|To guess at the intention of the enemy; to divine his opinion
of yourself; to hide from both your intentions and opinion; to mislead
him by feigned manoeuvres; to invoke ruses, as well as digested
schemes, so as to fight under the best conditions-this is and always
was the art of war.
11-1. The side possessing better information
and using that information more effectively to gain understanding
has a major advantage over its opponent. A force that achieves this
advantage and effectively uses it to affect enemy perceptions, attitudes,
decisions, and actions has exploited information superiority. Information
superiority is the operational advantage derived from the ability
to collect, process, and disseminate an uninterrupted flow of information
while exploiting or denying an adversary's ability to do the same.
Commanders exploit information superiority to accomplish missions.
Information superiority is not static. During operations, all sides
attempt to secure its advantages and deny them to adversaries and
enemies. The operational advantages of information superiority can
take several forms, ranging from the ability to create a better
operational picture and understand it in context, to the ability
to shape the environment with offensive information operations (IO).
11-2. At its essence, information
superiority is about Army forces being able to see first, understand
first, and act first. Army forces cannot develop information superiority
if they are constantly reacting to enemy operations. Information
superiority requires commanders who are proactive, view information
as an element of combat power, trust their subordinates to provide
relevant information, and conduct (plan, prepare, execute, and continuously
assess) operations accordingly. To achieve information superiority,
commanders synchronize and target information as intensely as they
do fires and maneuver. They seek to make better use of their information
and information systems than adversaries or enemies do of theirs.
These information systems include the analysis, procedures, and
training necessary to extract and exploit intelligence and other
critical information from raw data, and present it in a form in
which it can be quickly understood. Successful commanders are those
who see, understand, and then exploit the situation.
11-3. Gaining and exploiting information
superiority demands effective doctrine, training, leadership, organization,
materiel, and soldiers. It puts a premium on the commander's ability
to visualize, describe, and direct operations. Effective use of
advanced information systems, procedures, and training allows commanders
to achieve and maintain situational understanding. Modern information
technologies help commanders lead more effectively and consistently
make better decisions than those opposing them.
11-4. Commanders manage their information
resources, combine their judgment with the knowledge of their staffs
and subordinates, and use information systems to understand their
battlespace better than their adversaries or enemies do. Commanders
require relevant information about the factors of METT-TC to exercise
effective command and control (C2). From the initial warning order
to completion of redeployment, Army forces use every means, including
force, to acquire that information. At the same time, they attempt
to deny adversaries and enemies information about friendly forces
and actively degrade their ability to collect, process, store, display,
and disseminate information. Effective friendly use of information,
complemented with active measures that prevent enemies from using
information effectively or countering friendly information use,
creates conditions for achieving information superiority. Army forces
use the qualitative advantages of information superiority as a springboard
for decisive operations.
11-5. The operational and tactical
implications of information superiority are profound. Rapid seizure
and retention of the initiative becomes the distinguishing characteristic
of all operations. Information superiority allows commanders to
make better decisions more quickly than their enemies and adversaries.
Unable to keep pace, enemies and adversaries must deal with new
problems before they can solve current ones. In combat, a rapid
tempo—sustained by information superiority—can outpace
enemy's ability to make decisions contribute to his destruction.
In stability operations and support operations, information superiority
helps deploying forces anticipate problems and requirements. It
allows commanders to control events and situations earlier and with
less force, creating the conditions necessary to achieve the end
11-6. Adversaries and enemies pursue
their own relative information advantages, very likely in asymmetric
ways, while continually attempting to deny information superiority
to friendly forces. Because opposing forces constantly adapt and
situations continually evolve, information superiority is relative
and transitory. Absolute information superiority is not possible.
Commanders assess the quality of their information against their
decision making requirements. Against that assessment, they estimate
the quality of the enemy's operational picture. Commanders avoid
any complacency associated with relative levels of military technology.
They are aware that their enemy may, by chance or countermeasures,
uncover the sources of friendly informational advantage, block them,
or use them to deceive.
Nations do not go to war because they think war is
safe. They go to war because they think they will win.
Richard M. Swain
11-7. Commanders recognize that unless
they envision and direct operations designed to achieve and maintain
information superiority, they may lose it. Commanders exploit any
advantages in information capability and intelligence to increase
the effects of combat power. They constantly seek to improve their
situational understanding and to assess that of their enemy. They
know that losing information superiority may result in losing the
11-8. The information environment
is the aggregate of individuals, organizations, or systems that
collect, process, or disseminate information; also included is the
information itself. The climate, terrain, and weapons effects (such
as electromagnetic pulse or blackout) affect the information environment
but are not part of it. The information environment includes the
C2 systems of friendly and enemy forces and those of other organizations
and groups. Commanders consider the explosive growth of information
and the pervasive nature of the information environment when they
visualize an operation. They include that part of the information
environment that affects their operation in their battlespace.
11-9. Most of the information environment
is not under military control, adding to the challenges commanders
face. While they cannot control the entire information environment,
they must be prepared to operate within it. Interaction with the
information environment increases the complexity of Army operations.
More than ever, commanders consider how factors outside their area
of operations (AO) may affect their operations. IO often requires
coordination with governmental and nongovernmental agencies. Legal
limitations on IO vary according to the situation. This interaction
may affect the impact of tactics on operations and strategy. Military
actions that are tactically or operationally insignificant may influence
strategy, or even national policy, when highlighted by the media.
Therefore, operational commanders consider more than the military
conditions of the end state of a campaign. They consider the comprehensive
diplomatic, political, and social aspects of it as well.
