Targeting and Information Operations

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Targeting and Information Operations (formerly the Directorate of Targeting and Information Operations (DTIO)) is a group within the British Ministry of Defence which is involved in the Information Operations of the UK. It was established in 2001 in order "to ensure that [the MOD's] approach to information operations is fully incorporated into planning and operations".[1] In 2013 it was replaced by a new unit called Military Strategic Effects.

Basics

Definition of Information Operations

The British definition within JWP 3-80 describes Info Ops as:

Co-ordinated actions undertaken to influence an adversary or potential adversary in support of political and military objectives by undermining his will, cohesion and decision making ability, through affecting his information, information based processes and systems while protecting one’s own decision-makers and decision-making processes [2]

The 'intent' and 'objectives' vary between Info Ops.[3] The objectives set out by the operation might include an end goal or an 'end state'. [4]

Target Selection

'Target nomination procedures' are used to suggest targets and the 'Joint Task Force Commander' then makes target lists to be submitted as part of the 'Joint Integrated Prioritised Target List (JIPTL)'. [5] Page 4-3 of JWP 3-80 includes the following text on 'Clearance and Authorisation':

The scale, tempo and sensitivity of operations will determine the level of ministerial involvement in the procedure for targeting and Info Ops with, where possible, target packages(or entire target lists) and intended themes being submitted for clearance in advance of operations. Ideally, 'silence procedures' should be used wherever possible.

Silence procedures are when people such as politicians make verbal objections and are then told to put these in writing.[6] Page 2-1 of JWP 3-80 states when discussing 'Will' that:

Info Ops is(sic) targeted at all audiences at any level capable of influencing the situation whether adversary, friendly or uncommitted.[7]

In February 2013 the MOD refused to state the extent to which TIO target members of domestic authorities such as the Intelligence Services, the Police, and the Military. [8]

NATO is known to make other types of target list such as the Joint Prioritised Effects List (JPEL) though this is indicated to be used in Special Forces operations. JPEL has been referred to as a "kill list" and has made news because of the alleged involvement of British police in providing information on targets. [9]

What they do

The activities within Info Ops are categorised as either 'Influence Activities' which influence the will of targets or 'Counter Command Activities' which affect the capability of targets.[10]

These activities include:

(i) Psychological Warfare (PSYOPS) - Designed to alter the 'behaviour', 'perception' and 'attitudes' of the target individuals and groups.[11] PSYOPS support to operations is provided by 15 (UK) Psychological Operations Group based in the Defence Intelligence and Security Centre, Chicksands.[12]
(ii) Electronic Warfare (EW) - 'Military action to exploit the electromagnetic spectrum'. Includes offensive activity. Encompassses: 'the search for, interception and identification of electronic emissions'[13] and the use of Directed Energy Weapons (DEW's).[14] These are weapons which direct radiation on targets. The Human effects are described as 'Physical, Physiological and Psychological'.[15]
MOD Electronic Warfare capability is orchestrated by RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire. Their Electronic Warfare Operational Support (EWOS) section works in conjunction with a network of 11 other bases in the UK to provide service delivery.[16] The base has seperately recieved publicity for it's armed drone operations.[17]
(iii) Deception - The definition describes this as:
Those measures designed to mislead an adversary by manipulation, distortion or falsification.[18]
It is also stated that:
If it is decided to utilise deception, it will need to be incorporated into the planning process at the earliest stage and a separate planning group set up.[19]
(iv) Computer Network Operations - 'Actions to attack, exploit and defend friendly and adversary computers, computer networks and other information systems, and the software and data resident on them.'[20]
(v) Specifically Targeted Physical Destruction.


Psychological Warfare and Electronic Warfare are stated as being 'the key methods for achieving objectives in a campaign'[21]

Media Ops and CIMIC (Civil-Military Co-operation) are described as activities which are both 'separate and related' to the above ones. [22]

Number of Info Ops

The MOD has indicated using Information Operations in war zones such as those mentioned below. When asked about domestic Information Operations in 2012, they subsequently responded refusing to indicate the number which had occurred or that were occurring.[23]

They also responded in February 2013 with a refusal to answer a request on Info Ops spending in the UK. [24] The extent of Info Ops expenditure in other peaceful territories is also unreleased.

