficulty of creating a new form of strategic warfare. The analysis then details the nascent U.S. effort to develop doctrine, organizations, and technological capability to conduct strategic information warfare in the 1990s, focusing on the defensive aspects of the task. Both case studies rely on primary source material archival materials and accounts of key individuals in the case of strategic bombing and U.S. military doctrinal publications.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics