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Information Warfare: The Lost Tradecraft

By Dr. Howard Gambrill Clark, Ph.D.

Edited by Dr. Ajit Maan, Ph.D.; Paul Cobaugh; and Emma Moore

Published by Narrative Strategies, LLC

Narrative Strategies comprises a coalition of scholars and military professionals involved in the non-kinetic aspects of counter-terrorism, defeating violent extremism, irregular warfare, large-scale conflict mediation, and peace-building.

The views expressed in this publication are the author’s alone. They do not represent the views of Narrative Strategies, LLC or its editors. The views and findings do not imply endorsement by any government or private entity. Nothing in this book represents the views of any government or government-affiliated organization, private corporation, university, college, school, institution, or other entity foreign or domestic, private or public.

Copyright 2017 by Howard Gambrill Clark, Ph.D. and Narrative Strategies, LLC

All rights reserved.

No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying or recording, or by any information storage or retrieval system without prior written permission from the publisher.

U.S. Library of Congress U.S. Copyright Office registration number: TXu 2-036-751

Clark Ph.D., Howard Gambrill, 1978-

Includes bibliographical references.

ISBN-13: 978-0-692-96822-2

1. Cyberwarfare 2. Cybersecurity. 3. Influence. 4. Narrative. 5. Counterterrorism. 6 Guerrilla Warfare.

In memory of...

Captain John W. Maloney (U.S. Marine Corps), Lieutenant General William E. Odom (U.S. Army), Professor H. Bradford Westerfield, Watkins R. Reckless

A special thanks to…

Dr. Ajit Maan, Ph.D., Paul Cobaugh, the Narrative Strategies team, The Honorable Charles E. Allen, Master Sergeant Jason Dale Epperson (U.S. Air Force, Retired)

Table of Contents


Intended Audiences

How to Use This Book

A Note on Style and Structure

Chapter 1 – The Foundation of Civilization

1.1 Shared Narrative

1.2 Limits of Violence

1.3 When State Narratives Fail

1.4 Information as an Instrument of State Power

1.5 Information Strategy

Chapter 2 – Strategic Intelligence

2.1 Information / Data

2.2 Intelligence

2.3 Foci

2.4 Estimative Probability

2.5 Center of Gravity / Critical Vulnerability

2.6 Future Adversary Courses of Action

2.7 High Value Target

2.8 Intelligence Cycle

2.9 Espionage

2.10 On Interrogation

2.11 Other Collection Terms

2.12 Other Helpful Terms

2.13 Red Teams

2.14 Analytic Techniques

2.15 Writing / Briefing Intelligence

2.16 Information / Intelligence Sharing

2.17 Final Thought—Mitigating Risk

Chapter 3 – Narrative

3.1 Defining Narrative

3.2 Effective Narratives for Statecraft

3.3 Transcendence

3.4 Platform Mastery

3.5 Viral Amplification

3.6 The Power of the Unexpected

3.7 Analyzing Narratives

3.8 Uses of Narrative Analysis

3.9 Narrative Structure

Chapter 4 – Strategic Influence

4.1 Hybrid Warfare

4.2 Political Warfare

4.3 Commitment in Strategic Influence

4.4 Why Choose Strategic Influence?

4.5 What Influence is Not

4.6 Consonance Theory

4.7 Resonance Theory

4.8 Will

4.9 Potency

4.10 Audiences of Strategic Influence

4.11 Checkmate and Fear

4.12 On Subversion

4.13 On Propaganda

4.14 Strategic Deception

4.15 Military Deception

4.16 Institutional Sabotage

4.17 Szalámitaktika (exacerbating adversary schisms)

4.18 Success

4.19 Unpredictability

4.20 Wildly Changing Strategies

4.21 Do Exactly What You Say

4.22 The Exhaustion of Victory

4.23 Unconventional Warfare

4.24 Foreign Internal Defense

4.25 Guerrilla Warfare

4.26 Security Force Assistance

4.27 Narcotics Trade

4.28 Water and Food

4.29 Private Investment

4.30 Foreign Political Campaigns

4.31 Kompromat (compromise)

4.32 Confusion

4.33 Glasnost (openness)

4.34 First and Flood

4.35 Mirror Enemy Misassumptions

4.36 Dietrologia (conspiracy)

4.37 Leadership and Group Demobilization

4.38 Keep Enemy Leaders Alive and in Place

4.39 Bait War

4.40 Do Nothing

4.41 Visa Programs

4.42 Do Not Muddy the Waters

4.43 Wrath

Chapter 5 – Cyberwarfare and Cybersecurity

5.1 Data Collection, Fusion, Transmission, and Storage

5.2 Cybersecurity

5.3 Recommended Approaches to Cybersecurity

5.4 On Artificial Intelligence

Annex – Thoughts from Information Warriors

Author Biography


This book is a primer for the statesman, strategist, citizen, soldier, student, and civil activist.

- Offers a fully realized method to study / teach information warfare at the strategic level from the perspective of security.

- Introduces the inception of information warfare 70 millennia ago and surveys 26 centuries of claimed best practices.

- Posits that information warfare was the foundation for civilization—predating armies and states—and remains the center of power and strategy writ large.

- Concludes that the invisible hand of influence ‘wins’ conflicts before they begin and has the potential to defeat current adversaries through methods unseen.

- Proposes revolutionary theories.

- Draws from literature in the social sciences, humanities, fine arts, and neuroscience; historical examples and observations; and personal experience.

Intended Audiences

- Military academies, schools, colleges, universities, and libraries worldwide. It may inform curricula, be a prerequisite for courses on cyber and information warfare and security, or be used as a text book. In this way, the endnotes can inform learner and teacher alike to dive deeper into specific areas of interest.

- Military and law-enforcement professionals.

- Universities and colleges that focus on strategy, business, security and/or peace studies.

- Intelligence communities.

- Counterterrorism communities.

- Political and social campaigns worldwide.

- Advocacy groups.

- Non-governmental organizations.

- Communications / marketing / branding professionals.

- Concerned citizens and general public.

How to Use This Book

This book is a primer. It is meant as a fully realized introduction to information strategy in the security realm.

For governments, campaigns, and movements, this book is a guide to action—explaining the ways and means of executing an information strategy in practical detail.

For interested readers, the book offers historical accounts and theories that will challenge the way we view the world. How we see ourselves. How we view opportunities, threats, and challenges that are subtle but nonetheless potent: the unseen ‘swords’ and unheard ‘bullets’ that influence the world and our communities. And how we can better think critically, insurgently, and asymmetrically to overcome challenges in our own lives—personal and professional.

