Information operations

Information as a Joint Function


On 12 July 2017, the CJCS approved Information as the seventh joint function. The definition is below.

“The information function encompasses the management and application of information and its deliberate integration with other joint functions to influence relevant-actor perceptions, behavior, action or inaction, and support human and automated decision making. The information function helps commanders and staffs understand and leverage the pervasive nature of information, its military uses, and its application during all military operations. This function provides JFCs the ability to integrate the generation and preservation of friendly information while leveraging the inherent informational aspects of all military activities to achieve the commander’s objectives and attain the end state.”

This change has been incorporated into JP 1, Change 1 dated 12 July 2017.

Next Steps for Doctrine to Incorporate Information as a Joint Function

The inclusion of the seventh joint function in JP 1 will necessitate the updating of some key joint publications out of cycle. The JS J39 along with the JS J7 is planning on holding a working group at NDU in early September to begin this process. The first order of business will be looking at JP 3-0 to include a definition of the new joint function (the description is in JP 1) along with looking at the rest of the joint functions to make sure that the new joint function fits/complements them correctly. Once the initial rough draft for JP 3-0 is complete, the working group will look at laying out the framework for the complete rewrite/renaming of JP 3-13. The new JP (the number could also change) will be dedicated to addressing the new joint function. Whether or not a separate publication for IO is needed will also be addressed during the rewrite. This effort will be led by the JS J39 (with JIOWC) and the JS J7. While the new JP is being written, the community will also do an out of cycle look at JP 5-0 and JP 2-0 to bring them into alignment with the new joint function. The remainder of the JPs will probably be reviewed as per the JS J7’s normal schedule.

Joint Concept for Operating in the Information Environment (JCOIE)

The Joint Information Operations Warfare Center has been working with stakeholders from the Services and Academia to develop a concept for Joint Force operations in a more pervasive and connected information environment. This Joint Concept for Operating in the Information Environment (JCOIE) aims to institutionalize and operationalize the Joint approach to information. This requires an understanding of information, the informational aspects of military activities, and informational power.

To achieve enduring strategic success in this increasingly pervasive and connected information environment, the Joint Force must build information into operational art to design operations that leverage the inherent informational aspects of military activities.   Informational aspects of military activities are characteristics or elements an observer uses to build a story that provides meaning. The Joint Force must understand how to leverage informational aspects to change or maintain perceptions, and attitudes that drive desired behaviors. The team has been working the JCOIE since June 2015, and it is expected to be signed in late October 2017.

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