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Chapter One


"In their simplest form, (Information Operations) are the activities that gain information and knowledge and improve friendly execution of operations while denying an adversary similar capabilities by whatever means possible."(1)

Army doctrine for Information Operations is still relatively new (the keystone manual, FM 100-6, was published in August 1996) and applies primarily to combat operations. Information Operations (IO) in a military-operations-other-than-war (MOOTW(2)) environment is a developing area of doctrinal thought as Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures (TTPs) are still emerging and evolving in the field in the contingency operations of the 1990s, such as Operations JOINT ENDEAVOR (OJE), JOINT GUARD (OJG), and JOINT FORGE (OJF) in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The current Army IO doctrine manual emphasizes repeatedly that IO takes place across the operational continuum; however, as the doctrine focuses primarily on combat operations, leaders faced with the challenge of employing IO in MOOTW find themselves having to interpret doctrine to apply it to a different set of tasks.(3)In NATO peace operations in Bosnia, U.S. forces in Task Force Eagle have had to use a "trial-and-error" approach to IO planning.(4)

This newsletter is built on descriptive analysis of observations collected during peace operations on the disciplines now encompassed by IO doctrine, and on secondary-source research of open sources. The bulk of the newsletter addresses IO as practiced in Task Force Eagle, first under IFOR in OJE and then under SFOR in OJG. Its thrust is to apply the combat-focused Army IO doctrine to MOOTW in general terms, and then to peace operations in specific terms. Whenever possible, examples of doctrinal principles in application are provided to amplify and clarify the authors' analyses.

IO are not new, rather the concept of IO is a new approach to the way we conduct military operations which focus on controlling and exploiting information to support operations and achieve the desired end state. IO synchronize several information-based military operations, such as OPSEC, military deception, electronic warfare, psychological operations, civil affairs, and public affairs, that were previously "stove-piped" and independent of one another. By bringing all of these information-based and information-focused operations under one doctrinal framework, the Army ensures that all information operations are synchronized and mutually reinforcing, achieving synergy and unity of effort. The Army introduced its doctrine for IO with the publication of FM 100-6, Information Operations, on 27 August 1996. This new doctrine applies an organizing architecture to the many activities that focused on using information and information systems in support of military operations and details their inter-relationship. The publication of this keystone manual followed years of evolutionary debate in the Army and Joint community on what, exactly, constituted Information Operations and Information Warfare.

FM 100-6 (August 1996) defines Information Operations as "continuous military operations within the MIE (Military Information Environment) that enable, enhance and protect the friendly force's ability to collect, process and act on information to achieve an advantage across the full range of military operations. IO include interacting with the global information environment and exploiting or denying an adversary's information and decision capabilities."(5)This definition specifies the operating environment for IO, which is the MIE. The MIE is that military portion of the Global Information Environment which consists of ".information systems (INFOSYS) and organizations - friendly and adversary, military and non-military, that support, enable, or significantly influence a specific military operation."(6)

IO are comprised of the three inter-related components of Operations, Relevant Information and Intelligence (RII), and INFOSYS. The Army uses three operations to conduct IO: 1) command and control warfare (C2W); 2) civil affairs (CA); and, 3) public affairs (PA). Grouping the five elements of C2W together with CA, and PA as specific IO provides a framework to promote synergy and facilitates planning and execution. All military activities conducted as part of these operations are classified within the two disciplines of C2-Attack and C2-Protect. C2-Attack is offensive C2W which is intended to gain control of the adversary's C2 function in terms of his information flow and his situational awareness. Effective C2-Attack allows friendly forces to either destroy, degrade, neutralize, influence, or exploit the enemy or adversary's C2 functions. Successful C2-Protect operations ensure effective C2of friendly forces "by negating or turning to a friendly advantage the adversary's efforts to influence, degrade, or destroy friendly C2systems."(7)


C2W Historically, the Army planned and executed the various elements of C2W independently of one another.(8)Successful C2W operations support the Army objective of achieving information dominance in any operational environment. Current IO doctrine combines the five elements of C2W into one integrated approach. Emerging doctrine de-emphasizes the term C2W and elevates the five elements of C2W as components along with CA and PA. Under current doctrine, the five elements of C2W are:

  • Operations security (OPSEC);
  • Military deception;
  • Electronic Warfare (EW);
  • Psychological Operations (PSYOP); and,
  • Physical Destruction.