For seasoned professionals, its value is threefold. First, it may introduce and connect distinct sub-disciplines to provide a grander strategic picture of your profession beyond your immediate duties. A student or practitioner of psychological warfare may benefit from learning more about intelligence. And an intelligence officer may benefit by learning more about analyzing narratives. Second, it may condense and explain the very industry in which you operate—a short-hand to use to communicate what you do to non-experts. Third, the book introduces new theories and analyses that may spur thought, discussion, and action in your field.

The book is simultaneously a reference guide—something to keep on your desk to define and explain certain terms and phenomena as they pop up in your life and work. In this way, the table of contents will be helpful. Although there is value in reading the book from start to end—as each section builds on the previous—it has been designed to also be read out of order without losing too much meaning.

For concerned citizens and students, this is a guide to understand information warfare that takes into account numerous opposing views. The endnotes provide an array of literature and articles in the humanities, social sciences, neurobiology, and fine arts for further investigation and research.

For teachers, trainers, and managers, this book offers a logical and pragmatic way to impart the study of information warfare.

A Note on Style and Structure

The style and structure have one thing in mind: the reader. I have attempted to summarize concepts into a staccato-like flow without unnecessary flourishes—perhaps a literary critic’s nightmare.

Some concepts (especially in the “Strategic Intelligence” chapter) are simply introduced while others are more fully developed. The structure is uneven. This is purposeful. The reason for this is that some phenomena are hotly debated while others are relatively straightforward. And some phenomena are more confusing and commonly misunderstood than others.

The simple, direct approach (aside from the first chapter, which summarizes millennia of historical lessons) intends to explain and simplify without losing meaning. The style is also designed to save the reader time.


Information—when given meaning and purpose in the form of narrative—transformed life on earth.

Narrative is the foundation of civilization.

Narrative became the bedrock of trust, social cohesion, governance, identity, law, trade, warfare, and security.

Information warfare predates militaries and states. Leaders competed to adopt masterful narratives and protect the self-evident nature of said stories to try to win over willing populations—to unify masses and deploy them martially. ‘Winning’ civilization creation myths, whether based in history or not, along with shared narratives of threats, would allow leaders to unite large communities to function and go to war. The leaders that could deliver a more compelling ‘why,’ could perhaps win people to their ideas of governance and legitimacy.

Today winning over or disillusioning populations through information strategies is still an overshadowing vanguard of international politics and warfare. By the armistice of the First World War observers noted “…information warfare was a powerful weapon—it could raise armies, incite violent mobs, and destabilize whole nations.”1 And more recently the Russian Chief of the General Staff wrote in 2013, “The role of non-military means of achieving political and strategic goals…in many case have exceeded the power of force of weapons in their effectiveness…”2

This is not new. Information warfare and its centrality to strategy is not a new concept. It was never enough for someone to be physically strong or savvier at throwing a spear to mobilize a citizenry.

Many studies of early humans assert that the ability to communicate abstract stories—not tools, weapons, medicine,3 physical strength, fire, or early spoken language by itself—about today and the future4 allowed Homo sapiens to cause the extinction of stronger larger-brained cousin species throughout the world and then reach the top of the food chain.5

A ‘cognitive revolution’ occurred 70,000 years ago, long after early spoken languages and controlled daily use of fire. Some mark this as the ‘dawn of human history.’6

Humans were eventually even drawing creative abstract designs from 40,000 to 10,000 years ago so that a narrative could be “transmitted and preserved beyond a single moment and place in time”7—likely so that people could memorize, copy, and reach the span of a continent.8

This biological turn not only allowed people to create fictive stories but also propelled Homo sapiens to consume imagined narratives voraciously. Human brains are hardwired to hear, enjoy, and remember narratives—and to be persuaded and motivated by them.

Our brains are well equipped to consume a 'good' story. Good stories typically incorporate one or more winning features such as surprise, suspense, or strong emotional valence. These not only enhance entertainment value, but they also rapidly engage our neurobiology to make stories more memorable—allowing learning writ large as well as sustainable understanding of a society's foundational principles. A few notable neurobiological actors engaged through narrative include:9

- Oxytocin, a neuromodulator and hormone, may be released in response to identifiable characters, and result in increased trust and empathy on the part of the story’s audience.10

Oxytocin may also boost a listener’s sense of belonging with a group (us) against an outside threat (them).11

- Norepinephrine, a stress-activated neuromodulator and hormone, may be released upon hearing or reading a riveting story. Norepinephrine elevates vigilance and can enhance memory. This may at once make audiences more viscerally invested and better suited to remember.12

- Dopamine, a neuromodulator, signals discrepancy between what is expected and what actually occurs. If a story has a surprising twist, we experience a certain 'high' and, in the future, are better able to recall this story than a dull, predictable version.13

One might say that people are biologically tuned to devour some types of compelling stories; or that human biology dictates the criteria for what makes a story compelling. A ‘good’ story is able to lastingly influence the way we feel and think. One can go so far as to assert that, “we’re all born storytellers. It’s part of our species.”14 Or even that “[s]torytelling is not something we do. Storytelling is who we are.”15

The period between the cognitive revolution and then agricultural, industrial, scientific, and digital revolutions appeared not to have allowed humans to evolve intellectually to directly rule and directly socialize beyond the numbers that comprise a typical small clan (about 120).16 Thus narratives to create and sustain social constructs remain important.

There is no biological ability in humans to directly rule over or directly coordinate with large numbers of people.

It is narratives that allow us to cooperate in the tens of millions.

1.1 Shared Narratives

‘Imagined realities’ and ‘national mythologies’ fueled shared psychological orders allowing many strangers to form social constructs.

