The search for information superiority is not new. Sun Tzu's observation to "Know the enemy and know yourself; in a hundred battles you will never be in peril" is well-known and timelessly accurate. Scouting the enemy in order to gain advantage from knowing his dispositions (and simultaneously protecting against his scouts) is likewise ancient. Intuitively, this task is also the essence of practicality. In this age, old quest for knowledge of the enemy, history abounds with examples of commanders who either gained or lost the race for information superiority to decisive effect. We must first discuss what is new about the quest for information superiority that makes it different and relevant for today's war fighters. The difference is in the character of the dawning 'information age.' A new age is upon us. In this new age, information flows like water. In some form it is everywhere, and like water, it is essential. Information as a concept is old, but how we manipulate, transfer, collate, store, and use it is changing with the force of a tidal wave. Information as water has become a raging torrent. This change is revolutionary in impact and scope. Modern times are transitioning to what is being hailed as 'The Information Age.' information warfare is how wars will be won in the future and that the key to operational success by military forces in information war is in the strategy and target set known as Command and Control Warfare. The information age posts information war and a fundamental shift in how wars will be waged in the future. In the course of analyzing how military forces gain information superiority, the idea that all military information invariably follows a path from 'sensor to decision-maker to shooter' is developed. This "military information path" idea illuminates the specific fundamental changes and corresponding impacts on warfare in the information age. From these 'changes and impacts' comes an assessment of the military tasks to be accomplished to wage successful operational information warfare. Information warfare is taken apart, analyzed and put back together as an integrated whole as a strategy and target set to wage successful information war. A relatively recent doctrine, its pillars are classified by their moral and physical aspects as a new way of understanding their relationship to one another. Home computers, home satellite dishes, the Internet, cellular phones etc.; are all examples of how accessible information is to the common citizen. Due to the worldwide media, we can watch live events unfold in real time, or watch satellite images of weather patterns across the globe. The world is organizing into webs tied together by the Internet and meshes tied together by powerful personal computers. The 'information superhighway' of popular rhetoric is real. On ramps, off-ramps, as well as spur, connector and ring roads are appearing overnight and continually moving off in unexpected directions. Additionally, the information superhighway is an autobahn with no posted speeds. Dominating this highway is advanced-technology, high-performance machines that inherently realize that the race is to the swift.
The intellectual roots of information war thinking lies in the work done that the way we make wealth is the way we make war and that in the future, the manipulation of information is the way we will make wealth. The change begins with the technological ability to gain and exchange rapidly and therefore more efficiently use information on a wide scale. Increasingly, dispersal, systems integration, networks, fiber optics, miniaturization, and other innovations now being seen in commercial applications are being translated into military applications with unprecedented effects on how we organize and wage war. The fog of war is lifting if perhaps only for a short while through technological means. Information war at the strategic level is the...
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