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Redefining Information Warfare Boundaries for an Army in a Wireless World

January 16, 2013

Redefining Information Warfare Boundaries for an Army in a Wireless World

Source: RAND Corporation

In the U.S. Army as elsewhere, transmission of digitized packets on Internet-protocol and space-based networks is rapidly supplanting the use of old technology (e.g., dedicated analog channels) when it comes to information sharing and media broadcasting. As the Army moves forward with these changes, it will be important to identify the implications and potential boundaries of cyberspace operations. An examination of network operations, information operations, and the more focused areas of electronic warfare, signals intelligence, electromagnetic spectrum operations, public affairs, and psychological operations in the U.S. military found significant overlap that could inform the development of future Army doctrine in these areas. In clarifying the prevailing boundaries between these areas of interest, it is possible to predict the progression of these boundaries in the near future. The investigation also entailed developing new definitions that better capture this overlap for such concepts as information warfare. This is important because the Army is now studying ways to apply its cyber power and is reconsidering doctrinally defined areas that are integral to operations in cyberspace. It will also be critical for the Army to approach information operations with a plan to organize and, if possible, consolidate its operations in two realms: the psychological, which is focused on message content and people, and the technological, which is focused on content delivery and machines.

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