Of special note is the ability to collectively plan for and have shared faith in a future—people may stay, unify, and invest in large communities providing safety, opportunity, and meaning tomorrow and next year as today.17 In fact a human is unique for her “brain’s ‘default’ circuit, which is to imagine the future…”18 and communally imagine that a construct will be there tomorrow. And people may have faith in a social construct because others have faith today as in the future of this imagined reality.19

Shared narrative-driven realities—allowing many people to believe in intangible ideas like nation, state, money, law, and order—allowed the first chiefdoms around 7,500 years ago, first kingdoms 5,000 years ago, and the first empire 4,250 years ago.20

Shared abstract realities enable today’s states, international systems and bodies as well as trade, law, diplomacy, and security. These principles exist only in the imagination. Nature, by itself, provides no physical precedent for statecraft.21 Even equality, liberty, freedom, and human rights are invented or realized by abstract narrative. To boot, many government narratives even brand themselves on the idea that an order exists not of this world—communities claimed a Holy Roman Empire in Europe through the Middle Ages, and current U.S. coins call upon a higher power of trust.22

Even in totalitarian states, governments place a premium on narrative. These governments require a critical mass of supporters even if they repress, through force, the majority of citizens. Hitler and Stalin would unlikely have survived politically if they lost support of a critical mass that buoyed them through upheavals, rebellions, resistance, and intra and inter-party conflicts. According to historian Hannah Arendt, “Nor can their popularity be attributed to the victory of masterful and lying propaganda over ignorance and stupidity.”23 Totalitarians must engender acceptable shared fictive constructs of some supporters as a prerequisite to achieving and maintaining power.24

On the other end of the spectrum, societies that sell themselves as ‘liberal democracies’ or ‘republics’ may claim to bask in open dialogue—where the value and protection of the discourse itself is a driving shared narrative that allows an invested social construct.25 Debates over seeming paradoxes between liberty and security, enlightenment and traditional religious values, economic equality and ideals of capitalism, conservation and industry, and ideology and humanity, for example, reign supreme as foundational values. The importance and protection of the intellectual struggle becomes the shared narrative.

When civilizations meet, the assumed shared truths of one society can have dire consequences on another. They may each believe that their particular assumptions of world and human order is correct. As renowned philosopher Jason Stanley explains with regards to British colonization:

The moral of colonialism is that it is much harder to make ‘objective’ decisions on behalf of others even for the sake of their own good. Even those British colonialists who were sincere and well-meaning found it impossible to distinguish between genuinely liberal values, their own local cultural practice, and naked self-interest.26

Narrative-driven social constructs can be so powerful that people will impose their own ideas on others under the assumption that a certain ideal is ‘self-evident’ and thus universal. And at times each side uses the same ideal (or at least the same title of an ideal) from differing perspectives. And at times, civilizations have held deep-rooted narratives that their ideology must conquer the world and all ‘ignorant’ people living in ‘darkness.’

Leaders in the past and present have even used the hard sciences, humanities, and social sciences (especially, in some cases, economic theories and statistics) to justify or bolster their shared narratives. Some have used such ‘evidence-based’ assumptions, misassumptions, and embellished assumptions (especially from cherry-picked ‘facts,’ clumsy and shallow conclusions from partial data, use of hack charlatan ‘expert’ interpretations, and theories and findings that were later scuttled in favor of new scientific understandings) to generate shared identity and from this policy and strategy. Extreme are the cases of fascist manipulation of intentionally misinterpreted knowledge and subsequent popular unreasoned ignorance regarding racial supremacy. A bit more common are statistical misrepresentations and sometimes misunderstanding and consequent over-confidence in such data to justify policy.27 And still more common today, perhaps, are national identities and subsequent policies that hinge on evidence that may very well be updated, amended, or rendered obsolete in the future. And even theories anchored in logic and evidence from peer-reviewed published basic research may very well be viewed through the biased prisms of leaders: “…history shows that even the well-meaning are likely to conflate the products of genuine scientific expertise with the imposition of their own subjective values.”28

Whatever the process or moral justification, strategic leaders go to great lengths to create, disseminate, and protect shared narratives to keep a society alive, united, and safe.

While biological order in nature may indeed be relatively stable, “…an imagined order is always in danger of collapse, because it depends upon myths, and myths vanish once people stop believing in them. In order to safeguard an imagined order, continuous, diligent, and conscious efforts are imperative.”29

Those that lead are always vulnerable to ruptures in societal cohesion if citizens stop believing in the shared imagined order. A rupture may result from underlying values of norms and laws weakening over time, or a revolution or invasion may offer a different notion of legitimacy. In such cases the very idea of legitimacy is under attack by a rival social construct. Examples may include: the Westphalian system of states non-European countries were forced to or elected to adopt; the spread of Islam in its first centuries collapsed previously held societal narratives; and some communist revolutionaries in China, Vietnam, and Cuba were able to not only martially defeat enemies but also, at least in part perhaps, countered (and attempted to collapse) the popular foundational ideas previously held in those countries. Today many violent extremists pose an existential threat, in the minds of some governments, to the concepts that underline governance and law—these groups wish to end the Westphalian system and disregard human rights and individualism. Even as these radicals fail, they still try to eat away at liberal principles. As Henry Kissinger asserts, “Those under assault are challenged to defend…the basic assumptions of their way of life, their moral right to exist and to act in a manner that, until the challenge, had been treated as beyond question.”30

Strategic leaders in all fields then must take meticulous care to build and protect narratives that are the basis for all tools of statecraft. From the youngest of ages, unnatural cultural instincts are learned. And education systems, rituals, rites, celebrations, holidays, symbols, laws, norms, community pressure, and security forces protect invented realities and the assumption of their immutable and manifestly unassailable nature.

When done well, information strategies may ensure an accommodating population. Successful information strategies affect the neurobiology of each citizen. Recent research suggests that foundational stories shape how we see and sense the world around us. Although the brain receives signals from the world around us (such as through seeing and hearing), the brain does not do so in a vacuum. Instead, the brain actively and predictively generates guesses to make sense of the world around.31 And these guesses are often predicated by “prior expectations”32 that may perhaps be grounded in foundational narratives about life and how the world works. Brains “actively generate the world.”33 “Your brain hallucinates your conscious reality”34 based on personal foundational understandings of life and society. If your foundational narratives—taught, learned, observed, and copied from a young age in society and within you family—view each human being as having equal value, your brain may be more apt to view each person that you see and with whom you converse as an equal soul. If your foundational narratives teach that a particular ethnic group has a lesser value than you, your brain may be more apt to view each person of that ethnicity as inherently inferior to you each time you come upon a human being from that ethnic community. To you this inequality may feel visceral, instinctive, and obvious independent of new information. Over time, some people can reprogram their assumptions.

Furthermore, when one internalizes a shared cognitive construct deeply enough, the person may reject (or even be repulsed by) intellectual assaults that contradict the basic assumptions of the communal narrative. A brain may act similarly to an intellectual attack on a person’s foundational principles as it does to a physical attack. The same fight-or-flight adrenalin kicks in from cognitive and violent attacks alike. This is one reason why some people seem to redouble their beliefs in the face of unsubtle undiplomatic arguments based in seeming evidence. People sometimes outright assault a person for questioning beliefs near and dear. At the very least ‘winning’ shared narratives (when one is indoctrinated to see the world in a particular way) are often only usurped with difficulty, care, and time.