The Network

Information Operations are deployed by members of NATO[25] as well as numerous other countries like Australia, India and Thailand.[26][27][28]

The Association of Old Crows (AOC) specializes in Electronic Warfare, Information Operations and Electromagnetic Operations. It is a multinational network spanning 19 countries with 64 chapters. It states itself as having founded in 1964 in the USA when a group of 'Strategic Air Command (SAC)' and 'Electronic Countermeasures (ECM)' officers met.[29]

The British chapter was founded in 1972.[30] It has a web presence at Ukaoc.org.

Structure

The TIO is a sub-division of the Security Policy and Operations (Sec Pol and Ops part of the MoD.) It is commanded by an Air Commodore and has a total of 24 military and 10 civil servant staff. It is made up of the three branches outlined below:

Targeting Branch

The Targeting Branch is responsible for policy advice on conventional and strategic targeting, Rules of Engagement (ROE) and Collateral Damage Estimation (CDE). The Branch produces Targeting Directives, staffs ROE profiles in support of operations and is also responsible for coordinating the MOD Targeting Board. The standard job description for the staff in this branch is:

Provide targeting advice and staff support to senior MOD staff and Ministers and to be responsible for the policy, planning and implementation of the MOD’s joint kinetic targeting and Battle Damage Assessment (BDA) process.

Information Operations Branch

The Information Operations (IO) branch is the MOD lead for the development of pan-governmental Information Strategies and provides policy advice and IO input to the Chief of the Defence Staff’s Directives to the Permanent Joint Headquarters. It also conducts strategic information operations and provides IO consultancy support to operational theatres. The staff have specific operational or regional responsibilities and the standard job description for the staff in this branch is:

Provide strategic direction for Information Operations (defined as all influence activity, including PsyOps) for Operations and other military activity in or associated with specific theatre of operations.

Policy and Capability Branch

The Policy and Capability Branch coordinates all aspects of concepts and policy for the Division. As lead user, it is responsible for coordinating capability development and training for Targeting and Information Operations. The standard job descriptions for staff in this branch are defined by the role of the member of staff (ie policy, capability development or training):

Policy - Directorate lead for staffing and implementing Info Ops and Influence Activity concepts, policy and doctrine.
Capability Development - Staff Info Ops “concepts to capabilities”, leading on applied concepts & doctrine, capability development as ‘Lead User’.
Training - Development and delivery of Info Ops training.

Activities

Wartime Role

Ministry of Defence Joint Doctrine Publication 3-00 (JDP3-00): Campaign Execution[31]details the role of Targeting and Information Operations during UK Military campaigns. The DTIO "formulates the Ministry of Defence contribution to the information strategy" of the campaign, which "provides a single coherent strategy to which all aspects of government must work...it encompasses both the management of information, in the form of themes and messages, and the specific actions to be conducted with the intention of promoting a desired message".
JDP3-00 is detailed about the role of the DTIO in operations, stating that:

Targeting and Information Operations (TIO) is the Ministry of Defence (MOD) department responsible for integrating strategic fires and influence activities’ policies towards achieving Joint Action. The role of TIO is to:
a. Provide specialist military advice to Ministers.
b. Provide target systems analysis in accordance with the Security Cooperation and Operations Group directive for contingency planning or conflict avoidance.
c. Develop and review the Chief of Defence Staff’s (CDS’) targeting directive in consultation with the Permanent Joint Headquarters (PJHQ) for specific operations.
d. Coordinate strategic input to operational influence activities and monitor implementation of strategic guidance for influence activities.
e. Develop and review MOD rules of engagement profiles for specific operations, in conjunction with MOD Central Legal Services and PJHQ.
f. Manage the process of Ministerial clearance for discrete operational matters regarding targeting of fires and influence activities.
g. Coordinate Defence Intelligence Staff support to the process of campaign effectiveness assessment. [32]

