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Confronting the Past for the Future: A Way Ahead for Joint Force Information
In an era of great power competition, learning to operate effectively in the information environment is critical for future US military success. Critical examination of current and past information related doctrine and organizations reveal a dysfunctional approach to the information environment. This dysfunction is fueled by an unreconciled tension between the need for government information with the American ideals of free speech. These two ideas are not wholly incongruent and can in fact be complimentary. The period of US history from WWI through the Cuban missile crisis reveals the roots of this journey. Failing to involve information as an element of policy development, organizing government information around specific conflicts and lack of unity are the negative trends from the past still inhibiting the Joint Force. The US only achieved success in the IE during the Cold War through wholesale reorganization and a commitment to leveraging the inherent advantage of a nation with a commitment to free speech. Taking these lessons learned, if the Joint Force is to be successful in future competition, they must adopt an information first approach to all operations.
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