The Third Road Threat: Towards a Comprehensive Theory of Information Warfare (Part 4/4)

Abstract: The conclusion of this four-part essay series on Information Warfare, this section provides recommendations for how the US government might mitigate information aggression though both military and civilian action beginning with the recommendation to establish a doctrinal framework for thinking, communicating, planning, and acting within the information environment while organizing to meet the threat.

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The Third Road Threat: Towards a Comprehensive Theory of Information Warfare (Part 3/4)

Abstract: This third essay demonstrates the utility of the IW taxonomy developed in part two to a critical analysis of China’s Information Warfare efforts.

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The Third Road Threat: Towards a Comprehensive Theory of Information Warfare (Part 2/4)

Abstract: This second of four essays develops a taxonomy, attack vectors, definition and theory of victory for information warfare developed from first principles of information theory.

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The Third Road Threat: Towards a Comprehensive Theory of Information Warfare (Part 1/4)

Abstract: America’s adversaries are waging a decades-long information war calibrated to advance their national interests at the expense of the United States while avoiding direct and decisive conflict with the US military. Key to their strategy is exploiting ubiquitous, high-speed connectivity to directly access the American people, a national center of gravity. Simultaneously, the US government is poorly organized to engage in information conflict, lacking a unified theory, definition, doctrine, and organizational structure for Information Warfare (IW). This four-part essay develops a theory of IW using first principles of information theory. It presents a novel IW definition, taxonomy, attack vectors, and theory of victory to inform how the United States thinks and competes within the information environment and concludes with recommendations for how the United States might compete in the information war through military and civilian action. This first of four essays establishes a historical basis for thinking about information warfare as a key component of conflict from the earliest recorded battles to today.

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Connect to Divide: Social Media in 21st Century Warfare

In 21st Century warfare, social media fuels influence through “likes,” “shares,” and “tweets” driving narratives that blur the lines of politics, law, war, peace, elections, and freedom of speech and press, creating an information crisis. The current lack of an adequate United States (US) response to this crisis threatens its democratic institutions and national security. Bolstering this emerging threat are social media platforms rewarding users for engaging as fast thinkers without regard for bias or manipulation that is being exploited by hostile state and non-state actors to create narratives resulting in the decay of truth. Compounding this problem is social media’s ability to transition influence from institutions and governments to the individual. Though social media-enabled information warfare alone may not be decisive in current and future conflicts, nations must prepare to counter its effects across all instruments of national power: diplomatic, information, military, and economic.

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The 6th Warfighting Domain

From the end of the 20th into the 21st century, the line between military operations and daily civilian activities began to blur as operations increasingly came to rely on the space and cyberspace domains. Thus, new possibilities for reaching nonmilitary personnel in warfare were created. In 1991, the Gulf War highlighted the effectiveness of precision navigation and strike, as enabled by space assets. Now, the space domain enables combined arms integration across land, sea, and air. Working in concert with space, the cyberspace domain exponentially increases global connectivity and global reach. The current battlespace is so globally connected that civilian populations are held at risk, and the lines between civilian and military activity are ceasing to exist. War is increasingly taking on a different form and shifting from physical to virtual as the way to achieve victory.

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Information War is the Continuation of Politics by Other Memes: Information, Disinformation, and Social Media as Weapons

The article will analyze how Russia is using social media to generate and spread disinformation to distort facts and divide the US government and society.

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Attention Engineering: What it is, How it is Used, and Why Warfighters Need it

Attention engineering is the product of two recent historical developments: marketing and the internet. Attention engineering is exacerbated by social media and news outlets and has applications in the emerging security environment for influencing adversary decision-making

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Social Media and the Arab Spring

Social media alone did not create the Arab Spring social movements, but access to it affected achievement of political concessions.

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