As well as responsibility for generating the "Master Target List" of military targets, Targeting and Informations Operations is responsible for "Influence Activities", which are described in JDP3-00:

Influence activities are an integral part of the strategic plan. The Cabinet Office endorses an Information Strategy for a given theatre or operation which directs Government departments to compile their own supporting implementation plans and report back to the appropriate Information Strategy Group. It seeks to encourage cross-Government engagement but does not contain the detail that the MOD would require to direct influence activities. MOD, through TIO, formulates the MOD contribution to the Information Strategy, which is then reflected in the Information Strategy at a Glance document, containing influence themes, objectives and identifying the target audiences.[33]

For a full description of the role of Information Operations in Campaign Execution, see JDP3-00

The TIO provides the MoD's link to:

a.the Defence Intelligence Service
b.national agencies
c.allies and other nations
d.the target systems analysis process [34]

Information Operations

Information Operations (info ops) has been described as:

Critical in undermining an adversary's determination to persist with his unacceptable course of action, as well as supporting the legitimacy for UK involvement. It is an integrating strategy not a discrete capability. It permeates every level and, to be fully effective, must be conducted at the strategic level over the long term as part of integrated UK foreign policy and diplomacy; it is not just switched on and off in response to individual crisis or over the life of a specific campaign. Comprising a range of techniques and tools, it is directed at a wide audience of groupings (hostile, friendly, neutral) involved in the crisis-inside the JOA, as well as a much wider global grouping of bystanders and spectators. [35]

Air Vice Marshall Mike Heath who was head of the DTIO during Operation Telic (The British Military's name for the 2003 invasion of Iraq) describes Information Operations thus:

The concept of Information Operations for the military is to garner cross government activity, not just military activity, to contribute towards influence and persuasion. I like to think of it as a continuum, that if you get it right it starts during pre war fighting where you are looking towards dissuasion and coercion; it continues into military operations; and, of course, it then wraps up and it is just as essential that you carry it through into post conflict restoration and reconstitution [36]

Information Operations should be understood as a crossgovernmental practice, for example the information campaign in Operation Telic was lead from the Cabinet Office, with the involvement of the Foreign Office, Home Office and Department for International Development.[37] The DTIO "provides strategic guidance on targeting and the cross-government information campaign, as well as advice to Ministers and the Chiefs of Staff" [38] and works on Information Operations with the Director General, Operational Policy - to form a mutually supporting role in the influence campaign with other groups involved in Media Operations.

Psychological Operations

Psychological Operations (Psyops) are "the tactical end of the strategic information operations whole"[39] and is seen as specifically military in nature as "it is specifically targeted by military means into target audiences" [40]. Psyops aim to influence the perceptions, attitudes and behaviour of selected individuals or groups in accordance with info ops theme this can be done through print, radio, television, loudspeakers transmitting messages, face to face through lectures or word of mouth though rumour or gossip, and through the use of the internet. [41] Air Vice Marshal Heath described psychological operations as:

...very much a part of Information Operations: its place really is at the tactical level...Psychological Operations, if you like, is the more public part of military activity. It is specifically military and I cannot say that about most of the rest of Information Operations—that is cross­government. It is specifically tactical, and it is specifically targeted by military means into target audiences, so I saw it as the end instrument of what we were crafting in London. [42]

In the UK Psyops capability is provided by 15 (UK) Psychological Operations Group who, in Iraq, were involved in actions such as setting up a coalition sponsored radio station in Basra - Radio Nahrain.[43]

Electronic Warfare and Directed Energy Weapons

The aforementioned Electronic Warfare Operational Support (EWOS) at RAF Waddington is part of the Defence Electronic Warfare Centre (DEWC) there.[44] In 2011 MASS (Cohort Plc) and SRC Inc were awarded the ongoing contract for Project Shepherd at DEWC. This included upgrading the Electronic Warfare database under Logica's systems integration.[45] The database is called Thurbon and it is described by MASS as a 'data management system' which deals with 'complex platform, sensor and weapon system data'.[46]

