Information warfare

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According to the U.S. Air Force document, "The Cornerstones of Information Warfare" by Ronald Fogleman (General, USAF), then Chief of Staff, and Sheila E. Widnall, Secretary of the Air Force, comes the following:

"Information Warfare: any action to deny, exploit, corrupt, or destroy the enemy's information and its functions; protecting ourselves against those actions; and exploiting our own military information functions

"This definition is the basis for the following assertions:

  • "Information warfare is any attack against an information function, regardless of the means. Bombing a telephone switching facility is information warfare. So is destroying the switching facility's software.
  • "Information warfare is any action to protect our information functions, regardless of the means. Hardening and defending the switching facility against air attack is information warfare. So is using an anti-virus program to protect the facility's software.
  • "Information warfare is a means, not an end, in precisely the same manner that air warfare is a means, not an end. We may use information warfare as a means to conduct strategic attack and interdiction, for example, just as we may use air warfare to conduct strategic attack and interdiction."

What Comprises Information Warfare?

"Recalling the definition, information warfare consists of activities that deny, exploit, corrupt, destroy, or protect information. Traditional means of conducting information warfare include psychological operations, electronic warfare, military deception, physical attack, and various security measures.

  • Psychological Operations use information to affect the enemy's reasoning.
  • Electronic Warfare denies accurate information to the enemy.
  • Military Deception misleads the enemy about our capabilities or intentions.
  • Physical Destruction can do information warfare by affecting information system elements through the conversion of stored energy to destructive power. The means of physical attack range from conventional bombs to electromagnetic pulse weapons.
  • Security Measures seek to keep the adversary from learning about our military capabilities and intentions."

"The Pentagon's long-range thinker, Andrew Marshall, made a rare public appearance Thursday to discuss the future of warfare. Mr. Marshall, director of the nondescript but powerful Office of Net Assessment, said the nation's ability to project power over long distances will remain 'the fundamental task.' The drawback of America's long military reach is that it is driving more nations to seek nuclear weapons and long-range missiles capable of reaching U.S. soil. And Mr. Marshall believes they will succeed.

"'The long-term trend is that nations are seeking new forms of strategic attack,' Mr. Marshall told a small group of defense experts at the Brookings Institution. 'More and more countries will have longer-range missiles that they can use to attack a capital or a society. We are going to live in a world where many more countries have the ability to attack from a distance.' Information warfare - the capability of attacking computer networks from afar - will be part of it, he said. So will space warfare. Attacks against communications satellites and other space assets are 'inevitable,' Mr. Marshall said." Drudge Report, October 1999.

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