11-10. Army forces increasingly rely
on the unrestricted use of the information environment. Commanders
and staffs need to understand its effects on operations and develop
C2 systems that support their operational needs and intelligence
requirements. Distance has little meaning in the information environment.
Army information systems are "in contact" with enemy information
systems before any operation starts. They remain in contact after
the operation ends. Commanders understand that there is no sanctuary
for friendly information. Before Army forces arrive in theater,
the battle for information superiority begins. Commanders and staff
conduct operations accordingly.
|Information Superiority in the Gulf
In the opinion of many observers, the Gulf War emphasized
integrating information systems, operations, and management
in ways that heralded a new form of warfare. Air operations
struck C2 nodes throughout Iraq and occupied Kuwait, disabling
the air defense network and slowing operational and tactical
response. Until the air operation started, Third Army
restricted preparations to areas well south of the border.
Under cover of intense air bombardment, Saudi and French
units secured areas along the border while the powerful
US forces shifted west. Even as the Third Army's VII and
XVIII Corps moved into attack positions, the US Central
Command conducted military deception operations at sea
and on land, culminating with the feint by 1st Cavalry
Division in the Wadi al-Batin area.
As the ground offensive neared, tactical reconnaissance
and surveillance confirmed that the Iraqi Army had its
right flank exposed to the west of Kuwait. Special Operations
Forces and tactical air reconnaissance complemented these
efforts. By 23 February 1991, both corps had secured the
border area and extended ground and air reconnaissance
well inside Iraq. Intense air attacks fixed and decimated
the Iraqi army. The Marine deception and 1st Cavalry Division
feint continued to draw Iraqi attention eastward. Third
Army moved to attack positions west of the Wadi al-Batin
to exploit the Iraqi mistake. At 0400 hours on 24 February
1991, coalition ground forces struck into Kuwait and Iraq.
They ended their offensive four days later, having decisively
defeated the once fourth-largest army in the world.
Speaking after the war, LTG S. Bogdanov, Chief of the
General Staff Center for Operational and Strategic Studies
of the former Soviet Union, stated, "Iraq lost the war
before it even began. This was a war of intelligence,
electronic warfare, command and control, and counterintelligence.
Iraqi troops were blinded and deafened.."
11-11. Commanders direct three interdependent
contributors to achieve information superiority (see Figure
Intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR).
Information management (IM).
IO (to include related activities).
These contributors enable and complement full spectrum operations. Specific
objectives that contribute to information superiority include the following:
Develop and maintain a comprehensive picture of enemies and adversaries;
forecast their likely actions.
Deny enemies and adversaries information about friendly forces and
Influence enemy and adversary leader perceptions, plans, actions,
and will to oppose friendly forces.
Influence noncombatants and neutrals to support friendly missions
or not to resist friendly activities.
Inform noncombatant and neutral organizations so they can better
support friendly policies, activities, and intentions.
Protect friendly decision making processes, information, and information
Continually provide relevant information (including intelligence)
to the commander and staff in a useable form.
Destroy, degrade, disrupt, deny, deceive, and exploit enemy decision
making processes, information, and information systems, and influence
those of adversaries and others.
Figure 11-1. Information Superiority
11-12. Commanders wage the struggle for
information superiority throughout the information environment, not only
in the AO. Superiority in one contributor alone does not ensure information
superiority. For example, Army forces may have better IM than a less sophisticated
enemy. However, superior intelligence and better security may give the
enemy commander more information about Army forces than they have about
the enemy. Uncoordinated actions within single contributors are ineffective.
Information superiority results when commanders synchronize all three
contributors. Figure 11-2 illustrates the nature
of the struggle for information superiority.
Figure 11-2. Information Operations and Information
11-13. ISR integration is fundamental to
information superiority. Thoroughly integrated ISR operations add many
collection sources. ISR integration eliminates unit and functional "stovepipes"
for planning, reporting, and processing information and producing intelligence.
It provides a common mechanism for all units to conduct ISR operations
in a coordinated, synergistic way.
11-14. ISR operations allow units to produce
intelligence on the enemy and environment (to include weather, terrain,
and civil considerations) necessary to make decisions. This intelligence
answers requirements developed throughout the operations process. Timely
and accurate intelligence encourages audacity and can facilitate actions
that may negate enemy superiority in soldiers and materiel. Normally,
timely and accurate intelligence depends on aggressive and continuous
reconnaissance and surveillance.
Intelligence is (1) the product resulting from
the collection, processing, integration, analysis, evaluation,
and interpretation of available information concerning foreign
countries or areas; (2) information and knowledge about an
adversary obtained through observation, investigation, analysis,
11-15. The complexity of the operational
environment requires sharing intelligence from the national level
to the tactical level and among headquarters at each level. Analysis
is a complex task that requires fusing information and intelligence
from each ISR discipline and asset into an all-source product. Analysis
is increasingly distributed and collaborative. Analysts who are
closest to the point of collection enter data and perform initial
processing one time for the entire force. Modern information systems
allow analysts to collaborate on the overall analysis without degrading
support to their own commanders, regardless of their geographic
dispersion. This distributed, collaborative analysis process starts
with the initial intelligence preparation of the battlefield (IPB)
and continues throughout operations.
11-16. The commander drives the intelligence
system. Managing the ISR effort entails—
Requirements visibility. Intelligence personnel use
procedures and information systems to monitor and display the
status of information requirements.
Asset visibility. Intelligence personnel use procedures
and information systems to monitor and display collection asset
status, location, and activities.
