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Requirements for Better C2 and Situational Awareness of the Information Environment

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For many reasons - including recent operational experiences and Russian information aggression - the information environment (IE) is ascending as a consideration in how U.S. military operations are planned, exercised, and conducted. However, the IE is still not as central to these activities as it should be. Increased technological sophistication and the availability of advanced communication networks have rendered the IE more extensive, complicated, and complex than ever before. And efforts to coordinate and conduct military operations in and through this environment are beset with a "fog-of-war" problem not unlike that experienced in the traditional domains of air, land, and sea. How can U.S. forces maintain situational awareness of the IE? What exactly does situational awareness mean in the context of the IE? Given the difficulties associated with bounding, comprehending, and meaningfully observing even small portions of the operationally relevant IE, what steps must the U.S. Department of Defense take to effectively assert command and control (C2) and situational awareness over operations in the IE (OIE), including the ability to organize, understand, plan, direct, and monitor these operations?



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