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Information Doctrine

What is it?
The US Army identified information as an element of combat power in its capstone operations doctrine, Field Manual (FM) 3-0, Operations, February, 2008. In so doing, it empowered its forces with the basis for going beyond the traditional notion of military power to attend to the complex and interactive nature of 21st Century land operations.

What has the Army done?
The "big idea" is that, in the operational environment of the foreseeable future, Army forces must be as highly skilled in the art and science of communicating, collaborating, and engaging with publics and actors relevant to the mission as they are in destroying and defeating enemy formations. The intent, therefore, is to capitalize on this "constructive power" of information together with the "destructive power" of traditional force (when the latter is required) to promote more enduring behavioral change that restores a stable environment and sets the conditions for a lasting peace. To achieve this intent, commanders ensure information is integral to their mission planning from the inception of an operation through its conclusion; and, they apply five information tasks to accomplish this integration: information engagement, operations security (OPSEC), military deception (MILDEC), command and control warfare (C2W), and information protection.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
The Army will expound upon FM 3-0's central ideas with the publication of FM 3-13, Information, in the summer 2009. Field Manual 3-13 will provide commanders and their staffs with the framework for applying the five information tasks jointly, with all other combat power.

Concurrent with the development of FM 3-13, the Army will undertake other programs and initiatives across the Army domains of doctrine, organization, training, materiel, leadership and education, personnel, and facilities to develop the capabilities, capacity, and competency necessary to achieve the potential power of information in full spectrum operations.

Why is this important to the Army?
Persistent conflict and change characterize the strategic environment for the foreseeable future. America's Army is the 'Strength of the Nation.' To succeed in an environment of persistent conflict, the Nation requires its Army to be as highly skilled in the art and science of engaging, communicating, and collaborating with publics and actors that affect its missions as it is in the art and science of destroying and defeating opposing formations.

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