ISR assessment capability. Intelligence personnel use
procedures and information systems to assess the effectiveness
of the ISR effort and the operational impact of ISR results
(such as its success or gaps in collection), and to task collection
Intelligence preparation of the battlefield is
a systematic approach to analyzing the enemy and environment
(for example, weather, terrain, and civil considerations)
in a specific geographic area. It integrates enemy doctrine
with the weather, terrain, and civil considerations as they
relate to the mission and the specific environment. This is
done to determine and evaluate enemy capabilities, vulnerabilities,
and probable courses of action.
11-17. Intelligence provides critical
support to all operations, including IO. It supports planning, decision
making, target development, targeting, and protecting the force.
It is a continuous process for any operation. Surveillance and reconnaissance
are the primary means of collecting information used to produce
intelligence. A thorough understanding of joint ISR capabilities
allows commanders to prepare complementary collection plans. Surveillance
and reconnaissance assets focus primarily on collecting information
about the enemy and the environment to satisfy the priority intelligence
requirements (PIR). In the end, the art of intelligence and its
focus on supporting the commander are more important than any information
system. This art includes an understanding of intelligence, analysis,
the enemy, operations, and the commander's needs.
11-18. IPB is the first step toward
placing an operation in context. It drives the process that commanders
and staff use to focus information assets and to integrate surveillance
and reconnaissance operations across the AO. IPB provides commanders
with information about the enemy and environment, and how these
factors affect the operation. In most cases, IPB allows commanders
to fill gaps in information about the enemy with informed assessments
and predictions. IPB is also the starting point for situational
development, which intelligence personnel use to develop the enemy
and environment portions of the common operational picture (COP).
As such, IPB is important to the commander's visualization. The
commander drives IPB, and the entire staff assists the intelligence
staff with continuous updates. All staff officers develop, validate,
and maintain IPB components relating to their areas of expertise.
For example, the engineer contributes and maintains current mobility
and countermobility situation overlays.
Surveillance is the systematic observation of
aerospace, surface or subsurface areas, places, persons, or
things, by visual, aural, electronic, photographic or other
11-19. Surveillance involves continuously
observing an area to collect information. Wide-area and focused
surveillance provide valuable information.
11-20. Army forces at all echelons
receive intelligence based on information from national, joint,
Army, and commercial surveillance systems. National and theater
surveillance systems focus on information requirements for combatant
commanders and provide information to all services for theater-wide
operations. Continuous theater surveillance helps analysts determine
the location and approximate dispositions of enemy land forces.
When available, near real-time surveillance platforms—such
as the joint surveillance, target attack radar system (JSTARS)—
provide moving target indicators. Additionally, long-range surveillance
units can provide extremely accurate and valuable information.
11-21. Although the US may enjoy an
advantage in surveillance assets, commanders should assume that
enemies also have adequate surveillance means. For example, an enemy
may purchase high-resolution imagery from commercial space-based
systems. Alternatively, the local populace may report Army force
actions through the civilian police to enemy intelligence agencies.
11-22. Reconnaissance collects information
and can validate current intelligence or predictions. Reconnaissance
units, unlike other units, are designed to collect information.
Reconnaissance is a mission undertaken to obtain
by visual observation or other detection methods, information
about the activities and resources of an enemy or potential
enemy, or to secure data concerning the meteorological, hydrographic,
or geographic characteristics of a particular area.
11-23. Information collected by means
other than reconnaissance has great operational and tactical value.
However, those assets may not be able to meet some requirements
or collect information with adequate accuracy and level of detail.
Operational priorities within the theater may limit ground commanders'
ability to task theater surveillance systems. Therefore, Army commanders
complement surveillance with aggressive and continuous reconnaissance.
Surveillance, in turn, increases the efficiency of and reduces the
risk to reconnaissance elements by focusing their operations.
11-24. In some situations, the firepower,
flexibility, survivability, and mobility of reconnaissance assets
allow them to collect information where other assets cannot. Reconnaissance
units obtain information on adversary and potential enemy forces
as well as on the characteristics of a particular area. Reconnaissance
missions normally precede all operations and begin as early as the
situation, political direction, and rules of engagement permit (see
FM 5-0). They continue aggressively
throughout the operation. Reconnaissance can locate mobile enemy
C2 assets, such as command posts, communication nodes, and satellite
terminals for neutralization, attack, or destruction. Commanders
at all echelons incorporate reconnaissance into the conduct of operations
(see FM 3-90).
You can never do too much reconnaissance.
General George S. Patton Jr.
War As I Knew It
11-25. Continuous and aggressive reconnaissance
does more than collect information. It may also produce effects
or prompt enemy actions. The enemy may take forces needed elsewhere
to counter friendly reconnaissance efforts. Hostile forces sometimes
mistake reconnaissance units for the decisive operation and prematurely
expose their dispositions or commit their reserves. Friendly commanders
may exploit opportunities revealed by friendly reconnaissance, often
using the reconnaissance force as the spearhead. Information from
reconnaissance missions allows commanders to refine or change plans
and orders, preclude surprises, and save the lives of soldiers.
11-26. Reconnaissance elements may
have to fight for information. However, the purpose of reconnaissance
is to gain information through stealth, not initiate combat. Reconnaissance
operations that draw significant combat power into unplanned actions
not in line with the commander's intent may jeopardize mission accomplishment.
11-27. Commanders integrate ISR missions
into a single plan that capitalizes on their different capabilities.
They synchronize reconnaissance and surveillance missions that employ
maneuver units with both the ISR plan and scheme of maneuver.
11-28. Information management
is the provision of relevant information to the right person at
the right time in a usable form to facilitate situational understanding
and decision making. It uses procedures and information systems
to collect, process, store, display, and disseminate information
(see FM 6-0). IM is far more than technical
control of data flowing across networks. It communicates decisions
that initiate effective actions to accomplish missions and fuses
information from many sources. Successful IM adds meaning to information
as it is processed, so decision makers can focus on achieving understanding
instead of processing or evaluating information. IM consists of
two supporting components: information systems and relevant information.
