Information in Joint Operations: Insights for Commanders and Planners From Competitive Risk Modeling

September 2021 No Comments

Author(s): Elder, R. (George Mason University); Levis, A. (George Mason University)

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George Mason University (GMU) worked with Strategic Multilayer Assessment (SMA) Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) to identify risks to competition effectiveness that could be mitigated through improved integration of information into joint and unified action operations. The initial focus was aligned with evolving Command and Control of the Information Environment (C2OIE) doctrinal concepts, but later shifted from strategic level integration to integration of information into unified action activities at the operational level. It is very difficult to achieve information enabling event alignment across the Whole of Government because there is no one responsible for this alignment at any planning level(Strategic, Operational, or Execution). The U.S. military can improve alignment by
incorporating non-military agencies into its traditional planning processes (mission analysis, course of action development, operations orders). This was applied to real-world planning in workshops with Operational Planning Teams where the planners learned that they could coordinate their activities with embassy country teams working through the defense attaché or senior defense official. Although planning teams are much more comfortable planning and executing joint or service military operations, the workshop teams easily adapted legacy mission analysis, Course of Action (COA) development, and orders processes to integrate information effectively into Unified Action operations. Members of country teams can align messaging, engagements, non-military information enabling activities, and perception management with military activities without specific military direction using their own agency and organization guidance, but they need the information the operational planning teams produce during mission analysis and COA development to do their own planning and execution effectively.

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