US Plans to "Fight the Net" Revealed
Date: Tuesday, January 30 2007
US Plans To 'Fight The Net' Revealed
Monday January 29 2007
By Adam Brookes
A newly declassified document gives a fascinating glimpse into the US military's plans for "information operations" - from psychological operations, to attacks on hostile computer networks.
As the world turns networked, the Pentagon is calculating the military opportunities that computer networks, wireless technologies and the modern media offer.
From influencing public opinion through new media to designing "computer network attack" weapons, the US military is learning to fight an electronic war.
The declassified document is called "Information Operations Roadmap". It was obtained by the National Security Archive at George Washington University using the Freedom of Information Act.
Officials in the Pentagon wrote it in 2003. The Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, signed it.
The "roadmap" calls for a far-reaching overhaul of the military's ability to conduct information operations and electronic warfare. And, in some detail, it makes recommendations for how the US armed forces should think about this new, virtual warfare.
The document says that information is "critical to military success". Computer and telecommunications networks are of vital operational importance.
The operations described in the document include a surprising range of military activities: public affairs officers who brief journalists, psychological operations troops who try to manipulate the thoughts and beliefs of an enemy, computer network attack specialists who seek to destroy enemy networks.
All these are engaged in information operations.
This story is on the BBC web site at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4655196.stm but it is best to read it from the Information Clearing House at http://www.ichblog.eu/content/view/185/1/ because there are some very interesting readers' comments.
[Proofreader's note: this article was edited for spelling and typos on January 31, 2007]