US Army Information Warriors Struggle to Convey Their Message

Perhaps the title of the post is too on the nose? An interesting new survey of US Army information warfare history basically concludes that it’s hard to do new things while conveying them to people schooled in old things.

Information operations gained its strongest institutional acceptance when it presented itself as a set of technological capabilities designed to affect an adversary in a discrete conventional conflict. This understanding was in accordance with an American way of war that favors technological solutions over human ones and that favors conventional over unconventional conflicts. […] The history of Army information doctrine contains three additional insights that are worth discussing further. The first is that information itself is an extraordinarily complex concept whose application to war possesses infinite versatility and variation. […] A second insight concerns the tension between technical and psychological interpretations of information. This tension has been at the heart of Army information operations doctrine for the past 40 years and is one of the reasons why creating a single, unified doctrine has been so difficult. […] A final insight is perhaps the most obvious one: that Army information doctrine has experienced consistent, frequent, and often radically vacillating change since its inception. With the exception of the period from 1981 to 1991, when the doctrine was at its most primitive, the Army has never had an opportunity to build meaningful capacity around a single doctrinal construct.


I might be biased, since I tend to focus more on the 1800s and 1900s birth of modern information wafare (with the exception of energy), but the survey of “changes” seems too short.

In completely unrelated news a Psychological Operations Specialist assigned to the I Marine Expeditionary Force Information Group has been charged with assault and battery. His case spread quickly after a video was shared showing him verbally attacking two minority women and then quickly losing a physical fight.

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say it was hard to teach that young white man how to give up his obvious schooling in plain old American racism. Did his recruiters even check if he follows Elon Musk before letting him into boot camp?

It all reminds me of WWII information warfare reports that advocated censorship as a democracy preserving effort and holding a very narrow focus on anti-racism. It’s no coincidence anti-democratic foreign assets push Twitter into extremist uncensored racism. It’s all not really that complex.

[There are] three elementary forms of domination: control of violence (sovereignty), control of information (bureaucracy), and personal charisma (manifested, for example, in electoral politics).

You think the Governor of Florida banning Black history and crushing dissent is new or different? Nope that’s someone using charismatic elections to control violence (Police) and then pushing hard to control information. Basically a regression to Andrew Jackson’s illegal annexation of Florida to crush Black emancipation and prosperity (things now made illegal to teach in school).

Dare I say this becomes so easy it’s even… black and white? I mean let’s talk more about huge changes that came after the WWI U.S. Propaganda Office and nationalized networks, while we’re at it here.

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