11-29. Successful IM includes processing.
Processing adds meaning to relevant information through progressively
higher-level and complex cognitive methods to create a COP. Among
other aspects, processing includes lower-level mechanical and mechanistic
methods, such as organizing, collating, plotting, and arranging.
However, effective processing requires analysis and evaluation (higher-level
cognitive methods) to convert information into knowledge and knowledge
into understanding. This aspect of processing depends on the insight
and flexibility of well-trained and adaptive analysts.
11-30. Commanders and staffs assess
the effectiveness of IM by considering how information contributes
to lessening the "fog of war." First, untimely information
or unusable data has the same effect as not having the information.
It either arrives too late or cannot be understood in time to affect
the commander's decision. Second, incomplete or imprecise information
is better than no information. While not perfect, it contributes
to the commander's grasp of the situation and may assist decision
making. Finally, irrelevant or inaccurate information is worse than
no information. Irrelevant information distracts and delays; inaccurate
information may lead to an inappropriate decision. Computers and
software cannot make these qualitative distinctions; making them
requires soldiers with good judgment.
11-31. Information systems
are the equipment and facilities that collect, process, store, display
and disseminate information. These include computers-hardware and
software-and communications, as well as policies and procedures
for their use. Information systems are integral components of
C2 systems. Effective information systems automatically process,
disseminate, and display information according to user requirements.
IM centers on commanders and the information relevant to C2. Commanders
make the best use of information systems when they determine their
information requirements and focus their staffs and organizations
on meeting them.
11-32. Relevant information
is all information of importance to commanders and staffs in the
exercise of command and control. To be relevant, information
must be accurate, timely, usable, complete, precise, and reliable.
Relevant information provides the answers commanders and staffs
need to successfully conduct operations, that is, all elements necessary
to address the factors of METT-TC. The intelligence system, for
example, provides intelligence that constitutes relevant information
on the enemy, terrain and weather, time available (to the enemy),
and civil considerations.
11-33. Relevant information results
from assigning meaning to data to assist understanding. Processing
changes raw data into information by assigning meaning to it. Analysis
and evaluation transform information into knowledge, which is presented
to commanders as relevant information. When commanders apply judgment
to knowledge, it becomes understanding. Understanding enables making
informed decisions with less-than-perfect data. Combined with will,
understanding generates effective action.
11-34. Relevant information is perishable.
If not delivered and acted upon quickly, it may become outdated
(no longer relevant) and distort the commander's situational understanding.
Masses of data and information may overwhelm the command post. Without
effective IM, critical information will be misrouted, delayed, or
buried in routine data and overlooked. Information systems can assist
in managing volumes of data, but will not do so unless commanders
define their information requirements, tie them to their intent,
and update them as execution unfolds.
Categories of Information
11-35. IM narrows the gap between
available information and information commanders require. Effective
IM facilitates rapid dissemination of relevant information. IM assigns
information into four categories: specified requirements, implied
requirements, gaps, and distractions.
Specified requirements. Specified requirements are requirements
the commander specifically identifies. This information may
take the form of facts, estimates, or assumptions.
Implied requirements. Implied requirements are important
pieces of information that commanders have not specifically
requested. Full spectrum operations may place Army forces in
situations that lie outside the commander's experience. Commanders
may not know to obtain some elements of information. They may
not know that they need a piece of information or may not recognize
its importance. Effective staffs develop and recommend these
additional information requirements. Commanders encourage intellectual
versatility and agility within their staff and examine recommendations
Gaps. Gaps are elements of information commanders need
to achieve situational understanding but do not have. Ideally,
analysis identifies gaps and translates them into specified
requirements. To fill gaps, commanders and staffs make assumptions,
clearly identifying them as such. There may be circumstances
when commanders and staffs fail to identify a gap. Such circumstances
are especially dangerous, particularly when facing an asymmetric
threat. The commander not only does not have a piece of relevant
information, but also does not know he needs it. This situation
may result in the commander being surprised. Commanders and
staffs remain adaptive and examine circumstances as they are,
rather than fitting circumstances into preconceived notions.
Distractions. Distractions include information commanders
do not need to know but continue to be told. Excessive distractions
result in information overload.
11-36. Information is further classified
as facts, estimates, and assumptions. Facts are information
commanders want to know and can know with certainty. A fact must
be confirmed or come from a reliable source. Estimates and
assumptions are information commanders want to know but cannot
know with certainty. Commanders and staffs must use discipline in
separating fact from assumption; otherwise they are vulnerable to
deception or risk inaccurate situational understanding. Estimates
and assumptions primarily include information about the enemy, the
future, or factors over which commanders have little or no control.
11-37. Facts, estimates, and assumptions can be either relevant
information or distractions. They are relevant information if the
commander both wants and needs to know the information. They are
distractions if the commander wants to know but does not need to
know the information. Photographs, for example, can be distractions.
Unless the commander clearly understands the imagery, demands for
photos only clog overloaded information systems. Effective IM filters
distractions from relevant information.
Quality of Information
11-38. Sources of information are
imperfect and susceptible to distortion and deception. Soldiers
processing information use these qualities to evaluate it:
Accuracy. The information conveys the actual situation;
in short, it is fact.
Timeliness. The information has not been overtaken by
Usability. The information is easily understood or displayed
in a format that immediately conveys the meaning.
Completeness. The information contains all required
Precision. The information has the required level of
detail, no more and no less.
Reliability. The information is trustworthy, uncorrupted,
Effective IM keeps commanders and staffs aware of the quality of
their information as they use it to build situational understanding.