One example of a sometimes ‘winning’ narrative is belief in money. Today, over ninety percent (perhaps as much as ninety-six percent35) of money exists not in grain, dates, cattle, gold, coins, or dollar bills. This financial abstraction exists as electronic data that assume people are openly willing to cooperate within a trusted system. This trust begins and ends with a social narrative of political order and law. Money is valuable because other people believe money is valuable—and these others believe money is valuable because of political orders and laws based off cognitive creations.36 Economies writ large then are built largely on credit—that is to say trust in the future efficacy of institutions to be resilient and robust in the years to come.37

1.2 Limits of Violence

Many define power as some mixture of the physical and psychological.

However even behind the physical aspects of power are psychological constructs. Such imagined realities—accepted by masses as seemingly objectively ‘true’—are necessary to materialize and mobilize hard power.

Physical strength is rarely the foundation of power. Most political leaders today are not mixed martial arts champions. Most drug trafficking organization leaders are not the quickest to draw a pistol. Instead founders and leaders create, deploy, and protect shared psychological constructs—sold as ‘truth’—that allow the necessary mass cooperation to build militaries and win wars. “Those who have mastered the skill of storytelling can have an outsized influence over others.”38

Even for Hitler, extreme violence, genocide, the holocaust, and invasions began, first, with an accepted fictive narrative that laid the foundation for a shared societal construct on which the armies of violence stood. As Austrian-born economist Ludwig Heinrich Edler von Mises observed:

Hitler and his clique conquered Germany by brutal violence. By murder and crime. But the doctrines of Nazism had got hold of the German mind long before then. Persuasion, not violence, had converted the immense majority of the nation to the tenets of militant nationalism.

For those strategists and scholars who focus primarily on physical strength it would be well worthwhile also to remember that wars are rarely two mercenary armies battling it out in the open. War is not some street fist fight between two strangers with nothing to lose or gain. Instead two or more sides fight and die for entities whose foundations are shared narratives. And careful coordination, communication, and intelligence are necessary even for a battle between two opposing fire teams (typically four-man infantry units).

There is another level of narrative that scholars too often glean over. As much as scholars assert that capitalist markets and strong governments are the mothers of individualism, states must create and propagate the most illiberal narratives in order to exist and persist. Scholars of multiple disciplines suppose that capable state institutions allow a person to marry whom he wishes, live where he wishes, and work where he wishes without the authorization and protection of the clan (although clans are still strong in many modern societies as will be discussed). No longer does a person fear exile by not going along with the common good of a clan, so the thinking goes. However, for states, free markets, trade routes, and liberalism writ large, there must first and foremost be the existence of a narrative that attempts to strip any sense of individualism or liberal rights from a person. Here I am writing about the narratives of security apparatus.

A military, to be effective, puts the state and army before self. And to join up, protect the state, kill, conduct the most unnatural acts, and die, security narratives must transcend the self. There must be a higher calling—a narrative for which to kill and die. A paycheck and health insurance for a soldier will never protect a nation. The promise of job training and travel will never win a battle. And forced conscription, by itself, will unlikely win a war easily. Slave armies and mercenary militaries have shown checkered strategic results at best.

When someone receives a paycheck, he may make himself believe that he is working for the money. When someone volunteers (or works for reasonable minimal compensation), he may be more apt to find the work inherently valuable and inspirational to rationalize his actions. This ‘over justification’ theory show volunteers working harder than those offered money. A narrative-driven true believer may perhaps be more dedicated than a ‘hero for hire.’

The battle of Stalingrad saw at least some believing Russian officers force untrained conscripts forward and attempts to rouse tribe-like instincts of brotherhood and nationalism. Even the union army of the American Civil War saw its volunteers and truly indoctrinated believers do most of the killing compared to those forced into uniform with little indoctrination. And on the other end of the spectrum of ideologically ready soldiers, Japanese kamikaze pilots and Tamil Tiger suicide bombers (self-proclaimed true believers not in it for the money) were very often all too ready to die for their ideology.

Organizations and states that fail to promote illiberal narratives in their security ranks do so to their own peril. For example, the anarchists of the 1936-1939 Spanish Civil War, fighting alongside other factions against the fascist regime, believed that no man could order another to do anything. While this may sound nice perhaps within a certain community of civilians in peacetime, the principle may have added to the ineffectiveness of the anarchist efforts during that war. An effective security apparatus demands people executing legal and moral orders under every condition immediately and with prejudice. Victory or death are the only options.

1.3 When State Narratives Fail

When narratives fail to uphold an imagined societal construct—that has allowed kingdoms, empires, and states to prosper—some populations may revert back to clan or clan-like identities. Imagined communities unified by abstract stories that allow millions of strangers to share similar outlooks and beliefs give way to narratives that bind natural communities in which people know one another.

This may sound preposterous to some: to those who believe the world is bound towards a global community, or to those realists who believe that governments do or should monopolize violence within their borders. Or to those that feel liberalism and protection of the individual are paths humanity must walk to distance itself from a clan-first phenomena, or to those that fear for the exiled individual from a tribe forces to fend for himself in the wilderness or to live a life of servitude to another clan.

But when states collapse, fail, weaken, or purposefully allow subnational entities relative self-determination, tribalism emerges. Even within a government, institution-heavy state system, or global community, clan-ism sometimes lies underneath and weaves within governance systems in a number of ways.

And these pre-kingdom / empire / state societies wield narratives and constructs to bind a more modest number of people. When studying weak states or civil society in general, one must necessarily then study the narratives that drive and allow subnational systems.

There are a number of differences and similarities between a clan society and contract society (‘rule of law’ and ‘protection of the individual’).39

Clans, here, refer to subnational groups in the broadest sense: bloodline, geographic, and/or fictitious cohesion and may perhaps cover many various identities with ebbs and flows of strength.

Clan narratives defined much of mankind outside ancient empires, and most of the world until the ‘dawn of history.’

And clan-ism describes underlying drivers of some individuals and communities throughout the world today below the level of and sometimes across formal states. It is, after all, possible for someone to have layers of identity—as citizen to a state, as a religious devotee, and as an active member of a tribal community.

