Accession Number:

ADA509024

Title:

Talking the Talk: Why Warfighters Don't Understand Information Operations(Center for Strategic Leadership Issue Paper, Volume 4-09, May 2009)

Descriptive Note:

Issue paper

Corporate Author:

ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA CENTER FOR STRATEGIC LEADERSHIP

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2009-05-01

Pagination or Media Count:

5.0

Abstract:

Back in 2006 Army Colonel Rob Baker published an article in Military Review entitled The Decisive Weapon A Brigade Combat Team Commanders Perspective on Information Operations. Any information practitioner who reads this excellent piece will immediately latch on to the fact that Bakers brigade was not really conducting information operations IO, but in fact was using strategic communication as its primary enabler. But wait...can you conduct strategic communication at the tactical level And if, from the lofty ivory tower of academia or the hallowed halls of service doctrine organizations you told Baker that he was not conducting IO would he really care about your nuanced interpretation In other words, does it really matter The value of information as a military enabler has always been a factor in warfare. But the rapid evolution of the information environment has caused information to rise in importance to where it is effectively used by adversaries as an asymmetric weapon of choice. The improvised explosive device may be a tactical kinetic weapon, but it is, more importantly, a strategic information weapon when the detonator is paired with a videographer. In an attempt to both counter this information-savvy enemy, as well as exploit that same environment to achieve military objectives, the United States military has struggled to establish definitions and doctrine concurrent with applying those nascent concepts in combat. The result is a developmental process that has muddied the waters outside the very narrow subset of military service members and academicians who claim some form of information as their primary specialty ironic, given the communications and marketing expertise espoused by some of those very same practitioners. A review of current military and U.S. government information-related lexicon and definitions points out a very obvious flaw this stuff is confusingand in some cases, self-defeating.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Information Science
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE