In Leigh Armistead’s second edited volume on warfare in the Information Age, the authors explore the hype over possibilities versus actuality in their analysis of Information Operations (IO) today. First, leaders must better understand the informational element of national power, and second, their sole focus on technology must expand to include IO’s physical interconnectivity, content, and cognitive dimensions. Finally the authors urge the United States to use its enormous IO advantage to deal with complex national security issues beyond the Department of Defense, for example, in swaying global opinion and influencing other populations. Armistead and his colleagues set aside the hype and conjecture concerning IO, because its real potential is more powerful and comprehensive than currently appreciated. In a straightforward format they take practitioners on the path toward a smart and effective way of waging IO.
While the original claims of “bloodless” wars or of computer hackers plunging North America into a new “dark age” of constant electric grid collapses quickly raised awareness of new threats and capabilities in the Information Age, these scenarios strain credulity and hamper our understanding of those threats and capabilities. This volume corrects this situation, grounding IO in the real world, and concentrates on its actual challenges, capabilities, and accomplishments. Information Warfare will be an indispensable guide and reference work for professionals and students in the fields of national security.