Commander's Critical Information Requirements
11-39. Commanders channel information
processing by clearly expressing which information is most important.
They designate critical information that derives from their intent—the
commander's critical information requirements (CCIR). The commander's
critical information requirements are elements of information
required by commanders that directly affect decision making and
dictate the successful execution of military operations. The
key to effective IM is answering the CCIR.
Priority intelligence requirements are those
intelligence requirements for which a commander has an anticipated
and stated priority in his task of planning and decision making.
Friendly force information requirementsare information
that the commander and staff need about the forces available
for the operation.
11-40. When commanders receive a mission,
they and their staffs analyze it using the military decision making
process. As part of this process, commanders visualize the battlefield
and the fight. CCIR are those key elements of information commanders
require to support decisions they anticipate. Information collected
to answer the CCIR either confirms the commander's vision of the
fight or indicates the need to issue a fragmentary order or execute
a branch or sequel. CCIR directly support the commander's vision
of the battle—commanders develop them personally. Once articulated,
CCIR normally generate two types of supporting information requirements:
friendly force information requirements (FFIR) and PIR.
11-41. CCIR must be focused enough
to generate relevant information. Unfocused requests, such as "I
need to know if the enemy moves," may provide data but not
much useable information. However, "I need to know when the
enemy lead brigade reaches Named Area of Interest 2" or "I
need to know if the multinational unit on our right flank advances
beyond Phase Line Blue" are examples of CCIR specific enough
to focus collection and IM priorities.
Essential Elements of Friendly Information
Essential elements of friendly information are
the critical aspects of a friendly operation that, if known
by the enemy, would subsequently compromise, lead to failure,
or limit success of the operation, and therefore must be protected
from enemy detection.
11-42. Although essential elements
of friendly information (EEFI) are not part of the CCIR, they become
a commander's priorities when he states them. EEFI help commanders
understand what enemy commanders want to know about friendly forces
and why (see FM 6-0). They tell commanders
what cannot be compromised. For example, a commander may determine
that if the enemy discovers the movement of the reserve, the operation
is at risk. In this case, the location and movement of the reserve
become EEFI. EEFI support defensive IO, and as such may become information
requirements. EEFI provide a basis for indirectly assessing the
quality of the enemy's situational understanding: if the enemy does
not know an element of EEFI, it degrades his situational understanding.
Common Operational Picture
11-43. An operational picture
is a single display of relevant information within a commander's
area of interest. By collaborating, sharing, and tailoring relevant
information, separate echelons create a COP. A common operational
picture is an operational picture tailored to the user's requirements,
based on common data and information shared by more than one command.
The COP is displayed at a scale and level of detail that meets the
information needs of the command at a particular echelon. C2 systems
fuse information from a variety of sources, while information systems
facilitate its rapid distribution in usable displays that facilitate
11-44. Different echelons require
different information at different levels of precision and detail.
The presentation of information in meaningful images assists its
assimilation. IM provides relevant information as meaningful displays
rather than masses of data. The COP allows collaborative interaction
and real-time sharing of information among commanders and staffs
without providing them with too much or too little information.
11-45. The Army continues to invest
in technologies and develop procedures that increase commanders'
ability to understand their battlespace. These modernizing efforts
will increase the capability of Army forces to share a full-dimensional,
highly accurate COP and rapidly disseminate guidance, orders, and
plans. Technological applications that help visualize, illustrate,
brief, and rehearse options contribute to a common understanding
of the commander's intent and concept of operations. Increasing
the speed of analysis, compilation, and communication leaves more
time for synthesis—assigning meaning to information and generating
11-46. Situational understanding
is the product of applying analysis and judgment to the common operational
picture to determine the relationships among the factors of METT-TC
(see FM 6-0). It enhances decision making
by identifying opportunities, threats to the force or mission accomplishment,
and information gaps. It helps commanders identify enemy options
and likely future actions, the probable consequences of proposed
friendly actions, and the effects of the environment on both. Situational
understanding based on a COP fosters initiative in subordinate commanders
by reducing, although not eliminating, uncertainty (see Figure
Figure 11-3. Situational Understanding
11-47. Situational understanding has limits.
It is imperfect, particularly with respect to the enemy situation. It
requires constant verification. Situational understanding focuses on the
current situation. It can reduce the friction caused by the fog of war.
However, achieving accurate situational understanding depends at least
as much on human judgment as on machine-processed information—particularly
when assessing enemy intent and combat power. Simply having a technologically
assisted portrayal of the situation cannot substitute for technical and
tactical competence. Additionally, portions of the force will not be modernized
for some time. The level of situational understanding between modernized
and less modernized units may vary over time. Commanders recognize the
disparity between organizations and adjust procedures and subordinate
unit missions accordingly.
Information Management in Full Spectrum Operations
11-48. IM is a command responsibility. IM
plans establish responsibilities and provide instructions for managing
information. The IM plan is the commander's "concept of operations"
for handling information. Effective IM plans cover the entire scope of
operations. Designated staff elements refine the IM plan and provide overall
management of information.
Information operations are actions taken to affect
adversary, and influence others', decision making processes,
information and information systems while protecting one's
own information and information systems.
11-49. IO are primarily shaping operations
that create and preserve opportunities for decisive operations.
IO are both offensive and defensive. Related activities—public
affairs and civil-military operations (CMO)—support IO.
11-50. The value of IO is not in their
effect on how well an enemy transmits data. Their real value is
measured only by their effect on the enemy's ability to execute
military actions. Commanders use IO to attack enemy decision making
processes, information, and information systems. Effective IO allow
commanders to mass effects at decisive points more quickly than
the enemy. IO are used to deny, destroy, degrade, disrupt, deceive,
exploit, and influence the enemy's ability to exercise C2. To create
this effect, friendly forces attempt to influence the enemy's perception
of the situation.
