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­Information Warfare and Influence Operations

Information Warfare and Influence Operations (IW/IO) are offensive tools in countering state and non-state disinformation. If applied in the context of statecraft, IW/IO can be an offensive deterrence strategy to any would-be adversary.

Evidence suggests the shortcomings of traditional public affairs/public relations campaigns. Dealing with a large body of data of adversarial disinformation, we must embrace the non-linear, non-symmetric approach to Information Warfare and Influence Operations (IW/IO).

An urgent need for intellectual innovation, resources, and resourcefulness, technology and drawing from the rich tapestry of the history of Information and Influence Operations (IIO) is underutilized. This paper adds to the growing number of voices warning policymakers of falling into a pattern of predictability of traditional but flawed manual-like responses.

The Information Warfare and Influence Operations’ historical records show consistently a determined campaign influences political, economic, and social outcomes. The European Union should create a more sustainable strategic Information and Influence Operation concept beyond the tactical or only military application.

This requires resources, skills, out-of-the-box approaches beyond a limited accounting cycle and should not be mistaken with PR campaigns to get ahead in the battle of ideas. How to assess and understand the need to transition research on Information Warfare from “problem stating” to holistic solutions in the policy space and a strategic context?

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