Even today it is important to understand the vestiges of the driving narratives of the ‘rule of the clan.’ According to Professor Jared Diamond:

billions of people today still live in partly traditional ways…Embedded even within modern industrial societies are realms where many traditional mechanisms still operate…many disputes are still resolved by traditional informal mechanisms rather than by going to court.

Some scholars argue that clan-like behavior can be found prominently in the ganglands of East Los Angeles; Indian megacities; Ozark and Appalachian mountains; mafia-influenced parts of Sicily; collectivist agricultural societies (that put the group before self and rely on cooperation); pastoral societies such as Andes’ Aymara, Arabia’s Bedu, North Africa’s Tuareg, and northern Scandinavia’s Sami;40 and the and islands, jungles, deserts, mountains, valleys and other rural environments on six continents. The behavior can also be found throughout governments and militaries.

The following are just a few examples of clan and clan-ism existing within and/or across state lines:

Some governments, even today, find it logistically difficult if not impossible to govern and secure completely their countries. Transportation challenges alone may compel states to allow a marriage of traditional local-rural governance and security and state apparatus.

Some state heads find it difficult if not impossible to encourage tribal systems of clan-like communities to surrender their authority and ideals of stability. The local backlash at forced federal incursion (such as family law and local police) may not be worth the effort.

- For example, despot Saddam Hussein formally reached out to tribal and sub-tribal leaders following the post-Gulf-War 1991 uprising. After over a decade of attempting to erase tribalism as -antithetical to modernity, nationalism, and absolute control, Saddam saw his government come inches from demise—so much so that some U.S. intelligence reports at the time predicted his likely ouster. He then swiftly transformed his philosophy and governing systems to rely on tribes and clans throughout Iraq to maintain security, day-to-day rule of law, and border patrol—much as Ottomans did from the cities of Basra, Baghdad, and Mosul. Meticulous ledgers spelled out monthly pay-offs, deals, projects such as schools, and other incentives to create a power share not unlike the way the British-backed monarch ruled in the early days of Iraq post World War One. Saddam went beyond just paying off claimed bloodline clan elders and communicated with and empowered those within the tribes the held the most power and sway even if that person was not considered a traditional leader.

- Other examples include times when governments in Kabul felt they needed to shore up power in times of crisis and war. During these times, they relied on the complicated tribal networks residing in the majority of mountainous and desert geography. These clan systems, if allowed a semblance of independence could bury empire after empire, invader after invader.41 Although historians have disagreed in time memoriam about the efficacy of tribal power in Pashtun lands, they have continued to be the identity to which most rural civilians relate in times of turmoil.42 Empire after empire and Kabul power after Kabul power that attempted to ignore or dismantle rural tribal systems failed.43 When powers chose to work by, with, and through the tribes under the twentieth-century Musahibin dynasty (1929-1978), for example, there was a power sharing system in which tribes would not overtake Kabul, major throughways, and significant municipalities in return for keeping the rural areas relatively and autonomously secure. The tribal systems were worthy adversaries against the Brits and Russians, for example.44

- When such governments need to increase tax revenue or build a larger army for an emergency, they may do so by communicating with and through village, neighborhood, or tribal leaders. They may also appoint traditional recognized influencers from regions to government posts to help implement policies.

At the state-level, clans and informal groups may be important to the constituencies of political leaders from the Philippine islands to rural Afghanistan to western Iraq to mountainous and inner-city areas of the United States to the jungles of South America to the megacities of Western Africa and the Asian subcontinent.

There are also hybrid states where there exists both clan society and emphasis on legal protection of the individual—sometimes both written directly into law.

Clan identities become important in understanding weak central government institutions such as with Mexico and Guatemala’s many drug trafficking organizations (cartels) strongly governing swaths of territory and southern Somalia’s many warring bloodline clans, extremists, and criminal organizations.

When states fail, the clan may become the most important governance, security, and development structure. Even in countries like Iraq and Afghanistan as the strength of clan-ism rises and falls throughout history, people tend to go back to their tribal composition during times of failed central government and crises.

State-run armies often fight alongside irregulars. And many guerrillas in some areas of the world act as natural or synthetic clans. At times these citizen fighters are more than a force multiplier for a state. Sometimes they are key to the fight. As a Napoleon field marshal noted of the Spanish guerrillas that fought alongside the military, “[They] defended the country in a far more effective manner than the regular war carried on by disciplined armies.”45

As both the British and Russians recorded during their wars in Afghanistan, the complexity of clan systems—both the changing allegiances of tribal confederations and the starkly different fighting styles and narratives from village to village—drowned powerful militaries. These outsiders were facing thousands of enemies of different compositions, motivations, and identities.

During regional and international negotiations it is important to understand ‘tribal’ impulses (even those that are heads of states and multinational corporations) that may drive some people more towards a clan society mentality such as holding honor as more important than some standard lawful diplomatic norm. “Grasping this impulse and appreciating the range of forms it takes are vital to solving a surprisingly long list of foreign-policy challenges,” as acclaimed professor of law Mark S. Weiner notes.

- An example of clan-like restorative justice was the Saville inquiry into the Bogside Massacre. In 1972, British troops shot into a crowd of protesters in Londonderry, Ireland killing 13 Irish civilians.

An initial British report exonerated the troops claiming some of the dead may have had connections to the Irish Republican Army.

According to Irish leaders, the victims were innocent peaceful protesters.

Over the years independent studies found that there may have been a very few IRA members wielding guns among the peaceful protesters—possibly seen by the British troops. And historically there had been violent attack against British soldiers leading troops to extreme measures—not excusing their actions but perhaps partially explaining them.

Then in 1998 the UK prime minister began a fresh inquiry. Twelve years later Lord Saville delivered his report that exonerated all victims and put all blame on the soldiers.

Without delay the prime minister accepted the findings absolutely calling the murders “unjustified and unjustifiable.” He published the findings and announced them to the House of Commons immediately.

Irish nationalists and republicans appeared moved and pleased with the report’s clear conclusions. Protestant leaders met with family victims shortly after for memorial services.

This was an example of clan-like restorative justice. No soldiers were prosecuted. No one was imprisoned. Instead, sincere apologies, public respect, and dignity offered to the families of the fallen seemed to have mended (perhaps not completely) fences between all parties.46

Clans may make up the composition of revolutions and anti-colonial resistance. Some extremist groups like the Afghan Taliban have been known, for example, to ally with and embed into those clans that feel politically disenfranchised perhaps, through a certain lens, turning a sort-of civil war into a larger battle between tribes.

