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DoD Releases Directive on Information Operations

A 2006 Department of Defense directive on Information Operations (“Information Operations,” Department of Defense Directive O-3600.1, August 14, 2006), which had previously been withheld as “For Official Use Only,” was released last week in response to a FIOA request from Steven Aftergood and the Federation of American Scientists (Thanks Steven!!). This may or may not have something to do with the defense contractors embedded in our mainstream media outlets. Steven raises the question of whether those imbedded contractors violate or implement this policy. Thoughts?

I just uploaded the document to the IA govt documents collection. FYI, I’ve started a new tag — IA deposit — for those documents that are uploaded to the IA. The tag (*every* tag on FGI) has an RSS feed of course, making it easy for library catalogers to keep up to date and get those fugitives cataloged and accessible to your users!

The directive, issued by the Under Secretary of Defense (Intelligence), assigns baseline responsibilities for the conduct of information operations, an umbrella term that includes electronic warfare, computer network operations, psychological operations, military deception, and operations security.

Among related capabilities, the directive cites “public affairs,” the purpose of which is “to communicate military objectives, counter misinformation and disinformation, deter adversary actions, and maintain the trust and confidence of the U.S. population, as well as our friends and allies. Effective military operations shall be based on credibility and shall not focus on directing or manipulating U.S. public actions or opinion.”

[Thanks Secrecy News!]

What is Information Warfare?

Communications during war is vital to military operations, and information, or lack of it, can make or break a battle.

Information Warfare (IW), also known as cyberwar, cyber attack, and cyberterrorism, is a form of modern warfare in which information and media become instruments of war.

As of 13 Jan 06 JP 3-13, the Joint Doctrine for Information Operations removed the term information warfare and replaced it with the more civilized concept of Information Operations (IO).

Likewise, the term has been removed from JP 1-02, the Deparment of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms

The U.S. Air Force retains the idea of Information Warfare in AFDD 2-5, Information Operations, with this definition:

Information warfare is information operations conducted to defend one’s own information and information systems or attacking and affecting an adversary’s in-formation and information systems.

Duane McCollum, FGI Blogger of the month for December, 2006, posted an interesting entry on December 1, 2006 about the
Global Information Grid (GIG) and Net Centricity.

The concepts of information warfare and information operations are closely tied to the GIG and to the ultimate goal of Information Assurance (IA).

I have to ponder a moment while I contemplate the level of Information Assurance associated with publications that remove definitions…

    Should a reputable dictionary at the very least indicate that this term is archaic?

    Are any other archaic definitions missing?

    Could this very lack of information be construed as a form of Information Warfare itself?

    As we like to say in library collection development, “let’s keep a copy for historical research.”

Air University’s Air War College, Cyberspace and Information Operations Study Center, publishes an excellent bibliography called Information Operations, Warfare, Info Ops, Infowar, Cyberwar with a section devoted exclusively to information warfare.

If you are interested in learning more about this topic, I’d suggest you immediately click on thelink to this bibliography and read — just in case any more archaic concepts are removed.