Saturday, January 28, 2006

Battlespace Media

Adam Brookes wrote a revealing article today on a newly declassified document from the Pentagon called "Information Operations Roadmap" (pdf). It was obtained by the National Security Archive at George Washington University using the Freedom of Information Act. This is Rumsfeld's blueprint for "a far-reaching overhaul of the military's ability to conduct information operations and electronic warfare. And, in some detail, it makes recommendations for how the US armed forces should think about this new, virtual warfare."

From the BBC: The document says that information is "critical to military success". Computer and telecommunications networks are of vital operational importance: public affairs officers who brief journalists, psychological operations troops who try to manipulate the thoughts and beliefs of an enemy, computer network attack specialists who seek to destroy enemy networks.

It acknowledges that "Information intended for foreign audiences, including public diplomacy and Psyops, is increasingly consumed by our domestic audience."

It also recommends that Psyops personnel should consider a range of technologies to disseminate propaganda in enemy territory: unmanned aerial vehicles, "miniaturized, scatterable public address systems", wireless devices, cellular phones and the internet.

When it describes plans for electronic warfare, or EW, the document takes on an extraordinary tone. It seems to see the internet as being equivalent to an enemy weapons system. "Strategy should be based on the premise that the Department [of Defense] will 'fight the net' as it would an enemy weapons system," it reads, and contends that US forces should be able to "disrupt or destroy the full spectrum of globally emerging communications systems, sensors, and weapons systems dependent on the electromagnetic spectrum".

Also see:
Subtopia: Good Buildings, Bad Buildings :: GoogleMapping War :: The Panoptic Arcade

In the media:
3 groups have contracts for pro-U.S. propaganda :: Has 'War' become a leading brand for United States? :: U.S. Military Unclear on 'Planted' Stories :: Military Explains News Propaganda in Iraq :: US military stories are ads :: The al-Jazeera Dodge :: Military's Information War Is Vast and Often Secretive: Politics, Iraqi Style: Slick TV Ads, Text Messaging and Gunfire :: Hey kids, it's Uncle Hazim Time! :: Militants' new tack in cyber war :: Retooling after 9/11, the CIA starts to blog to mine the Web for useful, public information


Blogger Bryan Finoki said...

And here's one in today's NYT: An Exotic Tool for Espionage: Moral Compass

A group of current and former intelligence officers and academic experts will soon gather for a conference to discuss the "emerging field of intelligence ethics," in which determinations about ethical spying can be made, and whether there is a moral compass espionage can follow.

"Organizers said conferees would ponder such timely issues as how many civilian deaths can be justified in a C.I.A. Predator missile strike to kill a known terrorist, or what legal assurances a National Security Agency eavesdropper should demand before singling out the phone calls of an American who was linked to Al Qaeda."

9:38 AM  

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