Information Advantage

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An information advantage is a condition when a force holds the initiative in terms of situational understanding, decision making, and relevant actor behavior. There are several forms of information advantage.

The information advantage framework presents a framework for creating and exploiting information advantages. Within this framework, Army forces integrate all relevant military capabilities through the execution of five information activities (enable, protect, inform, influence, and attack).

When Army forces achieve an information advantage, they—

• Communicate more effectively than the threat.
• Collect, process, analyze, and use information to understand an OE better than the threat.
• Understand, decide, and act faster and more efficiently than the threat.
• Are resilient to threat information warfare, to include disinformation and information for effect.
• Maintain domestic support and the support of multinational partners.
• Degrade threat command and control (C2) by affecting the threat’s ability to understand, make effective decisions, and communicate.
• Influence threats and other foreign relevant actors’ behavior favorable to friendly objectives.

Relative Advantages

Relative advantages provide opportunities. A relative advantage is a location or condition, in any domain, relative to an adversary or enemy that provides an opportunity to progress towards or achieve an objective. During operations, small advantages can significantly impact the outcome of a mission, particularly when they accrue over time. Commanders seek and create relative advantages to exploit through action, and they continually assess friendly and enemy forces in relation to each other for opportunities to exploit.

An information advantage can result from and exploit human and physical advantages or enable those advantages. Like human and physical advantages, information advantages are often temporary and change over time relative to the threat and changes in an OE. While friendly forces are seeking information advantages, threat forces are doing the same. As such, an information advantage is something to gain, protect, and exploit across as many domains as possible.

Information Advantage Examples (during Armed Conflict)

Information advantages invariably overlap with and emanate from physical and human advantages. To gain an information advantage, units first require a physical or human advantage. Army forces create and exploit information advantages by acting through the physical and human dimensions of an operational environment. Leaders combine information advantages with other advantages to understand the situation, decide, and act faster than enemy forces. Examples of information advantages during armed conflict include—

• The ability to access enemy C2 to disrupt, degrade, or exploit enemy information.
• Opportunities created by deception operations to achieve surprise and thwart enemy targeting.
• The ability to mask electromagnetic signatures.
• The ability to integrate and synchronize friendly forces in denied or degraded environments through use of redundant communications.
• The ability to rapidly share information with domestic and international audiences to counter enemy malign narratives.
• The ability to inform a wide range of audiences to maintain legitimacy and promote the friendly narrative.
• The ability to rapidly share and analyze information among commanders and staffs to facilitate decisions and orders.

INFO2 SMARTbook: Information Advantage (Activities, Tasks & Capabilities)This article is an extract from "INFO2 SMARTbook: Information Advantage (Activities, Tasks & Capabilities)" by The Lightning Press. Download a free PDF sample and learn more at:  INFO2 SMARTbook: Information Advantage (Activities, Tasks & Capabilities).

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