Offensive information operations are the integrated
use of assigned and supporting capabilities and activities,
mutually supported by intelligence, to affect enemy decision
makers or to influence others to achieve or promote specific
Defensive information operations are the integration
and coordination of policies and procedures, operations, personnel,
and technology to protect and defend friendly information
and information systems. Defensive information operations
ensure timely, accurate, and relevant information access while
denying adversaries the opportunity to exploit friendly information
and information systems for their own purposes.
11-51. Similarly, IO and related activities
affect the perceptions and attitudes of a host of others in the
AO. These include the local population, displaced persons, and civilian
leaders. IO are shaping operations that help commanders create favorable
conditions for not only decisive operations but also sustaining
operations. Commanders use IO and related activities to mitigate
the effects of enemy IO, as well as adverse effects stemming from
misinformation, rumors, confusion, and apprehension.
11-52. Successful IO require a thorough
and detailed IPB. IPB includes information about enemy capabilities,
decision making style, and information systems. It also considers
the effect of the media and the attitudes, culture, economy, demographics,
politics, and personalities of people in the AO. Successful IO influences
the perceptions, decisions, and will of enemies, adversaries, and
others in the AO. Its primary goals are to produce a disparity in
enemy commanders' minds between reality and their perception of
reality and to disrupt their ability to exercise C2 (see FM 3-13).
11-53. Offensive and defensive operations
use complementary, reinforcing, and asymmetric effects to attack
enemies, influence adversaries and others, and protect friendly
forces. On a battlefield where concentrating forces is hazardous,
IO can attack enemy C2 systems and undermine enemy capabilities
and will to fight. It can reduce friendly vulnerabilities and exploit
enemy weaknesses. Where the use of force is restricted or is not
a viable option, IO can influence attitudes, reduce commitment to
a hostile cause, and convey the willingness to use force without
actually employing it. Information used in this manner allows friendly
forces to accomplish missions faster, with fewer casualties.
Offensive Information Operations
11-54. The desired effects of offensive
IO are to destroy, degrade, disrupt, deny, deceive, exploit, and
influence enemy functions. Concurrently, Army forces employ elements
of offensive IO to affect the perceptions of adversaries and others
within the AO. Using the elements of IO offensively, Army forces
can either prevent the enemy from exercising effective C2 or leverage
it to their advantage. Ultimately, IO targets are the human leaders
and human decision making processes of adversaries, enemies, and
others in the AO.
Defensive Information Operations
11-55. Defensive IO protect friendly
access to relevant information while denying adversaries and enemies
the opportunity to affect friendly information and information systems.
Defensive IO limit the vulnerability of C2 systems.
Information Operations Elements
Information Operations Elements
- Military deception
- Operations security
- Physical security
- Electronic warfare
- Electronic attack
- Electronic protection
- Electronic warfare support
- Information assurance
- Physical destruction
- Psychological operations
- Computer network attack
- Computer network defense
11-56. Integrating offensive and defensive
IO is essential to success. Many activities or operations comprise
IO. Each element may have offensive or defensive applications (see
11-57. Military Deception.
Military deception includes measures designed to mislead adversaries
and enemies by manipulation, distortion, or falsification. Its aim
is to influence the enemy's situational understanding and lead him
to act in a manner that favors friendly forces.
11-58. Counterdeception. Counterdeception
includes efforts to negate, neutralize, or diminish the effects
of, or gain advantage from, a hostile deception operation. Counterdeception
supports offensive IO by reducing harmful effects of enemy deception.
Defensively, counterdeception identifies enemy attempts to mislead
11-59. Operations Security.
Operations security (OPSEC) denies the enemy information critical
to the success of friendly military operations. It contributes to
the security of Army forces and their ability to surprise enemies
and adversaries. OPSEC identifies routine activities that may telegraph
friendly intentions, operations, capabilities, or military activities.
It acts to suppress, conceal, control, or eliminate these indicators.
OPSEC includes countersurveillance, signal security, and information
11-60. Physical Security. Physical
security prevents unauthorized access to equipment, installations,
and documents. It safeguards and protects information and information
11-61. Electronic Warfare.
Electronic warfare (EW) is military action involving the use of
electromagnetic and directed energy to control the electromagnetic
spectrum or to attack the enemy. EW can cause an enemy to misinterpret
the information received by his electronic systems. EW includes—
Electronic attack. Electronic attack involves actions
taken to degrade, neutralize, or destroy enemy electronic combat
capabilities. Actions may include lethal attack, such as antiradiation
missiles and directed energy weapons, and nonlethal electronic
attack, such as jamming.
Electronic protection. Electronic protection involves
actions taken to protect friendly use of the electronic spectrum
by minimizing the effects of friendly or enemy EW. Actions may
include radio silence and antijamming measures.
Electronic warfare support. Electronic warfare support
involves detecting, identifying, locating, and exploiting enemy
signal emitters. It contributes to achieving situational understanding,
target development and acquisition, damage assessment, and force
11-62. Information Assurance.
Information assurance protects and defends information systems.
Threats to information systems include physical destruction, denial
of service, capture, environmental damage, and malfunctions. Information
assurance provides an enhanced degree of confidence that information
and information systems possess the following characteristics: availability,
integrity, authentication, confidentiality, and nonrepudiation.
Computer network defense is part of this element.
11-63. Physical Destruction.
Physical destruction applies combat power against IO-related targets.
Targets include information systems, EW systems, and command posts.
