Information Warfare and the Future of Conflict

In the coming decade, the scope, scale, and speed of Information Warfare (IW) will expand, radically transforming the future of conflict. IW attacks will sow disorder, mistrust, and radicalization to sway the sentiment of the public and the fighting force, at times compelling them to violence against institutions, organizations, and each other. The U.S. Army recognizes this trend in information-age warfare and seeks to address the phenomenon in its latest concept manual, The U.S. Army in Multi-Domain Operations 2028. This emerging information warfare attack plane stretches across three domains: digital, cognitive, and physical. Conflict will move swiftly, freely, and simultaneously between the three domains. Future attacks will utilize new technologies in novel ways and employ algorithm-on-algorithm conflict beyond the scope of human observation. These emerging factors will fundamentally change our understanding of conflict and require a new model to comprehend and operationalize the changing character of war. The information warfare framework (IWF) explained in this report is intended to assist military leaders and staff members with understanding, visualizing, describing, and directing operations on the 21st century battlefield.
Information Warfare, Threatcasting
Johnson, Brain David; Draudt, Alida; Brown, Jason C.; and Ross, Robert J., "Information Warfare and the Future of Conflict" (2019).