Information Technology

Information Operations (IO)

Information Operations (IO) involve actions taken to affect adversary information and information systems while defending one’s own information and information systems. They apply across all phases of an operation, the range of military operations, and at every level of war. They are a critical factor in the Joint Force Commander’s (JFC’s) capability to achieve and sustain the level of information superiority required for decisive joint operations. [1]

IO capitalize on the growing sophistication, connectivity, and reliance on information technology. IO targets information or information systems in order to affect the information-based process, whether human or automated. Such information-dependent processes range from National Command Authorities-level decision making to the automated control of key commercial infrastructures such as telecommunications and electric power. [1]

Many different capabilities and activities must be integrated to achieve a coherent IO strategy. Intelligence and communications support are critical to conducting offensive and defensive IO. The thoughtful design and correct operation of information systems are fundamental to the overall conduct of IO. Additionally, to achieve success, IO must be integrated with other operations (air, land, sea, space, and special) and contribute to national and military objectives.

Intelligence support is critical to the planning, execution, and assessment of IO. Intelligence must be timely, accurate, usable, complete, relevant, objective, and sufficiently detailed to support an array of Department of Defense (DoD) IO requirements, including research, development, and acquisition, and operational support.

Offensive Information Operations

Offensive IO involves the integrated use of assigned and supporting capabilities and activities, mutually supported by intelligence, to affect adversary decision-makers and achieve or promote specific objectives. Offensive IO may be conducted in a variety of situations and circumstances across the range of military operations and may have their greatest impact in peace and the initial stages of a crisis. Beyond the threshold of crisis, offensive IO can be a critical force enabler for the JFC. Offensive IO may be conducted at all levels of war – strategic, operational, and Tactical. Assigned and supporting IO capabilities and activities include, but are not limited to: [1]

Defensive Information Operations

Defensive IO integrates and coordinates policies and procedures, operations, personnel, and technology to protect and defend information and information systems. Defensive IO ensure timely, accurate, and relevant information access while denying adversaries the opportunity to exploit friendly information and information systems for their own purposes. Four (4) interrelated processes support defensive IO:

  1. Information environment protection
  2. Attack detection
  3. Ccapability restoration
  4. Attack response

Defensive Information Operations is conducted through the use of: [1]

AcqLinks and References:

Updated: 8/9/2021

Rank: G11.9

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