Sometimes clan-society-type values at the national level will supersede the greater good just as financial institutions in the European Union have feuded to the detriment of their own countrymen. Occasionally populism leads to clan-like ideals, or a leader appoints his own personal ‘clan’ or family to positions of power.

Those military units with the most strategic missions may be considered clan-like. The Marines (breachers disallowed and unable to retreat or give up under any circumstances for any reason), Special Operations Forces (who conduct strategic-level surgical missions or long-term security-force-assistance missions purposefully embedding in an enemy-heavy area essentially surrounding themselves with adversaries), along with raiders, reconnaissance units, rangers, hostage rescue teams, downed pilot recovery cells, anti-terrorism teams, and their equivalents of the world throughout history may be small enough—or broken into small enough teams—to directly know one another with an unparalleled warrior ethos perhaps stronger than that of a regular conscripted army. They are synthetic tribes of the strongest nature with transcendent narratives that propel them to continually surpass normal expectations of the human body and mind. They strive to live up to their shared history, shared values, and one another. Not completing the mission is not just a military transgression but an act of shame that disgraces the unit and service writ large.

Some national and community narratives include the tribe-like threats of shame if an individual fails to follow rules and norms. Shame, “…the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefor unworthy of love and belonging,”47 can drive people towards feelings of isolation. And isolation is more than some existential crisis. Isolation and loneliness, that perhaps an ex-convict or someone shunned by a church feels, is a health hazard.48 Loneliness kills. Just as in tribal times, the isolated fears death without the protection of the clan. “The brain equates social need with survival…being ostracized activate[s] similar neural responses,”49 and we “…are wired to equate loneliness to danger, and to switch the body into a defensive state.”50 Multiple repeated studies by various researchers over the past few decades suggest isolation (that is, when shame drives someone towards feelings of loneliness) is a health risk:51

In historical and evolutionary terms…this reaction could be a good thing, since it helps immune cells reach infections and encourages wounds to heal.52

But it is no way to live. Inflammation promotes the growth of cancer cells and the development of plaque in arteries. It leads to the disabling of brain cells, which raises susceptibility to neurodegenerative disease.53

In effect, the stress reaction requires ‘mortgaging our long-term health in favor of our short-term survival.’54 Our bodies…are ‘programmed to turn misery into death.’55

Anxiety, in general, may benefit a person in the short-term to face a challenge or threat (releasing cortisol and adrenaline to increase oxygen to the brain and increase blood pressure to fuel muscles), but long-term isolation-driven stress may be a killer.

Thus many people have a visceral drive to live within laws and norms. As Brigham Young University Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience Julianne Holt-Lunstad explains, “Being connected to others socially is widely considered a fundamental human need—crucial to both well-being and survival.”56 Some governments have tapped into this human desire to remain with a clan or clan-like entity. It can be a powerful approach because shame, when is leads to feelings of isolation, kills.

A less extreme phenomenon (less extreme than shame) is embarrassment that “belongs to a suite of ‘prosocial’ emotions, including empathy, shame and guilt…”57 Some leaders have also attempted national narratives that would leave would-be detracted simply embarrassed for not being a ‘normal’ citizen—for not being like everyone else. In 1956 sociologist Erving Goffman describes embarrassment as a state that “comes about when who we’re claiming to be in a social interaction suddenly doesn’t seem to square with the facts.”58 This “personal mortification…is the fear that others are judging us incompetent performers of our social roles.”59 In 2012 sociologist Robb Willer and psychologists Dacher Kelter and Matthew Feinberg posited that:

the person who’s embarrassed is sensitive to norms and committed to group well-being…that evolved presumably because humans vested with them were better at maintaining the group relations necessary for species survival.60

Colby College Professor of Sociology Neil Gross maintains that “embarrassment is a healthier, more civic-minded emotional basis for dissent than hatred.”61 Even if embarrassment is not as effective a tool as shame and isolation, it is a tribe-like tool leaders have and can use to attempt to have masses comply with national narratives. People, for the most part, wish to avoid embarrassment.

Culturally, clan identities may be important to some citizens of a state. Thus public diplomacy, information operations, and cultural exchanges may be informed by traditional / cultural clan systems.

Empires and civilizations often fail with ‘state-building’ because they fail to incorporate clan systems or simply do not allow the tribal systems to naturally except a legitimate government. States often cannot be imposed.

Sometimes, even in the modern world, a central government can only rule, at this given time, with some patronage or at least an understanding of rural clans and inner-city informal groups. The current (arguable) failure of Kabul’s government to rule or even understand the vast majority of its country is one example.

The following is an overview of state and clan ideals (realizing both may apply to many populations):62

Some elements of clan society versus contract society:

- Honor, shame, and revenge versus rule of state law

- Feud or restore relationships according to local customs versus formal courts

- Restorative justice versus punitive justice

- Militarism versus reliance on state security

- Feelings and perception versus ‘it’s just business’

- Ever-shifting confederacies versus relatively stagnant states

- Somewhat autonomous from direct central government control versus always under direct rule of central government

- Clan first (bloodline / geographic / fictitious cohesion) versus individualistic mindset

Failing to understand tribal narratives (when we assume narratives are more than stories and offer or reflect meaning, purpose, and identity) has caused the collapse of empires and armies. Military leaders have often assumed tribal elders are akin to commanding officers or chief executive officers. But in reality many clan leaders are the first amongst equals, rarely command clan members (except perhaps for certain emergencies), often do not own land, often cannot speak for his clan on many matters, often cannot negotiate land or treaties, and often do not attend army or government-led negotiations, committees, or conferences. Common strategic fallacies of governments include:

- Naming a tribal elder in the hopes that he would somehow magically be respected by clansmen because of his government-designated leadership title.

- Assuming whoever shows up to a government negotiation is a tribal elder, when in fact the person who shows up may not represent his tribe at all. Sometimes clans purposefully send someone without even cultural importance as a deception, and sometimes charlatans or opportunists show on their own volition.

- Assuming that a large tribe is somehow a unified society when in fact a super-clan may be more akin to many nations without a central leader.

- Comparing a clan militia to a military unit when in fact militiamen may each act with staggering individuality and self-interest. It may even seem to be a platoon of colonels.

- Assessing young people as unimportant when in fact some clans in some locations ordain a young adult to be a spiritual, battle, or moral leader.

- Viewing an area as tribally waning because of a strong government and then being surprised at how quickly clans reconfigure or resurrect to drive out outsiders with rare determination and will.

- Thinking that a clan might have a similar concept of land as that of a government.

