What is Information warfare
--Interview with Mr. Chuck Hawkins, the Director of the Historical Evaluation & Research Organization (HERO)Library 访军事历史评估与研究中心主任查尔斯•霍金斯
MR. CHEN BOJIANG: What is Information Warfare (IW) 1? You said that information operations (IO) 2 are the most important part of RMA. Can you explain this more fully?
MR. HAWKINS: Information Warfare is a complex aspect of modern war, but it is not a new feature. It has been called by various names in the past-intelligence and electronic warfare, to name two and will likely be called by different names in the future. Right now, in Western militaries as well as Eastern ones, the term is in vogue3; it has become a commonplace.
I find definitions useful to begin, so I offer the following: “Information Warfare is a feature of military conflict where information systems are attacked or defended, directly or indirectly as a means to dominate, degrade or destroy, or protect or preserve4 date, knowledge, beliefs or combat power potential.”
It’s worth a moment to examine the definition more closely.
Information warfare is a feature of military conflict. Although it is certainly possible to have an information war all by itself, it really doesn’t make much sense to do so. It would be sort of like having an artillery war5 by itself. Historically, enemies have dueled with artillery across the battlefield in war, and even when war was not declared. Vietnam and China exchanged artillery fire across their border in the 1980s, after China's campaign into northern Vietnam. It may have been an “artillery war,” but it didn't amount to much more than harrasment6.
Information warfare is a feature of military conflict. There doesn't have to be an actual “war” for information operations to exist. A “state of conflict” broadens the scope of the definition to include IO in peacetime as well. Witness the exchange of propaganda7 and electronic “duels” that took place between East and West during the Cold War.
Information systems are more than just technology. They include “systems” of personal and social interaction, cultural exchanges, media reporting, laws, and shared principles. The U.S. Army routinely refers to the “eight battlefield systems” during operational exercises and tactical training of combat units.
Just as the role of infantry8 is to “close with and destroy the enemy,” the last half of the definition explains that IW is used to attack or defend, directly or indirectly, as a means to dominate, degrade or destroy, or protect or preserve data, knowledge, beliefs or combat power potential. The emphasis on the object of IW is distributed evenly among technological assets9 and human behavioral elements. It's ultimate objective is the combat power potential of an opposing force; IW can be used to blind air defense target acquisition systems, nullifying10 the combat power potential of those weapons. Likewise, IW can be applied to attack the command and control infrastructure of an artillery brigade11 and its communications links to maneuver units, thereby reducing or negating12 the combat power of artillery. Or, IW can be used to change beliefs and perceptions of an enemy. Witness the mass surrenders of Iraqi troops during the 1990-1991 Persian Gulf War.
In sum, information warfare is a “combat multiplier13,” a kind of warfare that enhances or degrades combat power. Like infantry or armor, IW can be considered a military "arm in its own right, but, also like infantry and armor, IW is best used in combination with other branches of the military in order to achieve a common objective.
MR. CHEN: According to the above definition, how many forms of IW are there?
MR. HAWKINS: Martin Libicki, a senior fellow at the Institute for National Strategic Studies, National Defense University, says that Information Warfare is not “a separate technique of waging war.” Rather, there are seven distinct forms of IW, each involving the protection, manipulation, degradation and denial of information. These forms are:
Command and control warfare, which is to separate the enemy's head from the body of his forces. Intelligence-based warfare, which consists of measures and countermeasures14 that seek knowledge to dominate opponents combat power in the battlespace, and combat power potential outside the battlespace.
Electronic warfare, such as radio-electronic or cryptographic15 means.
Psychological warfare16, used to influence the minds of friends, neutrals andfoes.
“Hacker” warfare17, in which computer systems are attacked.
Economic information warfare, blocking or channelling information to pursue economic dominance.
Cyberwarfare18, a futuristic collection of ideas that range from clever to absurd19.
These forms are weakly related, Libicki states, and the overall concept of IW is not very coherent. I think some of the IW forms Libicki lists are more closely related than others.
What is new about IW and IO is the technological means of transmitting, receiving, manipulating, disseminating and acting upon information. Since the time of the first battlefield use of electronic equipment, information operations have been of increasing importance in war. Today, the level of importance is so great that some analysts say that IO will be the dominant characteristic of future wars.
Nevertheless, the advent of high-speed, portable, low-cost, information technology is absolutely central to the ability to conduct information warfare and information operations today. Never before has there been such a vast and complex capability to process and communicate data and combine it into information. Truly, we are in the Age of Information, and the age is just beginning.
These revolutionary technological developments are what is new to information warfare and information operations. They do not outweigh or overshadow20 the importance of older types of IW or IO; they do enhance these earlier types, and make them more potent. Taken in combination, the old and new ways to conduct information warfare can be the dominant feature of future military conflict.
Practice Listening to words词汇听力练习：
1.IW: information warfare信息战
2.IO: information operation信息作战
3.vogue  n. 时尚
4.preserve  vt.保存
5.artillery war 火炮战
6.harassment  n. 骚扰
7.propaganda  n. 宣传
8.infantry  n. 步兵
9.asset  n. 资产
10.nullify  vt. 使无效
11.brigade  n.（军队的）旅
12.negate  vt. 否定，取消
13.combat multiplier 战斗力倍增器
14.countermeasure  n. 对策，反措施
15.cryptographic  adj. 密码的
16.psychological warfare 心理战
18.cyber warfare 计算机战
19.absurd  adj. 荒谬的
20.overshadow  vt. 使……失色