Pentagon: The internet needs to be dealt with as if it were an enemy “weapons system”.
Information Operation Roadmap Part 3
The Pentagon’s Information Operations Roadmap is blunt about the fact that an internet, with the potential for free speech, is in direct opposition to their goals. The internet needs to be dealt with as if it were an enemy “weapons system”.
The 2003 Pentagon document entitled the Information Operation Roadmap was released to the public after a Freedom of Information Request by the National Security Archive at George Washington University in 2006. A detailed explanation of the major thrust of this document and the significance of information operations or information warfare was described by me here.
Computer Network Attack
From the Information Operation Roadmap:
“When implemented the recommendations of this report will effectively jumpstart a rapid improvement of CNA [Computer Network Attack] capability.” – 7
“Enhanced IO [information operations] capabilities for the warfighter, including: … A robust offensive suite of capabilities to include full-range electronic and computer network attack…” [emphasis mine] – 7
Would the Pentagon use its computer network attack capabilities on the Internet?
Fighting the Net
“We Must Fight the Net. DoD [Department of Defense] is building an information-centric force. Networks are increasingly the operational center of gravity, and the Department must be prepared to “fight the net.” ” [emphasis mine] – 6
“DoD’s “Defense in Depth” strategy should operate on the premise that the Department will “fight the net” as it would a weapons system.” [emphasis mine] – 13
It should come as no surprise that the Pentagon would aggressively attack the “information highway” in their attempt to achieve dominance in information warfare. Donald Rumsfeld’s involvement in the Project for a New American Century sheds more light on the need and desire to control information.
PNAC Dominating Cyberspace
The Project for a New American Century (PNAC) was founded in 1997 with many members that later became the nucleus of the George W. Bush administration. The list includes: Jeb Bush, Dick Cheney, I. Lewis Libby, Donald Rumsfeld, and Paul Wolfowitz among many other powerful but less well know names. Their stated purpose was to use a hugely expanded U.S. military to project “American global leadership.” In September of 2000, PNAC published a now infamous document entitled Rebuilding America’s Defences. This document has a very similar theme as the Pentagon’s Information Operations Roadmap which was signed by then Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.
From Rebuilding America’s Defenses:
“It is now commonly understood that information and other new technologies… are creating a dynamic that may threaten America’s ability to exercise its dominant military power.” [emphasis mine] – 4
“Control of space and cyberspace. Much as control of the high seas – and the protection of international commerce – defined global powers in the past, so will control of the new “international commons” be a key to world power in the future. An America incapable of protecting its interests or that of its allies in space or the “infosphere” will find it difficult to exert global political leadership.” [emphasis mine] – 51
“Although it may take several decades for the process of transformation to unfold, in time, the art of warfare on air, land, and sea will be vastly different than it is today, and “combat” likely will take place in new dimensions: in space, “cyber-space,” and perhaps the world of microbes.” [emphasis mine] – 60
For more on Rebuilding America’s Defences read this.
Part of the Information Operation Roadmap‘s plans for the internet are to “ensure the graceful degradation of the network rather than its collapse.” (pg 45) This is presented in “defensive” terms, but presumably, it is as exclusively defensive as the Department of Defense.
As far as the Pentagon is concerned the internet is not all bad, after all, it was the Department of Defense through DARPA that gave us the internet in the first place. The internet is useful not only as a business tool but also is excellent for monitoring and tracking users, acclimatizing people to a virtual world, and developing detailed psychological profiles of every user, among many other Pentagon positives. But, one problem with the current internet is the potential for the dissemination of ideas and information not consistent with US government themes and messages, commonly known as free speech. Naturally, since the plan was to completely dominate the “infosphere,” the internet would have to be adjusted or replaced with an upgraded and even more Pentagon friendly successor.
“The development of “Internet 2″ is also designed to create an online caste system whereby the old Internet hubs would be allowed to break down and die, forcing people to use the new taxable, censored and regulated world wide web. If you’re struggling to comprehend exactly what the Internet will look like in five years unless we resist this, just look at China and their latest efforts to completely eliminate dissent and anonymity on the web.”
The next article will examine the Pentagon’s use of psychological operations or PSYOP and the final article in this series will examine whether or not there are any limits to using information operations on the American public or foreign audiences.