- Believing that a person who is a clan ‘expert’ in one area might have any idea about what unifies, strengthens, or drives tribes anywhere else in the world. As the Afghanistan adage goes, “If you have seen one village, you have seen one village.” In other words, what is true for one town regarding tribal structure and strength may prove untrue even for a neighboring area.

- Believing another ‘honor-based’ clan society defines honor the same as you is a mistake. Honor may mean many things to many tribes. And tribal honor may be quite different than how it is defined amongst businesspeople in Tokyo or Bogota or military officers in Estonia. For example, a tribe may view a daughter’s wish to marry against a parents’ wishes as dishonorable. That same tribe may see thievery, assassination, and lying as morally acceptable traits necessary for survival. Another tribe-like entity down the same valley may view thievery as dishonorable. Yet another clan in the same valley may regularly steal guns, seeds, and farm equipment but will not tolerate being labeled thieves openly (an assault on honor that demands restorative justice or revenge).

- Misunderstanding that some clans view vengeance as not a principle but a compulsory practice. Many empires and states have attempted to stem insurrection in rural areas only to face an ever-growing tribally led revolt. If the state has accidently killed one person from one tribe, the clan confederation—in some cases, in some areas, and during some periods of history—may feel that vengeance against that state’s military (any and all soldiers) is obligatory. Perhaps states, in these cases, should attempt open restorative justice (in which the guilty is not necessarily punished, but the crime is recognized and atonement is sought).

The cognitive revolution laid the foundation of imagined constructs to build societies larger than tribes. However, to ignore clan and clan-like narratives amidst a global society is folly. And information strategy and narrative still play a vital role with subnational actors, as the Strategic Influence section of this book will describe further.

1.4 Information as an Instrument of State Power

Information, narrative, intelligence, and influence, together, continue to be a foundational bedrock of civilization, governance, security, and strategy.

In the broadest of ways, information as an instrument of statecraft may refer to one of three overlapping categories.

First: information that is ‘pushed’ or ‘deployed.’ It can be considered a weapon in war or tool in peace. Oftentimes, the goal is to inform, influence, and/or deceive. Within this discipline lies not only the deployment of narratives but also their reception, understanding, acceptance, and use. It may include strategic communications, public diplomacy, public affairs, strategic influence (to include information operations and psychological operations, the latter a sub-discipline of the former), and military deception.

Second: information that is collected or ‘pulled.’ It is then synthesized, analyzed, and used for strategic decision-making. In this way leaders may better know their adversaries, competitors, allies, and their own state and civil society. This may include information collection and intelligence analysis and dissemination.

Third: information that is managed and protected. It safeguards and shares information, maintaining the integrity of data, and ensuring effective information flow. The goal is to enable the ‘right’ people to access the ‘right’ information at the ‘right’ time. This may include information assurance, cyber security, and information management.

Another breakdown of information strategy by Dr. Dan Kuehl focuses on the communications aspects of information warfare. The physical aspect considers technology—“wires, networks, phones, computers.”63 The information domain considers the substance of the message that is transmitted by the physical aspect. And the cognitive domain considers the actual results of information warfare on people.64

Rand Walzman of RAND considers the distinction between the technical aspects of information warfare, such as cyberattacks to steal money, and psychosocial aspects of intent and impact. A combination of the two may play out if a hacker broke into another’s social-media account and then created and propagated a false story to spread fear or manipulate the stock market.65

Yet another method explores how messages are sent and received at multiple nodes—seeing technology as an important and continuously supporting role to messaging. This method of teaching investigates the many steps from narrative construction to mobilization to reception. For example, just because you sent an email does not mean it was received. Just because it was received does not mean it was opened. Just because it was opened does not mean it was read. Just because it was read does not mean it was understood. And just because it was understood does not mean is was acted upon, used, or found helpful. This teaching structure studies the practical and theoretical challenges of strategic messages reaching and moving audiences.

There are many other viable ways to study information as an instrument of state power. For this book, which aims to look at information warfare from the perspective of strategic security, we will use a ‘build’ approach by investigating information as a tool of statecraft in a general sense; then intelligence that drives information warfare and strategy writ large; then narrative that is the core of influence campaigns; then strategic influence, which may mobilize narratives; and finally the theories from intelligence, narrative, and influence applicable to cyberwarfare.

In the context of security and strategy, simply put:

- Information is “knowledge obtained from investigation, study, or instruction.”66

- Intelligence is information that is useful. Intelligence drives strategy, narrative development, influence campaigns, cybersecurity, and cyberwarfare.

- Narrative is information that holds meaning for a people or person.

- Influence uses information with a purpose—perhaps pursuing a policy outcome.

- Cyberwarfare seeks to attack, disrupt, steal, or compromise information while cybersecurity seeks to safeguard information and information systems.

It must be noted that the narrative, intelligence, influence, and cyberwarfare comprise a number of other information sub-disciplines. These sub-foci include liberal arts education, communications technologies, space programs and satellite technologies, mechanical and digital challenges of communications apparatus, transcontinental cables, the nature of chip advancement, and the history of journalism.

1.5 Information Strategy

The information realm may warrant a strategy by itself. Or it may be a continuous supporting action or the central effort for other strategies.

When viewing strategy as a process, intelligence and information flow is especially vital. Planners must continuously receive intelligence and information in dynamic environments because an enemy, competitor, or ally’s decisions will change because of or despite your initial strategic plan. As a process—versus a simple fixed strategic plan—we must ensure to continuously change in reaction to changing interests of partners and adversaries along with other internal and external friction. It thus behooves one to know update his information on his allies, his enemies, and his state apparatus and civil society. It would be important to ensure capable communications and appropriate flow and control of information in all domains to inform the strategic planning processes.

Also, if flexibility in strategy is vital, then communication of a well-defined, well-articulated, well-transmitted, and easily understandable national interest (or commander’s intent within the security world or brand within the private sector) is fundamental. As U.S. Army War College Professor Richard A. Gabriel writes, taking lessons from one of Genghis Khan’s famed generals, “Devise and utilize a strategic vision, for it is strategic vision that shapes goals, ways, and ends.”67 Only when an intelligence officer, senior policy analyst, logistics expert, and trigger puller understand and internalize a central narrative may all work in concert with the ever-shifting tactical, operational, and strategic landscape. In warfare, when central command communications go silent and officers slain a communicable strategic vision allows frontline troops to proceed with confidence, impunity, and prejudice ensuring each action meets the national goal. Clear, simple, repeatable end states allow all elements of power at all levels to act with extreme flexibility to achieve a singular goal.