Physical destruction that supports IO is synchronized with other
aspects of the operation. For example, when deciding whether to
destroy an enemy command post, the friendly commander weighs the
advantages gained from disrupting enemy C2 against those gained
from collecting information from the command post's radio traffic.
11-64. Psychological Operations.
Psychological operations (PSYOP) are planned operations that influence
the behavior and actions of foreign audiences by conveying selected
information and indicators to them (see JP
3-53; FM 3-05.30). The aim of
PSYOP is to create behaviors that support US national interests
and the mission of the force. PSYOP are closely integrated with
OPSEC, military deception, physical destruction, and EW to create
a perception of reality that supports friendly objectives.
11-65. Counterpropaganda. Counterpropaganda
includes activities directed at an enemy or adversary conducting
PSYOP against friendly forces. Counterpropaganda can contribute
to situational understanding and expose enemy attempts to influence
friendly populations and military forces. Preventive actions include
propaganda awareness programs that inform US and friendly forces
and friendly populations about hostile propaganda.
Counterintelligence consists of activities that identify and counteract
threats to security posed by espionage, subversion, or terrorism.
It detects, neutralizes, or prevents espionage or other intelligence
activities. Counterintelligence supports the commander's requirements
to preserve essential security and protect the force.
11-67. Computer Network Attack.
Computer network attack consists of operations that disrupt, deny,
degrade, or destroy information resident in computers and computer
networks. It may also target computers and networks themselves.
Although theater or national elements normally conduct computer
network attack, the effects may be evident at corps and below.
11-68. Computer Network Defense.
Computer network defense consists of all measures to defend computers
and other components that are interconnected in electronic telecommunications
networks against computer network attacks by an adversary. Such
measures include access controls, detection of malicious computer
code and programs, and tools to detect intrusions. Army forces use
inherent capabilities and accomplish specific computer network defense
actions to defend computer networks from unauthorized users.
11-69. Public affairs and CMO are
activities related to IO. Both communicate information to critical
audiences to influence their understanding and perception of military
operations. Related activities are distinct from IO because they
do not manipulate or distort information; their effectiveness stems
from their credibility with the local populace and news media. Public
affairs and CMO-prime sources of information-link the force, the
local populace, and the news media. They also provide assessments
of the impact of military operations on civilians, neutrals, and
others within the battlespace.
11-70. Public Affairs. Public
affairs operations influence populations by transmitting information
through the news media. They fulfill the Army's obligation to keep
the American people and the Army informed. Public affairs help to
establish conditions that lead to confidence in the Army and its
readiness to conduct operations in peace, conflict, and war. Disseminating
this information is desirable and consistent with security. Information
disseminated through public affairs counters the effects of propaganda
11-71. Civil-Military Operations.
CMO applies civil affairs to military operations. It encompasses
activities that commanders take to establish, maintain, influence,
or exploit relations between military forces and civil authorities—both
governmental and nongovernmental—and the civilian populace.
Commanders direct these activities in friendly, neutral, or hostile
AOs to facilitate military operations and consolidate operational
objectives. Civil affairs may include performance by military forces
of activities and functions normally the responsibility of local
government. These activities may occur before, during, or after
other military actions. They may also occur as stand-alone operations.
CMO is the decisive and timely application of planned activities
that enhance the relationship between military forces and civilian
authorities and population. They promote the development of favorable
emotions, attitudes, or behavior in neutral, friendly, or hostile
groups. CMO range from support to combat operations to assisting
countries in establishing political, economic, and social stability
(see JP 3-57).
11-72. Information superiority requires
extensive planning and preparation. It cannot be an afterthought.
As an element of combat power, information requires the same attention
as the other elements.
11-73. The foremost information superiority
planning requirement is vertical and horizontal integration of ISR,
IO, and IM. Army force plans support joint force commander (JFC)
objectives and receive support from the JFC. In particular, offensive
IO follow a common theme and are directed against supporting objectives.
If not integrated, IO at different echelons may counteract each
11-74. Preparation focuses on IM and
deploying the right ISR assets to support the force. Because Army
forces are in varying states of modernization, the integration of
information systems requires not only careful planning but also
rehearsal and testing, whenever time permits. IM planning ensures
that Army forces are able to disseminate relevant information vertically
and horizontally. Commanders assess their information requirements
against collection capabilities and tailor the force accordingly.
11-75. Continuous coordination distinguishes
effective C2. The impact of information technologies increases the
importance of coordination. There is an unfortunate tendency to
accept everything that appears on a computer screen. Coordination,
focused by CCIR, verifies information. Constant coordination identifies
friction in IM and develops solutions. Coordination between humans
becomes the lubricant that drives IM within each headquarters. Commanders
emphasize the necessity of coordination between higher and lower
units as well as adjacent and supporting units. Commanders coordinate
with other commanders; they understand that coordination, while
primarily the task of the staff, is not solely a staff responsibility.
11-76. Deploying forces may not have
information superiority at deployment. The commander's information
needs, coupled with an understanding of METT-TC, influence force
tailoring and the deployment sequence. ISR assets deploy to the
theater ahead of or with initial-entry forces, depending on enemy.
