The information environment is becoming increasingly more important in warfare due to humanity’s rising reliance on computers and networks. As such, Army leaders should understand its nature and how to form joint forces to affect it. Intelligence is one activity that is likely to be increasingly relegated to the information space in the future. According to the Department of the Army (2019), battlefields are becoming more and more complex, with urban and subterranean operations becoming common. Information-processing tools that occupy the informational dimension can help translate the vast volume of information to the cognitive dimension, where a leader can make informed decisions as a result.
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However, the information environment is involved in more than active physical battlefields. In particular, cyberspace attacks are becoming an increasingly prominent topic due to the potential dangers that they represent. According to Tatar, Gokce, and Gheorghe (2016), people tend not to understand cyberspace, which limits their ability to defend themselves there. A joint group can have specialists that will lend their expertise to reinforce protections and conduct attacks if necessary. Overall, by expanding the cognitive aspect of the information environment, Army leaders can enhance its other dimensions, as well.
These capabilities can and have been applied in real military situations to substantial success. The information-processing capabilities of the U.S. army are critical to its ability to conduct swift and precise raids such as the one that has led to the death of the ISIS leader al-Baghdadi. The Army’s cyberspace activities are less well-known but critical to the protection of essential military and civilian infrastructure. Both activities are essential to the protection of the United States, and Army leaders should understand them and be ready to engage in the necessary practices.
Department of the Army. (2019). ADP 2-0: Intelligence. Washington, DC: Department of the Army.
Tatar, U., Gokce, Y., & Gheorghe, A. V. (2016). Strategic cyber defense: A multidisciplinary perspective. Washington, DC: IOS Press.