ASPECTS OF INFORMATION OPERATIONS ELEMENTS OF INFORMATION OPERATIONS
1-53. Information operations is the employment of the core capabilities of electronic warfare, computer network operations, psychological operations, military deception, and operations security, in concert with specified supporting and related capabilities, to affect or defend information and information systems, and to influence decisionmaking. (This definition supersedes the definition of IO in FM 3-0. It is consistent with joint initiatives.) Commanders are flexible when determining how to exploit IO. The type of exploitation depends on their IO capabilities and objectives. As adversary C2 systems become more sophisticated, the friendly commander’s decisionmaking window becomes smaller. Conversely, if adversary C2 systems are less sophisticated, the commander’s ability to affect them directly with sophisticated capabilities becomes less likely. A friendly force with electronic warfare capabilities may dominate an opponent with a radio-based C2 system and no redundancy. However, an asymmetric environment may include an adversary with a C2 system based on courier/ word of mouth capabilities that require Army forces to adopt equally unsophisticated IO methods. Countering the diverse threats in of the information environment demands imagination and creativity. The quick pace of IO places a heavy demand on preplanned IO branches and sequels (see FM 3-0). 1-54. Commanders from brigade through echelons above corps conduct IO. Responsibilities vary by echelon based on IO element and type of military operation. 1-55. IO are enabling operations that create and present opportunities for decisive operations. Commanders use both offensive IO and defensive IO simultaneously to accomplish the mission, increase their force effectiveness, and protect their organizations and systems. IO elements include core capabilities and supporting capabilities (see figure 1-1, page 1-14). Commanders conduct IO through a combination of these elements and related activities. Figure 1-2, page 1-15, shows the relationship between the IO elements/ related activities, the types of operations, and unit responsibilities. 1-56. The elements of IO are not organizations. They are independent activities that, when taken together and synchronized, constitute IO. Commanders decide which IO elements are appropriate to accomplish the mission. All elements may not be required for each operation. 1-57. With the possible exceptions of computer network operations (CNO), CNA, computer network defense (CND) and computer network exploitation (CNE), no IO element is new. What is new is bringing these elements/related activities together as components of the information element of combat power. IO focuses efforts that before were diffuse. A single staff officer—the G-7—is assigned authority and responsibility for these previously separate activities. This allows commanders to mass the effects of the information element of combat power.