IO – Information Operations

Written By Riccardo Ardoino
617IO – Information Operations

Information warfare covers all the fields where information is transformed in a weapon to weaken or destabilize an adversary.
The offensive technique of information warfare is known as “psychological warfare” and includes propaganda, manipulation, misinformation, disappointment.
They are subversive methods that can be deployed effectively across all available communication channels (internal, external, Internet, Intranet, oral…)
The control and dissemination of knowledge and information and the protection of these capabilities are not only used to know and anticipate, but as an offensive weapon, that makes information capabilities the political-military-economic issue of our century.
Information Dominance Operations cover all areas of information transmission and processing. They therefore use all the following areas:
• Secured C2 requires a more robust, protected, resilient and reliable information infrastructure that undergirds the overall information environment and allow uninterrupted worldwide communication between deployed units.
The information infrastructure must be able to maintain essential network and data link services across secured segments of the electromagnetic spectrum in order to transport, share, store, protect and disseminate critical combat information.
• Battlespace Awareness requires enhanced information content, advanced means to rapidly sense, collect, process, analyse, evaluate and exploit intelligence regarding our adversaries and the operating environment.
The information content will serve as the basis for taking nearly all decisions with the purpose to enabling forces to more effectively manoeuvre and coordinate actions that target and engage enemy forces.

Electronic Warfare: in general, electronic warfare is defined as a war in the electromagnetic spectrum (EM), which means that anything that works on radio frequency is considered part of electronic warfare.
Electromagnetic operations target many aspects of the electronic warfare environment, from radars and jammers to military communications.
Anything that communicates by air can be a target.
Electronic warfare systems use the electromagnetic spectrum to support communications, detection and defence.
Disarming these abilities means denying an opponent the ability to communicate or navigate.
Intelligence: the purpose of intelligence is to have an autonomous capability for situational assessment.
Having intelligence capabilities of human origin (HUMINT), electromagnetic origin (SIGINT) and optical and radar origin (IMINT) is necessary.
Recent crises have demonstrated the crucial role of space and air intelligence in both planning and conducting operations.
They also highlighted the need for human intelligence in addition to technical intelligence. Finally, these recent crises have underscored the importance of image intelligence, which has greatly facilitated Special Forces operations.
This complementarity is all the more important because it is necessary to constantly adapt to very different threats and allows for increasingly short intelligence-operations loop.
Only the combination of different sensors can move from detection to location, then from identification to action in the best tempo.
Cyber defence: Surveillance, defence and security issues in the digital space are now a major stake.

Defence is responsible for the strategic systems, those related to nuclear deterrence, but also sophisticated weapons systems.
An attack on information systems could raise a major sovereignty issue in the event of takeover or paralysis of sectors vital to the state.
In this context, cyber defence is a major issue: any military operation has a cyber-component. Like land, sea, air and space, digital space is a medium in its own right, the defence of which is a permanent necessity.
The penetration of networks for espionage purposes, remote control, destruction of vital infrastructure, the types of threats are numerous.
Cyber defence brings together all the activities carried out in order to intervene militarily or not in cyberspace to ensure the effectiveness of the action of the armed forces and the execution of the missions.


One of the key transformer of the field of Information operations (including intelligence, electronic warfare, and cyber warfare) is Artificial intelligence (AI) and Big data.
Big Data and AI are two inextricably linked technologies, to the point that we can talk of a Big Data Intelligence.
The convergence between Big Data and AI seems inevitable at the time where the automation of intelligent decision-making presents itself as the next evolution of Big Data.
Agility up, smarter business processes and productivity are the most likely benefits of this convergence.
Simply collect or have access to large sets of data is not enough to produce a result.
Today, the use of machine Learning, expert systems and analytical technologies in combination with Big Data is considered as the evolution of these two disciplines.
Convergence is inevitable.

These technologies, due to the huge quantities of data to be processed, start to be commonly used in a number of domains such as:
• Image processing and pattern recognition,
• identification and finger printing,
• intelligence (including Open Source OSINT),
• cyber protection alert and warning,
• decision making assistance in Operation centres,
• fake news detection and warning, …
It is a key transformer of the age of information superiority.


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Electro Magnetic Spectrum Operation (EMSO)