In areas where Army forces are already deployed and surveillance
systems are established and collecting, available information may
be adequate. However, crises often occur where forces are not forward
deployed and intelligence is relatively sparse. In those cases,
getting additional surveillance and reconnaissance assets immediately
into theater becomes critical. Commanders deploy ISR and information
systems with habitually supported forces. Assets assigned to early
deploying units reinforce assets already deployed to or covering
11-77. The available intelligence
on potential AOs may have limited tactical use. Commanders and staffs
often find they must develop intelligence on an AO while their units
are deploying there. To answer some specified and implied requirements,
commanders may use subject matter experts. Subject matter experts
understand the terrain, culture, enemy capabilities, and civil considerations
of the AO and can help staffs develop estimates. Contingency operations
in response to unanticipated crises are usually conducted under
time constraints. It is critical that commanders and staffs consult
subject matter experts familiar with the AO while developing the
commander's vision, establishing CCIR, and refining situational
11-78. As intelligence is refined
and IPB continues, commanders focus surveillance and reconnaissance
assets to collect additional information or verify existing intelligence.
Persistent gaps may require additional collection assets. In a low-threat
environment, host nation assets may provide significant augmentation
and reduce requirements for US assets. In a high-threat environment,
extensive reconnaissance and surveillance may be required before
the main body deploys. All these factors influence how commanders
tailor their forces (see Figure 11-4).
Figure 11-4. Information Superiority and Strategic
11-79. Information superiority enables decisive
action and is, in turn, complemented by that action. IO achieve greatest
effect when complementing other operations. Effective jamming, for example,
is a nuisance to an enemy force postured for defense but not facing assault.
Confronted with swiftly maneuvering Army forces, however, effective jamming
that degrades enemy C2 and synchronization can significantly disrupt enemy
11-80. Noncontiguous areas of operations
challenge commanders to use intelligence elements, reconnaissance units,
and surveillance systems efficiently and imaginatively. When operating
in noncontiguous AOs, commanders focus collection operations on areas
between formations. Surveillance and reconnaissance assets cover areas
between noncontiguous AOs. When the area requiring coverage exceeds the
capabilities of reconnaissance units, commanders coordinate for additional
coverage, with joint elements if available. When necessary, commanders
task other forces to complement surveillance and reconnaissance assets.
11-81. Commanders depend on subordinate
initiative to accomplish missions, even in the absence of orders or a
COP. Information technology enhances Army operations but does not govern
them. Inevitably, some information systems will fail—either of their
own accord or because of enemy action. Commanders develop and communicate
their vision to subordinates with enough clarity to allow them to act
when this happens. Subordinates complement initiative with constant coordination
and by keeping their higher commanders informed. Because Army forces must
be able to execute in the absence of a COP, senior commanders avoid the
temptation to overcontrol subordinates.
11-82. The capabilities of new information
systems encourage subordinates to exercise disciplined initiative. A COP
gives subordinates access to the same information as their commanders
and tailors it to subordinate needs. Subordinates who know their commander's
intent can act based on the COP, confident that their commander will understand
what they are doing and why. More complete information allows well-trained
leaders to make better decisions. A force in which commanders make good
decisions at the lowest level will operate faster than one where decisions
are centralized. Such a force is agile and can exploit opportunities as
soon as they occur. As subordinates report their actions, those reports
become part of the COP. Elements of the force affected by the action learn
of it and can synchronize their actions with it. Properly used, modern
information systems allow commanders to issue mission orders and control
the battle through empowered subordinates. These subordinates can make
decisions that fit both their immediate circumstances and the mission
of the force as a whole.
11-83. The increased range and lethality
of weapons systems, faster tempo, shorter decision cycles, and extended
battlespace all serve to increase confusion and the volume of information.
The key to achieving situational understanding and avoiding information
overload is identifying relevant information and filtering out distractions.
Although emerging user-friendly technologies will facilitate coordinating,
fusing, sharing, and displaying relevant information, these functions
remain very human. The extended battlespace places increased emphasis
on the initiative, judgment, and tactical and technical competence of
skilled subordinate leaders. Current information technology is no substitute
for small unit training and aggressive leadership.
11-84. Information technology helps commanders
lead by allowing them more freedom to move around the battlefield while
remaining connected electronically to the command post. This capability
allows commanders to add their personal observations and feel for the
ongoing operation to the synthesized information in the COP. Commanders
can increase face-to-face contact with subordinates at decisive points
without losing sight of the overall situation.
11-85. Technology is creating new techniques
for displaying and disseminating information. Imagery, video, color graphics,
digital maps and overlays all present relevant information faster and
more precisely than analog methods. These new capabilities allow greater
understanding by different audiences. Today, for example, commanders use
collaborative planning across data networks to link subordinates with
commanders throughout the operations process. Displays of information
tailored to suit the audience, reduce acronyms, and eliminate jargon are
particularly important when dealing with joint, multinational, and interagency
participants. Technology allows staffs to quickly produce such tailored
11-86. Modern technology provides a variety
of means for commanders to see and engage the enemy in depth. Sensor-to-shooter
links used with precision weapons enable forces to strike multiple targets
simultaneously in near real-time with little regard for distance or geography.
What these systems hit and when they hit it are important decisions. The
results are in the effects they create, not solely in the targets they
destroy. Systematic lethal attacks on enemy C2 systems provide leverage
for air and ground forces and help create the conditions for success.
By their nature, these effects are temporary; commanders must exploit
them with maneuver to make them permanent.
11-87. Information technology can reduce,
but not eliminate, uncertainty. It gives commanders windows of opportunity
that, with quick and decisive action, help them seize the initiative.
Commanders may lose opportunities if the quest for certainty leads them
to centralize control and decision making. Technologically assisted situational
understanding may tempt senior leaders to micromanage subordinate actions.
This is not new; the telegraph and the command helicopter created similar
tensions. Senior commanders need to develop command styles that exploit
information technology while allowing subordinates authority to accomplish
their missions. Exploiting the capabilities of information technology
demands well-trained leaders willing to take risks within the bounds of
the commander's intent. An understanding of the capabilities and limitations
of information technology mitigates those risks.