Information operations · Information Warfare

CRS: Defense Primer: Information Operations


Information Warfare

While there is currently no official U.S. government definition of information warfare (IW), practitioners typically conceptualize it as a strategy for the use and management of information to pursue a competitive advantage, including both offensive and defensive operations. Strategy can be defined as the process of planning to achieve objectives and goals in the national interest. Operations link strategic objectives with tactics, techniques, and procedures. For IW strategy, that link is information operations (IO).

Information Operations

Current and past definitions within the DOD have conceptualized IO, as opposed to IW, as a purely military activity involving a set of tactics or capabilities. In DOD Joint Publication 3-13 and the IO Roadmap, IO consisted of five pillars: computer network operations (CNO), which include computer network attack, computer network defense, and computer network exploitation; psychological operations (PSYOP); electronic warfare (EW); operations security (OPSEC); and military deception (MILDEC).

Document is at https://fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/IF10771.pdf