Re-Arming the United States for Measurable Information Warfare


PSYOPS has come a long way from dropping pamphlets out of airplanes; today’s war for influence and minds is often played out on social media. Over the last 20 years, the United States has been unilaterally disarming itself in the realm of Information Operations (IO) for two reasons. First, a naive expectation that the availability of truth on the internet would defeat any attempt to weaponize false information. Second, an inability to measure the effects of both friendly and adversarial IO led to the defunding of most US efforts. The result is what any political scientist or strategist would expect: asymmetric advantage for other nations and strategic disadvantage for the US. In the wake of our defeats, the naiveté has largely been dispelled. To restore balance, the U.S. must now rearm in this domain. Measures of Effectiveness (MOE) will be key to justifying, evaluating, and directing our efforts and those of our adversaries. The technology exists now in text analytics to calculate those MOEs, much as the effectiveness of ad campaigns are measured.