Academic journal article Military Review

INFORMATION OPERATIONS MATTERS: Best Practices

Academic journal article Military Review

INFORMATION OPERATIONS MATTERS: Best Practices

Article excerpt

INFORMATION OPERATIONS MATTERS: Best Practices, Leigh Armistead, Potomac Books, Dulles, VA, 2010, 153 pages, $18.00.

Since the introduction of information operations (IO) into the Department of Defense lexicon in 1998, the Joint community has had an ongoing debate about how best to use this combat multiplier and establish U.S. dominance in it. In Information Operations Matters: Best Practices, Leigh Armistead enters the fray with an astute study of IO policy and theory and the federal bureaucracy's unwillingness and inability to make the transformational changes to fully exploit this new way of fi ghting and thinking.

Looking back over two decades, Armistead conducted over 100 background interviews and interpreted the results from two prominent research projects completed by the RAND Corporation, the Defense Science Board, and the Quadrennial Defense Review Board. The author's research provides an overview of IO's many facets, including paradigm-changing technological advances in computer technology-computer network attack, computer network defense, and critical infrastructure protection.

The author outlines shortfalls and gaps that have caused consternation and indecision at the Department of State and Department of Defense. He argues that the absence of a clear IO definition has created a large gap in IO theory and concept and that a lack of integration among the services has led to a lack of unity in the IO community. He uses a pointed example to best illustrate this dilemma:

Currently, a variety of U.S. government organizations and commands teach over 70 IO courses. These courses have little or no interaction or integration with one another, and if a service member or Department of State or Defense employee completes IO training in one service, he or she cannot serve in a Joint organization without receiving additional specialized training. …

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