Having previously redacted a response for purchase information to MASS, the MOD later revealed that £7 million was spent to them in 2011/2012 exclusively for:

Provision of in service support to performance and effectiveness and targeting support.[47] [48]

Directed Energy Weapons used in Info Ops operate at frequencies which include radio (RF= 3 kHz to 300 GHz) and laser.[49] RF radiation can be targeted at people with impunity because it is invisible and can pass through walls.[50][51] In addition, the physical, physiological and psychological effects of such weapons have not been made known to the public. As such they would not consider it a potential cause of any malady, or other state/disturbance of the brain and body.

The specifications of such technology are unknown to the public also. But Page 56 of the American Air Force Research Laboratory Technology Milestones Volume 14 from 2011 states:

Emerging Directed Energy Weapons (DEWs) offer virtually instant fly-out time, stealth, precise targeting, agile re-targeting capability, operation unaffected by gravity, and lethal/less-lethal options.[52]

When asked to reveal the Directed Energy Weapon inventory which the MOD had access to in 2012, they responded by refusing to confirm or deny anything beyond six acoustic weapons.[53] They stated at review shortly later that the risk of revealing such information to foreign powers outweighed the importance of showing the potential scale for misuse.[54] At the MOD Defence Research exhibition in 2010, DEW's were detailed as a focus area for continued growth and development. In a presentation by MOD Defence Research Team Leader Dr Gina Lindsley, they were listed under 'Key Technologies'.[55][56] Guy Tomlinson (Centre for Defence Technology) presented DEW's as a 'priority/thrust' moving forward.[57] It was also stated that 'Joint Operations' had become the norm and that there was a 'networking' of 'integrated sensors, decision-makers and weapons systems'.[58]

The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) which has a history of working closely with Info Ops has a section dedicated to 'Cyber and Influence'. One of its remits includes researching uses of DEWs to influence people.[59][60] Despite the MOD stating the three categories of human effects, DSTL has claimed that it does not hold any information on the 'direct' effects of radiation and instead only holds generic information which is already in the public domain.[61][62]

Media Operations

Media Operations (Media Ops) aim to communicate messages and themes to audiences through national and international media. [63] Media Operations are affiliated to Information Operations, and both should be mutually supporting of each other. [64]

Information Campaign during Operation Telic

Operation Telic is the name given to British military operations undertaken in the invasion of Iraq. [65] During Operation Telic, the military, through the information campaign, aimed to influence the will of the Iraqi regime at the same time as influencing the attitudes of the ordinary Iraqi and to articulate the governments strategy to allies. [66] During his evidence to the Select Committee Air Vice Marshall Heath set out the objectives of the information campaign during Operation Telic as follows:

Initially, the key objective was to deter the deployment and use of weapons of mass destruction. It was to deter wilful damage to the Iraqi infrastructure either by the people or by the regime; it was to promote the coalition's aims and objectives in terms of deterrents, potential hostile action and the reconstitution that came afterwards. All three were equally important. It was to prevent or limit civilian casualties, predominantly through creating an understanding with the population that they were not the target group if we moved into conflict, and how they could remain relatively safe, and also to convey to military personnel how they could surrender and remain safe throughout the process once again if we went into conflict. Those, widely, are the grander, strategic concepts. [67]

There had been an information campaign of sorts directed at Iraq since the 1990s. But a full information campaign and info operations began in October 2002 with the American military dropping 120,00 leaflets warning Iraqi forces to not fire on US and UK aircraft and by January 13 2003 fourteen leaflet drops had been undertaken. The coalition's effort was to concentrate its information campaigns on a range of targets including; the regular Iraqi Army, ordinary citizens, religious leaders and scientists connected with the Weapon of Mass Destruction programmes, ahead of pillars of the Baath regime including the Republican Guard and the Special Republican Guard. The US also made use of the internet through an email campaign which target military and political leaders in Iraq. [68] Some of these messages included:

