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History and Evolution of IO. Prepared by the Joint IO Center. Learning Objectives. Origins of IO. Historical applications. IO Today. What is different?. Why is it important?. Information Operations Focus. Actions taken to affect adversary information and information systems . . .

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history and evolution of io
History and

Evolution of IO

Prepared by the Joint IO Center

History and Evolution of IO

learning objectives
Learning Objectives

Origins of IO

Historical applications

IO Today

What is different?

Why is it important?

History and Evolution of IO

information operations focus
Information OperationsFocus

Actions taken to affect

adversary information and

information systems. . .

Systems, people, & facilities

supporting information-

dependent functions

Attacks take many forms: physical,

cyber, psychological, etc.

History and Evolution of IO

the io battlefield

Info technologies used

- secondary to “real” weapons


The IO Battlefield

Info systems critical to

military operations


“Our present theory is to destroy personnel, our new theory should be to destroy

command. Not after the enemy’s personnel has been disorganized, but before it

has been attacked, so that it may be found in a state of disorganization when


J.F.C. Fuller

Memorandum: Strategic Paralysis as the Objective of the Decisive Attack, 1918

History and Evolution of IO



Supporting and secondary

Civil War

World War I

World War II




Primary and fully integrated

Desert Storm

History and Evolution of IO

american civil war

Use of telegraph (30 wpm)

Picket riders for

battlefield awareness

Attacks on lines of


Spies, codes, deception

Perception management

American Civil War

History and Evolution of IO

world war i

Massive battlefield attrition

Use of air forces for battlefield awareness

World War I

History and Evolution of IO

world war ii
World War II

Strategic attacks against infrastructure

Double-edged sword of “Enigma”

Communications jamming

C2 targets - John Wayne’s


Deception critical to success of first fully

integrated plan - 1940’s technology

History and Evolution of IO

vietnam tet offensive

US won the ground war

North Vietnam won the media

war (“body bag effect”)

Public opinion shifted

US decision makers

crippled by public


Vietnam-Tet Offensive

Who won the Tet Offensive?

North Vietnam victorious in the

long run

History and Evolution of IO

the cold war
The Cold War

One of which was the US’s demonstrated technological superiority and ability to conduct a coherent information campaign (PSYOP and deception).

Can be viewed as a technology

contest won by the West for

many reasons. . .

History and Evolution of IO

desert storm

Integration of spaceborne,

airborne and land based

communications and intelligence

Desert Storm

The first “Information” War

Coordinated planning for EW,

OPSEC, deception, PSYOP,


Targeting against leadership

and military C2

History and Evolution of IO


Intelligence deficiencies



Psychological Operations -

Manipulation of mass media


“Turning around your high-powered, fully wired expeditionary force

in Somalia with a single, 30-second

videoclip. - Weaponry by CNN”

History and Evolution of IO

desert storm13
Desert Storm

Strong evidence to support Desert Storm

as first US offensive info war

Less evidence exists that defensive IO was

given much consideration by either side

Post-war analysis highlighted numerous

serious exploitable IO deficiencies with

coalition forces

OSD, JCS, and service IO functions

were created

History and Evolution of IO

desert storm14
Desert Storm

Patriot missile hits SCUD

“Iraq lost the war before it even began. This was a war of intelligence,

EW, command and control, and counterintelligence. Iraqi troops were

blinded and deafened. . .Modern war can be won by informatika and

that is now vital for both the US and the USSR.”

LtG Bogdanov, Chief of the General Staff,

Center for Operational and Strategic Studies, Oct 1991

History and Evolution of IO


Joint/Special Operations

Lethal/Non-Lethal Targeting

Area of Operations/Influence


“The mission of destroying missile sites and arms depots is almost the easy part. The critical task … is to continue to reshape the information environment and target points of fracture in the opposition.” P.W Singer, Foreign Policy Studies

History and Evolution of IO

is io that important
Is IO THAT Important?

Revolution in Military Affairs


Buzzword du jour?

History and Evolution of IO

information technology revolution
Information Technology Revolution


specifically the use of


is a worldwide revolution affecting every aspect of

human life from industry to government to entertainment.

History and Evolution of IO

information technologies what is different
Information TechnologiesWhat is Different?


is changing.

There are few geographical boundaries

in the information infrastructure.

Target access points are changing

and may not be in geographical

proximity to the target.

The military can no longer create

and control the battlespace

History and Evolution of IO

information technologies what is different19
Information TechnologiesWhat is Different?


is changing.

Technology leadership shifting

from military to civilian sector

Info technology inexpensive

and readily available

Impact of computers

and networking

Electromagnetic spectrum

(including satellites) and


History and Evolution of IO

information technologies what is different20


is changing.

Changing geographic, political,

spatial, & time boundaries

New threat (state/politically

sponsored, others)

Selective targeting/

critical nodes

Changing military mission

(more targets)

Minimal forces in “harms way,”

Precision targeting

Conservation of resources

Rules of engagement

and legal issues

Information TechnologiesWhat is Different?

History and Evolution of IO

information technologies what is different21


is a major factor.

Information TechnologiesWhat is Different?

Technology is rapidly moving

- outpacing controls

Must anticipate the future to stay

ahead (18 month life cycle - or less)

Demand for real time,

highly reliable,

manageable information

History and Evolution of IO

new age
New Age



Legacy support institutions are becoming less relevant

All support is under examination for relevancy

Military organizations and other existing institutions under scrutiny (NSA, CIA, etc...)

History and Evolution of IO

io lucrative tool
IO - Lucrative Tool

No Quick










Deterrence = Infrastructure


Poorly Defined


(“Takes a licking and

keeps on ticking”)



History and Evolution of IO

challenges immediate

No common vocabulary

Responsibilities are widely scattered

Issues extend beyond DoD

Intelligence system


I&W: traditional methods

are ineffective

Defense ignored or focused

on classified systems

History and Evolution of IO

challenges long term
ChallengesLong Term

Technologies are revolutionizing. . .

Information collection, processing, dissemination

Command & control

Conduct of operations

Requires development of. . .

Expanded collection means

New doctrine

(supported by training & education)

Must make correct decisions about investments

in information technologies and human capabilities

History and Evolution of IO

potential threats
Potential Threats

Information technologies are available

to all (and many are interested)

No “rear area” in IO

As US reliance on information grows

the threat becomes more complex,

sophisticated, clandestine

Rapid introduction of advanced

technologies brings increased

capability to adversaries

Information can be our vulnerability as well as our strength.

History and Evolution of IO

that s what s new how does all this impact jioc

Information Superiority

is key.


has a new role.

The Information Age is creating a new world.

Rapidly emerging technologies

Growing dependence on computers

- by both weapons and C2

The effectiveness of IO increases.

Our vulnerability to IO increases.

That’s What’s NewHow Does All This Impact JIOC?

History and Evolution of IO

summary key points
SummaryKey Points


Not a new concept (origins in writings of Sun Tzu

circa 300 BC). However the Information Age

elevates it to a new level.

Information Age technologies are revolutionizing

military operations. However legacy information

systems remain and must be considered in mission


Dependence on Information Age

technologies creates new vulnerabilities.

(Use leads to dependence which creates


History and Evolution of IO