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Critical Review of Existing Definitions of Information Operations (IO)

Critical Review of Existing Definitions of Information Operations (IO)

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Published by dniolet
One of the most interesting topics taught by one of the least interesting teachers. He didn't like this paper much.
One of the most interesting topics taught by one of the least interesting teachers. He didn't like this paper much.

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Published by: dniolet on Sep 30, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Critical Review of Existing Definitions of IO
By: Damian Niolet
The views expressed in this paper belong solely to the author and do not reflect the views of the USAF.
“This too shall pass.” Those simple words, it is believed, were intoned several centuriesago and were intended to console a king during troubled times. As the story goes, it worked.
Ina way, those words could have invoked sentiments of consternation just as much as solace for that king. The inevitability of change, a fact to which the opening phrase points, whilereassuring in troubling times is conversely troubling in reassuring times, particularly for certainindividuals. The individuals in question are associated with nations, specifically thoseindividuals are concerned with and responsible for the security of the nations to which theyrespectively belong, such as a king. The king who received the aforementioned phrase might justas easily surmised his eventual demise, the demise of his reign and even his nation.The individuals that comprise the Intelligence Community (IC) of the United States (US)are such individuals from today and these individuals more than likely exemplify the notion thatthe consistency of change induces discomposure rather than its opposite. The IC is in an ongoingstruggle to perfect itself, ultimately with the aim of preventing what may very well be inevitable- the complete dismantling of the security of the US. It may seem a fool’s errand to attempt to prevent the inevitable, but to not act, especially in this case, would be even more foolish. If change is inevitable, the only feasible action on the part of those whom change affects is to meetthe pace. However, at times, it is imperative to ask whether changes to practices and procedures(doctrine) is warranted, or simply the result of fighting fire with fire (i.e.: change yourself beforesomeone else does) over-zealously, in the end proving to stifle the very endeavor which thechange originally sought to strengthen - securing a nation.
Keyes, Ralphs,
 The Quote Verifier: Who Said What, Where, and When
(New York:Macmillan, 2006), 160.
One area of US national security that is under frequent scrutiny and reevaluation isInformation Operations (IO). Recently, a new definition of IO was proposed, which is to be usedin forthcoming joint doctrine. The old definition is derived from doctrine published on February13th, 2006. After a little less than five years, has the old definition proven to be so inadequate asto threaten the US’s national security, requiring a new definition be postulated? Is the proposechange simply an example of change for change’s sake, and therefore, of little significance or indeed a hindrance to the act of securing the nation? Most important, which definition better serves IO practitioners, to include support elements such as the IC, in conducting IO? This essaywill answers these questions and by its end show that the change to the established definition of IO is a warranted change and the resulting definition an acceptable one in connection withguiding, for their particular part, the IC in helping to secure the US through IO.
The established definition for IO as abstracted from Joint Publication 3-13,
Information Operations
, is as follows:IO are described as the integrated employment of electronic warfare (EW), computer network operations (CNO), psychological operations (PYSOP), military deception(MILDEC), and operations security (OPSEC), in concert with specified supporting andrelated capabilities, to influence, disrupt, corrupt or usurp adversarial human andautomated decision making while protecting our own
The new definition currently in staffing, from USD (I) is as follows, “Information Operations(IO) are the integrated employment of capabilities in the information environment to affect thehuman and automated decision making of adversaries and as appropriate, neutrals, while protecting our own.
Joint Staff,
 Joint Publication 3-13, Information Operations
, (D.C.: GPO, 2006), I-1.
 New definition currently in staffing from USD(I), (2010).

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