If you provide information on weapons of mass destruction or if you take steps to hamper their use, we will do whatever is necessary to protect you and protect your families. Failing to do that will lead to grave personal consequences. Iraqi chemical, biological and nuclear weapons violate Iraq's commitment to agreements and United Nations resolutions. Iraq has been isolated because of this behaviour. The United States and its allies want the Iraqi people to be liberated from Saddam's injustice and for Iraq to become a respected member of the international community. Iraq's future depends on you. [69]


Staff

In 2004 the the DTIO had a staff of 98, including "a psychiatrist, an anthropologist, and other specialist staff"; it also "has contacts with a variety of experts in the United Kingdom in universities and other institutions".[70] There is little information in the public domain about the DTIO, the following is a partial list of staff or affiliates with the year (or years) in which they are known to be involved with the DTIO.

Directors

Other Staff

Affiliations

  • DTIO used the American Information Operations firm the Rendon Group "to provide advice on information campaigns" - at least between 1999 and 2004 [87] Nick Davies reports in his book Flat Earth that in June 2006 John Rendon, members of the MoD and the American military, including members of the DTIO attended a secret two day conference on strategic communications. The Rendon group at the time was working for the British MoD and the Pentagon advising them on their ‘product’ and have been responsible for funding ‘pro-democracy’ groups in countries including Afghanistan, Iraq, and Iran. [88]
  • The Campbell Group has been attributed to proving skill to the DTIO through their use of a ‘at-a-glance’ guide to controlling media messages written by Alastair Campbell himself. [89]

Location

The Directorate of Targeting and Information Operations
Old War Office Building
Whitehall
London
SW1A 2EU [91]