PA. Public Affairs operations provide information about on-going operations to the American soldier and the American public. PA operations enable the commander to effectively operate with the media and pull information from the media that is of value to the commander and his forces. PA facilitates media on the battlefield to tell the story of the operation to the public. PA keeps the command informed through command information program, which explains the purpose of the operation to soldiers and leaders and what their expected role is in support of it.

CA. Civil Affairs operations secure local acceptance of U.S. forces by establishing the relationship between the military force, local civilian authorities, and interested international organizations (IOs), non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and private volunteer organizations (PVOs).(9)Successful CA operations support IO through their daily interface with key organizations and individuals operating in the MIE.

Relevant Information and Intelligence

Relevant information is defined as - "Information drawn from the military information environment that significantly impacts, contributes to, or is related to the execution of the operational mission at hand...(RII) serves as the currency of IO."(10)Intelligence is "the critical sub-element of relevant information that focuses primarily upon foreign environments and the adversary. In support of friendly operations, intelligence helps produce a common, current, and relevant picture of the battlespace that reduces uncertainty and shortens the commander's decisionmaking process."(11)This situational awareness, built from RII shared throughout the force is referred to as the Relevant Common Picture (RCP). "Relevant information drawn from the MIE supports the creation of situational awareness that contributes directly to effective C2during all stages of the decision and execution cycle."(12)The commander specifies information requirements in the form of CCIR and PIR that drive the information collection process and assets.


"INFOSYS include personnel, machines, manual or automated procedures, and systems that allow collection, processing, dissemination, and display of information."(13)INFOSYS covers all of the links in the chain of actions and procedures that turn information into knowledge that will support the commander's decisionmaking process, maintain an accurate view of his battlespace, coordinate operations, and shape the MIE. INFOSYS disseminate the accurate view of the battlespace up and down the force giving leaders greater situational awareness (SA). INFOYS provides the means to share SA throughout the friendly force in the form of the Relevant Common Picture (RCP). "Relevant information drawn from the MIE supports the creation of situational awareness that contributes directly to effective C2during all stages of the decision and execution cycle."(14)

Endnotes, Chapter One

1. Headquarters, Dept. of the Army, Information Operations, Field Manual 100-6, Washington, DC: USGPO, 27 August 1996, p. iv.

2. The term MOOTW, which is acceptable Joint terminology, is used throughout this newsletter, as the Army's term of OOTW has been supplanted in some circles with Support and Stability Operations (SASO). For the definition of MOOTW, see The DoD Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms, Joint Publication 1-02, downloaded from

3. Headquarters, Dept. of the Army, Information Operations, Field Manual 100-6, op. cit. The manual devotes only three pages to a discussion of the unique considerations for OOTW, a rather broad category of military operations, of which peace operations are merely a sub-set.

4. Lt. Col. Stephen W. Shanahan, U.S. Army (Ret.), and Lt. Col. Gary J. Beavers, U.S. Army, "Information Operations in Bosnia," Military Review, Vol. LXXVII, No. 6, November-December 1997, p. 61.

5. Headquarters, Dept. of the Army, Information Operations, Field Manual 100-6, op. cit., p. 2-3.

6. Ibid., p. 1-4.

7. Ibid., p. 2-5.

8. Ibid., p. 3-0.

9. IOs are organizations with global or extra-regional influence - examples include the International Committee of the Red Cross, or the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). NGOs are transnational organizations of private citizens that maintain a consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the UN. PVOs are typically non-profit organizations involved in humanitarian efforts. See Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Joint Force Capabilities, Joint Publication 3-33, (Preliminary Coordination Draft): USGPO, 30 January 1998, p. IV-10.

10. Headquarters, Dept. of the Army, Information Operations, Field Manual 100-6, op. cit.., 4-0.

11. Ibid., p. 4-3.

12. Ibid. p. 4-1.

13. Ibid. p. 5-0.

14. Ibid. p. 4-1.

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