Information Operations Matters


Information Operations Matters

Best Practices

Leigh Armistead

166 pages


April 2010


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eBook (PDF)
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September 2011


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About the Book

Introduced in 1998 by the Department of Defense, the concept of information operations (IO) proposed to revolutionize the ways in which warfare, diplomacy, and business were conducted. However, this transformation has not come to fruition. Two large gaps remain: between policy and theory, and between the funding needs of IO initiatives and the actual funds the federal bureaucracy is willing to provide to support these operations. These two discrepancies are central to the overall discussions of Information Operations Matters. Leigh Armistead explains why these gaps exist and suggests ways to close them. Also in discussing best practices in IO, he clarifies how the key agencies of the U.S. government can use the inherent power of information to better conduct future strategic communication campaigns. Information Operations Matters presents a more pragmatic approach to IO, recommending that IO policy be made surrounding usable concepts, definitions, theories, and capabilities that are attainable with the resources available. To meet the threats of the future as well as those facing us today, Armistead argues, it is necessary to use this new area of operations to the greatest extent possible.

Author Bio

Lt. Cdr. Edwin L. Armistead, USN, is a naval flight officer and former instructor at the Joint Forces Staff College. He is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, and the U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force Command and Staff Colleges, and he is a doctoral candidate at Edith Cowan University. Armistead has published two books on the Navy's early warning aircraft and numerous articles in professional journals. He lives in Virginia Beach, Virginia.


“Well presented and researched, this work will be of interest to individuals researching the role of information operations in American government.”—Parameters

“Leigh Armistead has provided a thoughtful overview of the many facets of information operations. From computer operations, electronic warfare and the psychological dimension, to the range of tactical and strategic considerations, everything is covered. His trenchant analysis of the great gap between advanced theories and the limited practice of information operations—along with insights into whether this gap will ever close—is revelatory.”—John Arquilla, co-author of In Athena’s Camp and Networks and Netwars and co-editor of The Three Circles of War

“In Information Operations Matters, Leigh Armistead details the remarkable change in the conduct and use of power in the information age that has given many non-state actors new advantages over major powers. He takes us back over the past two decades and gives us a front row seat in the policy and strategy deliberations that led to the creation of information operations concepts. What emerges is a deeper understanding of the power of information operations and a story of policy decisions and missteps that he sees resulting in an inability to leverage U.S. advantages to influence audiences around the world.”—Richard P. O'Neill, president, the Highlands Group

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