Page:United States Army Field Manual 3-13 Information Operations.djvu/16

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• Friendly vulnerabilities to adversary IO efforts. How is the friendly force vulnerable? What can it do to keep adversaries from exploiting those vulnerabilities? INFORMATION ENVIRONMENT CHALLENGES



1-31. The complexity of the information environment presents commanders with significant and interrelated challenges. Most operations are conducted in full view of a global audience. Information technology changes rapidly, affecting friendly and adversary operations, and how they are perceived. Commanders face challenges in the areas of policy and public opinion, soldier morale, and legal considerations. Policy and Public Opinion


1-32. The global expanse of the information environment allows news reports and analyses to rapidly influence public opinion and decisions concerning military operations. Audiences include the US public, decisionmakers, multinational partners, other nations, and international organizations. It also includes potential or actual adversaries. The news media will likely provide 24-hour coverage of, and diverse perspectives on, any future operation. 1-33. Global visibility of operations can also affect strategic or operational deterrence and affect commanders’ decisions. Stories in the global information environment may be inaccurate, incomplete, or presented out of context. They may be based on rumor or be the result of intentional disinformation efforts. In such circumstances, commanders may be tempted to act in haste, make emotional decisions, or make choices inconsistent with the real situation. Effective commanders anticipate how adversaries might attempt to shape the information environment. Preventing adversaries from setting the terms of a conflict in the public arena is a form of maintaining the initiative and a fundamental aspect of perception management. Morale


1-34. The global audience’s perception of an operation may affect a command’s combat power by influencing soldier morale. The rapid capabilities of modern communications systems often disseminate information.accurate or inaccurate.to soldiers faster than the chain of command does. Such activities as the will to win, dedication to the cause, understanding of the mission, and devotion to fellow soldiers and the unit can affect aspects of the human dimension (see FM 22-100). Because the human dimension includes families and communities as well as soldiers, a commander’s battlespace includes home station (see FM 3-0). Bad news, misinterpretations, misinformation, and disinformation can affect morale there and indirectly undermine the will of the force. Legal Considerations


1-35. Legal use or access to INFOSYS and technologies is rapidly changing as new laws and regulations are implemented. Even so, existing laws are often outdated. Commanders may face complex legal challenges and other constraints, such as, rules of engagement, treaties, or status of forces/mission agreements. Commanders include the staff judge advocate in the conduct of IO to ensure that legal and policy issues are thoroughly addressed.