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US Army Focuses on Next-Level of Information Warfare

Speaking at AOC’s “CEMA 2021” May virtual conference, focused on “joint, multi-domain, high-intensity conflict through the use of Cyber Electromagnetic Activity (CEMA) capabilities,” LTG Stephen G. Fogarty, Commanding General, Army Cyber Command, declared the Army has come a long way in its thinking and implementation of information warfare (IW). Noting that the Service is no longer just working to rebuild its once-neglected EW capabilities to catch up with our adversaries, Fogarty said that having learned major lessons regarding the application and importance of IW from multiple modern conflicts, such as Russia’s annexation of the Crimea in the Ukraine and the Azerbaijan/Armenia war, today’s focus is squarely on multi-domain/all-domain operations and complete IW dominance. “Our capabilities are not the individual soldier, but their ability to bring the entire power of the US military to bear at their location on the battlefield – the ability to connect our forces, provide effective command and control, persistent ISR, long-range precision fires, just-in-time logistics, medivac – everything a modern Army needs.”

Going further, Fogarty pointed out that “our adversaries also recognize this, and that they must be able to attack our network fabric, which they will do through a combination of cyber attacks and attacks in the Spectrum. This is critically important to understand. We’re well beyond just having to fight our way through Spectrum congestion, primarily from our own fratricide, to dealing with a very-much contested Electromagnetic Spectrum Environment. We must use, and fully understand, the role that all of our resources play to succeed. This is where ‘decision-dominance’ comes in.”

Fogarty emphasized that he’s not just referring to situational awareness but rather situational understanding. “A commander must have the ability to sense, understand, decide, act, and assess faster and more effectively than our adversary. We have a lot of sensors deployed on the network and connected to people on the ground, and they are all vulnerable to disruption, so our ability to understand what is happening in the environment, and at a high-level of fidelity at all times, is critically important.”

Noting that “the EW community cannot, and should not, be expected to succeed in this alone,” Fogarty described EW as being a form of maneuver and a form of fires. “The ability to integrate all of our resources effectively is the key to success. We can’t have different information from different sources provided to commanders. Our focus is on the need-for-speed, and confusion causes a loss of speed. If we are to provide decision dominance for our commanders, we have to effectively integrate all of our capabilities.” – J. Haystead