Information warfare further enshrines the subordinate concept of information dominance. In order to exploit the information environment advantageously, dominance in the information sector must be attained. Opposition forces' information resources must be suppressed while those of friendly assets protected, enabling information attack operations in the new "digitized battlefield" of the 21st century envisioned by Pentagon warplanners.
Establishment of a Battlefield Information Task Force to create and use joint battlespace modeling and simulation technologies for training exercises.
The support by the US SECDEF of immediate funding increases for defensive IW, emphasizing protection of critical services and the establishment of special Red Teams to evaluate IW readiness and vulnerabilities.
While information mastery is key to success in digitized battlespace, information warfare also translates into real-world systems. Key enablers for an information-based combat environment are space-based sensor arrays. Such systems drive technological R&D behind DOD-ARPA's WARBREAKER program,3 focusing on ACTDs in support of an integrated, end-to-end battle management system to enable worldwide, accurate, synchronized prosecution of time critical targets (TCTs) such as tactical ballistic missile (TBM) launchers (otherwise known as TELs, "sperm whales" or "hasholas" for Russian speakers) which proved so vexing to the "Scud Hunters" of Operation Desert Storm.
USAF calls its IW initiative "Superhighway 2000," and alternatively, the "Combat Information Transport System." It is intended to capitalize on information-based combat systems in order to bring combat forces into what the Army calls the "fifth dimension of warfare" in which rapid, global information exchange can leverage warfighting assets. Integration of infotechnologies to serve a warfighting need, rather than the technologies per se, drives USAF's effort in this sphere. USAF plans call for exploiting the extant Base Information Infrastructure (BII), which is the USAF portion of the larger Defense Information Infrastructure (DII), to enhance C4I capability.5 BII, which addresses USAF's base communication infrastructure, essential to expeditionary warfare capability, would provide imagery, graphics, video and other high-bandwidth throughput to all core USAF C2 facilities. USAF's ultimate aim is to make advanced modeling and simulation available at all force levels "from the National Command Center to the foxhole," according to Lt. General Carl O'Berry, USAF Deputy Chief of Staff for C4I, who also calls IW "a key enabler for [USAF] and [DOD]."
1 For consistency's sake, "information warfare" and/or "IW" will be used to denote the subject of this article throughout. The US Army uses the term "digitization," while USAF refers to the "fifth dimension of warfare."
2 Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration (ACTD) projects from fifteen candidates, many of which embrace IW, are currently under consideration in line with this objective in the following areas: Semi-automated Imagery Intelligence Processing. Automating image processing utilizing software systems capable of scanning imagery and detecting changes over time, then flagging for analysis. Battlefield Awareness and Data Dissemination. To focus on the form and process of information flow between battlefield commanders, specifically Joint Task Force commanders. Ground-Ground and Air-Ground Combat Identification. The Pentagon's Joint Requirements Oversight Council seeks to leverage this effort to address fratricide. Navigation Warfare. To include systems and concepts aimed at denying aggressors the use of navigation information, including GPS, while assuring access to friendly forces. Counterproliferation. Toward development of improved counterforce capabilities to survey and strike storage and production facilities for chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. Counterproliferation would encompass pre- and post-strike surveillance operations toward improving reliability of BDAs, an acknowledged US performance deficit during the Gulf War.
3 Undertaken by ASTO.
4 See accompanying sidebar on viruses.
5 This will be included in the FY 97 budget request and in future requests.