Notes

  1. Select Committee on Defence, Second Report: Annex, Intelligence, Defence Committee Publications, Session 2000-2001, accessed 09/02/10
  2. Joint Warfare Publication, JWP 3-80, June 2002, Information Operations, Page 2-1, accessed 21/06/2013
  3. Joint Warfare Publication, JWP 3-80, June 2002, Information Operations, Page 3-4 , accessed 21/06/2013
  4. Joint Warfare Publication, JWP 3-80, June 2002, Information Operations, Page 3C-1 , accessed 21/06/2013
  5. Joint Warfare Publication, JWP 3-80, June 2002, Information Operations, Page 3-4 , accessed 21/06/2013
  6. CRS Report for Congress process, May 2003, NATO's decision making, Page 1 Background, accessed 21/06/2013
  7. Joint Warfare Publication, JWP 3-80, June 2002, Information Operations, Page 2-1 , accessed 21/06/2013
  8. Freedom of Information Response, Service Professionals on Target Lists, February 2013, FOI Response on Whatdotheyknow.com, Numbers of Intelligence, Police and Military on target lists, accessed 21/06/2013
  9. Guardian Article, July 2013, UK police accused of supplying target information for military 'kill list', Nick Hopkins, accessed 26/07/2013
  10. Joint Warfare Publication, JWP 3-80, June 2002, Information Operations,Page 2-6, accessed 21/06/2013
  11. Joint Warfare Publication, JWP 3-80, June 2002, Information Operations, Page 2A-1, accessed 21/06/2013
  12. Select Committee On Defence, Third Report: Information Operations, Defence Committee Publications, Session 2003-2004, accessed 09/02/10)
  13. Joint Warfare Publication, JWP 3-80, June 2002, Information Operations, Glossary, accessed 21/06/2013
  14. Joint Warfare Publication, JWP 3-80, June 2002, Information Operations, Annex 2A8, accessed 21/06/2013
  15. Freedom of Information Response, Effects of Microwave Weapons, October 2011, FOI Response on Whatdotheyknow.com, Biological Effects of Microwave Weapons, accessed 21/06/2013
  16. Air Warfare Centre Raf.Mod.uk RAF Waddington Air Warfare Centre, accessed 21/06/2013
  17. Bbc News Online, April 2013, FOI Armed Drones Operated from RAF base in UK, says MoD, accessed 21/06/2013
  18. Joint Warfare Publication, JWP 3-80, June 2002, Information Operations, Glossary 2, accessed 21/06/2013
  19. Joint Warfare Publication, JWP 3-80, June 2002, Information Operations, Page 3-3, accessed 21/06/2013
  20. Joint Warfare Publication, JWP 3-80, June 2002, Information Operations, Glossary 2, accessed 21/06/2013
  21. Joint Warfare Publication, JWP 3-80, June 2002, Information Operations, Page 3-4, accessed 21/06/2013
  22. Joint Warfare Publication, JWP 3-80, June 2002, Information Operations, Page 2-6, Tools, accessed 21/06/2013
  23. Freedom of Information Response, Info Ops in UK, February 2013, FOI Response on Whatdotheyknow.com, Numbers of Info Ops which have taken place and are taking place in the UK, accessed 21/06/2013
  24. Freedom of Information Response, Info Ops spending in UK, February 2013, FOI Response on Whatdotheyknow.com, Numbers of Info Ops which have taken place and are taking place in the UK, accessed 21/06/2013
  25. Freedom of Information Response, Operation types & changes, February 2013, FOI Response on Whatdotheyknow.com, Operation Types and Planned Changes to Terminology of Info Ops, Page 2, accessed 21/06/2013
  26. Air Power Australia, Air Power Australia, Australias independent defence think tank, accessed 21/06/2013
  27. Indian Army Info Ops Overview Pdf, 2008 An overview of Information Operations in the Indian Army by Sapan Kumar Chatterji , accessed 21/06/2013
  28. Royal Thai Armed Forces, National Defence Studies Institute, Royal Thai Armed Forces , accessed 21/06/2013
  29. AOC website Association of Old Crows History, accessed 21/06/2013
  30. UKAOC website UK Association of Old Crows History, accessed 21/06/2013
  31. Campaign Execution, JDP3-30, JDP3-30 (3rd Edition),October 2009, Development, Concepts and Doctrine Centre, accessed 10/02/10
  32. Campaign Execution, JDP3-30, JDP3-30 (3rd Edition),October 2009, Development, Concepts and Doctrine Centre, accessed 10/02/10
  33. Campaign Execution, JDP3-30, JDP3-30 (3rd Edition),October 2009, Development, Concepts and Doctrine Centre, accessed 10/02/10
  34. {http://ics.leeds.ac.uk/papers/pmt/exhibits/2270/jwp3_80.pdf Joint Warfare Publication, JWP 3-80] (June 2002, Information Operations accessed 02/03/2011)
  35. Joint Operations Execution, JWP 3-00 JWP3-00 (Second Edition, March 2004, Joint Operations Execution accessed 01/05/11)
  36. Select Committee On Defence, Third Report: Information Operations, Defence Committee Publications, Session 2003-2004, accessed 09/02/10)
  37. Select Committee On Defence, Third Report: Information Operations, Defence Committee Publications, Session 2003-2004, accessed 09/02/10)
  38. Select Committee On Defence, Third Report: Information Operations, Defence Committee Publications, Session 2003-2004, accessed 09/02/10)
  39. Select Committee On Defence, Third Report: Information Operations, Defence Committee Publications, Session 2003-2004, accessed 09/02/10)
  40. Select Committee On Defence, Third Report: Information Operations, Defence Committee Publications, Session 2003-2004, accessed 09/02/10)
  41. Joint Warfare Publication, JWP 3-80, June 2002, Information Operations, accessed 20/04/2011
  42. Select Committee On Defence, Third Report: Information Operations, Defence Committee Publications, Session 2003-2004, accessed 20/04/2011)
  43. Select Committee On Defence, Third Report: Information Operations, Defence Committee Publications, Session 2003-2004, accessed 09/02/10)
  44. Air Warfare Centre Raf.Mod.uk RAF Waddington Air Warfare Centre, accessed 22/06/2013
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  60. DSTL Call for Defence Enterprise 2010,Entry for DSTL Call for proposals 2010, Page 3 Directed Energy Weapons, accessed 22/06/2013
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