“Information as warfare” demands operational commanders to employ intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance to dominate the information realm even as they direct combat actions, according to the Navy’s senior intelligence officer.
Vice Adm. David J. “Jack” Dorsett, the director of naval intelligence and deputy chief of naval operations for information dominance, spoke Wednesday to defense writers about what he called a shift from an Industrial Age military force to an Information Age force.
Managing data and making sense of the information is one of the largest challenges for the organization, the admiral said. Part of the job dealing with information dominance is looking at information from one end to the other: from sensors to networks to transport to exploitation dissemination, he added.
The Navy is working with agencies such as the National Security Agency on its cloud-computing initiatives, its cyber pilot initiatives and how to manage information, Dorsett added. Effectively processing intelligence imagery requires combining automated tools with skilled human analysis, he noted.
Historically, the U.S. military has emphasized combat power over intelligence activities, Dorsett said.
“I think you see, with the Department of Defense and the creation of [U.S.] Cyber Command, the recognition by the secretary of defense and the seniors within the department that the nonkinetic, the cyber, the information side of the house is really critical,” he said. “You need a combatant commander that is dealing in that arena as his primary mission area.”
While ops-intel integration was the 2000-2010 era improvement made in joint war-fighting, Dorsett said for 2010-2020, it needs to be an elevation of nonkinetic information capabilities.
The Navy has integrated intelligence and surveillance capabilities, electronic warfare, cyber, networks, oceanography and meteorology to break down barriers in warfighting, he said.
“Out of balance? We have been,” Dorsett said. “I think . . . DoD is taking a variety of steps to make improvements in this non-kinetic, information side of the house.”