The information environment writ large may also be considered part of the international, regional, and domestic context on par even with physical terrain and geography perhaps:

Information is so prevalent, potent and unavoidable that it forms as much a part of the strategic environment as the terrain or weather.68

Two things must be kept in mind about soft power, just as they must be about the weather: By itself, it determines nothing. And it presents challenges and opportunities to all sides in the conflict.69

Just as sailors must take into account the strength and direction of the prevailing wind, warriors must deal with the disposition of the peoples involved in the conflict.70

Furthermore, some consider strategy as a central political art to create or increase power—to gain more from the seeming initial ability and will to materialize hard power.71 If this is the case, information may be one key aspect to getting more out of what might initially be assumed. Some scholars and strategists maintain that power may include the 1) potential effects of mobilized hard power and 2) ability to master the realm of information and influence—sometimes considered métis;72 virtù;73 qi (indirect) and zheng (direct);74 or wile.75

At the very least many strategists and strategic leaders—not all—conclude that information is one important instrument of state power that rarely acts out of concert with other tools (such as economy and diplomacy). For example, when Russia attempts annexation, they send reporters first. When Daesh and the Taliban enter new towns they immediately take hold of radio and cell towers. At the outset of the Spanish Civil War in 1936 anarchists immediately took control of the telephone exchange in Barcelona. (See annex A for thoughts from or on some of history’s most revered information warriors and strategists.)

Possible shortfalls to information centric strategies include:

- Will: It may be difficult or impossible to force will. Any information campaign to persuade others is challenging if such campaigns are not already in consonance with the will of others.

- Marriage with Hard Power: Without the will to employ force—to back up information strategies that comprise implicit or explicit threats or promises—current and future information strategies may be ineffective.

- Domestic Audience: Secretly gathering information about and acting deceitfully towards one’s own populace may engender discontent.76

- Allies: If revealed to be secretly gathering information about and acting deceitfully towards an ally, the relationship with said ally and relationships with other allies may be damaged. There is risk in using other-than-forthright information gathering and messaging with allies.77

- Adversary Wariness: States and non-state actors with whom there is a weak, tenuous, competitive, or adversarial relationship may be wary of deceptions and cunning at the outset. Thus information strategies may be especially challenging taking into account a vigilant or distrustful target audience.78

- Diminishing Returns: When strategic deceptions or any stratagems are materialized—when they are shown to be deceits such as in warfare—information strategies may potentially face diminishing returns. Adversaries and allies alike may trust actions and words less and become more wary. Thus strategies should take into account and overcome distrust from past revealed stratagems.79

While cunning, influence, and intelligence gathering may be force multipliers for minor powers and non-state actors—allowing them to ‘box above their weight class’—and may be helpful at the operational and tactical levels for major powers, some scholars warn that regional and world powers should use strategic information efforts sparingly. While spying and guile may be cheap and with little risk for minor powers, great powers may risk their position with a reputation of dishonesty. Such scholars propose that “Once warfare moved to mass armies with complex organizations, there would be limits to what could be achieved by means of guile. The emphasis would be on force.”80

Yet others suggest that information strategy—in all its forms, open and clandestine—is essential even to regional and global powers and is sometimes perhaps even a lost art today. Regional and global powers can employ ‘asymmetric’ information strategies and learn from minor powers and historical global powers who use asymmetry to survive and grow. The Mongols under Genghis Khan are one oft used case study of a once global power employing information-centric ‘asymmetric’ strategies along with brutal tactics (some practitioners consider him the ‘father of modern psychological warfare’). I should note that the use of Mongol examples of influence should never be interpreted as praise for Genghis Khan who, for all his moral qualities such as supposed religious tolerance (likely a tactical ploy at least in some cases), directed genocides, massacres, torture, enslavement, rape, and other crimes against humanity of an unprecedented scale. However, it is his brutal nature that still used information-centered and intelligence-led campaigns that points up the importance of information warfare even to powerful armies.


The public and political leaders often misunderstand what intelligence is and is not. This section intends to help strategic leaders become more effective consumers of strategic intelligence. It also intends to allow civilians to become even more vigilant and informed citizens—to ask their representatives important questions about national security and demand media outlets better report on threats domestic and foreign. Furthermore, the analytic and writing techniques as well as intelligence tradecraft writ large may help corporate leaders and researchers with their own duties. Many lessons are applicable to everyday business.

A note on why intelligence is chosen in a book on information wafare:

When I first set out to write a fully realized primer on information warfare, I saw a bundle of seemingly disparate disciplines: seemingly many unrelated ‘ornaments on a tree.’ It seemed like ‘an island of misfit toys’ that did not square perfectly into the other instruments of state power such as diplomacy (which is highly information driven), security (which is intelligence driven), and the economy (which overlaps with the information, cyber security, data management, and communications in a number of ways).

While I was thrilled to try to describe an overall discipline of information as an instrument of state power, I initially drew the line at intelligence. In my career as an intelligence officer, intelligence was often considered a very separate focus from information warfare. I felt that it was best taught in military and security-oriented texts with a caveat that intelligence is also helpful to economic, information, and diplomatic strategies. Some of this impulse (to discard the study of intelligence from the study of information warfare) developed when I was a senior analyst with the Department of Homeland Security. There we had to be exacting in our language with regards to intelligence versus information. Intelligence operations in the U.S. homeland are illegal. And thus we walked a careful and clearly marked line between conducting intelligence analyses of threats to the homeland emanating from oversees and producing information reports of freely available and open public data in the homeland (leaving out the identity information of U.S. persons with precise marking and legal explanation, with tremendous support and counsel from staff attorneys).

Then, a fellow researcher convinced me that the study of information and statecraft should include intelligence. He convincingly argued that it is vital to study intelligence within the framework of information strategies because of the distinctions and misunderstandings between the concepts of information and intelligence.

Furthermore, from a theoretical perspective of the study of information, knowledge, and wisdom, intelligence fell well into the information realm. A strategic intelligence analysis strives to be information useful to decision makers—turning data eventually into wisdom.

Also, surgical intelligence is especially vital to strategic influence, which some consider the raison d'être of the study of information warfare. This is the case because the human mind is most often the target of influence campaigns requiring an especially in-depth use human intelligence.

Moreover, any strategic influence campaign must necessarily employ secrecy and deception—disciplines often conducted through intelligence operations.

2.1 Information / Data

Information is rarely intelligence. Intelligence, as a product, is a special kind of information.

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