Call to Action: Operations in the Information Environment

In the April 2020 Marine Corps Gazette, LtGen Reynolds, Deputy Commandant for Information, paints a clear picture that all Marines need to understand and operationalize the information environment (“this is a fight for everyone”).

However, a Marine’s understanding of information, and hence how it can be used for operational advantage, may be frustrated by: a lack of codified doctrine, a confusing mix of legacy and approved information related terms, and no concise model for how individual Marines and the forces to which they are assigned operate in the information environment in all domains and across the competition continuum.

April’s Gazette was just the opening salvo to “spark the ideas and conversation.”  Now, the Marine Corps Gazette, Ender’s Galley, and the Brute Krulak Center for Innovation and Creativity are teaming together to continue the dialogue with this call to action.  Topics for discussion:

  • 1. How has the modern information environment changed the character of war? Does the philosophy and principles of MCDP 1 Warfighting still apply for maneuvering in the information environment?
  • 2. In his Dec ’19 War on the Rocks update on Force Design, the Commandant asked “How do we win the information battle?”  Propose an answer or offer tenets for success.
  • 3. The 37th Commandant, General Robert B. Neller, established Information as our seventh Warfighting Function.  How is it different from the other Warfighting Functions? How does it relate to the others? What tenets or concepts would you include in an MCDP on Information?
  • 4. In January of this year DC CDI and DCI published a joint memorandum introducing new OIE terminology and discontinues the use of the term Information Operations in the service. Are these provisional terms helpful, do they require more explanation, or do we still have a terminology problem? What is the relationship between cyberspace operations and OIE?
  • 5. What should every Marine know about information and how to operationalize it in the course of daily missions? What should commanders know?
  • 6. What do Expeditionary Advanced Base Operations (EABO) and Littoral Operations in a Contested Environment (LOCE) look like from an OIE perspective? What are the opportunities and challenges with emerging concepts like the Stand In Force and the organizational changes identified in Force Design 2030?

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