When the US military refers to full spectrum domination, they truly mean full spectrum. Information operations or information warfare is a key part of the military battlespace. Recently, a document entitled Information Operation Roadmap was declassified by the Pentagon because of a Freedom of Information Act request by the National Security Archive at George Washington University. The document was described by the Council on Foreign Relations’ website as:
“A 2003 Pentagon document previously classified as ‘noforn’ (not for release to foreign nationals, including allies), this report details the US military’s information operations, including psychological operations, electronic warfare, and involvement in foreign journalism. The document was made public by the National Security Archive on January 26, 2006.”
On Par with Air, Ground, Maritime and Special Operations
The importance of information warfare is clearly laid out in this document.
“Key assumptions. Information, always important in warfare, is now critical to military success and will only become more so in the foreseeable future. Three key assumptions underscore the growing importance of information:
– (U) Effectively communicating U.S. Government (USG) capabilities and intentions is an important means of combating the plans of our adversaries. The ability to rapidly disseminate persuasive information to diverse audiences in order to directly influence their decision-making is an increasingly powerful means of deterring aggression.” [emphasis mine] – 3
The major thrust of the document was that information operations should be centralized under the Office of the Secretary of Defense and made a core military competency.
“Objective: IO [information operations] becomes a core competency. The importance of dominating the information spectrum explains the objective of transforming IO into a core military competency on a par with air, ground, maritime and special operations. The charge to the IO Roadmap oversight panel was to develop as concrete a set of action recommendations as possible to make IO a core competency, which in turn required identifying the essential prerequisites to become a core military competency.” [emphasis mine] – 4
Uniformity in Message and Themes
The major reason for centralizing the information operations under a single command was to create consistency between the various segments of the Pentagon’s information operations.
“IO requires coordination with public affairs and civil military operations to complement the objectives of these related activities and ensure message consistency.” [emphasis mine] – 23
“- (U) The USG [US Government] can not execute an effective communication strategy that facilitates military campaigns if various organs of Government disseminate inconsistent messages to foreign audiences. Therefore, it is important that policy differences between all USG Departments and Agencies be resolved to the extent that they shape themes and messages.
– (U) All DoD [Department of Defense] information activities, including information operations, which are conducted at the strategic, operational, and tactical level, should reflect and be consistent with broader national security policy and strategy objectives.” [emphasis mine] – 25
“Coordinating information activities. Major DoD “information activities” include public affairs, military support to public diplomacy and PSYOP [psychological operations]. The State Department maintains the lead for public diplomacy, the [half line redacted] and the International Broadcasting Board of Governors maintains the lead for broadcasting USG messages overseas, often with DoD in a supporting role. DoD has consistently maintained that the information activities of all these agencies must be integrated and coordinated to ensure the promulgation of consistent themes and messages.” [emphasis mine] – 25
A Trained and Ready Career Force
With the ascension of information operations into a core military competency the document recommended, under the heading “A Trained and Ready Career Force” that the:
“DoD [Department of Defence] requires a cadre of IO professionals capable of planning and executing fully integrated IO in support of Combatant Commanders. An IO career force should be afforded promotion and advancement opportunities commensurate with other warfighting areas and provided opportunities for advancement to senior executive or flag level rank.” – 32
The forward of this document was signed by then Secretary of Defence Donald H. Rumsfeld which contained the following statement of support:
“I approve the Roadmap recommendations and direct the Services, Combatant Commands and DoD Agencies to fully support implementation of this plan.” – iv
What Are Information Operations?
This document defined information operations as follows:
“The integrated employment of the core capabilities of Electronic Warfare, Computer Network Operations, Psychological Operations, Military Deception and Operations Security, in concert with specified supporting and related capabilities, to influence, disrupt, corrupt or usurp adversarial human and automated decisions-making while protecting our own.” – 22
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