DoD Issues New Doctrine on Information Operations

04.03.06 | 1 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

The Department of Defense recently published new doctrine (pdf) on the planning and execution of “information operations.”

Information operations, including what was formerly known as “information warfare” (a term that has been withdrawn from official doctrine), is comprised of five elements: psychological operations, military deception, operations security, electronic warfare, and computer network operations.

Its overall purpose is “to influence, disrupt, corrupt, or usurp adversarial human and automated decision making while protecting our own.”

Information operations programs to influence foreign audiences under the rubric of “strategic communication” have been both controversial and notably ineffective.

“If I were rating, I would say we probably deserve a D or D+ as a country as how well we’re doing in the battle of ideas that’s taking place,” said Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld on March 27. “I’m not going to suggest that it’s easy, but we have not found the formula as a country.”

The new doctrinal document is Joint Publication 3-13, “Information Operations,” dated February 13, 2006 (1.3 MB PDF).

Communications support to military operations through the Global Information Grid is addressed in another new document: Joint Publication 6-0, “Joint Communications System,” 20 March 2006 (3 MB PDF).

New Army doctrine on operations — beginning with “How Army Forces Fight” — was published last week in U.S. Army Field Manual Interim FMI 5-0.1, “The Operations Process,” March 31, 2006 (2.7 MB PDF).