Pentagon's New Information War

by Carol A. Valentine

President, Public Action, Inc.

The March 31, 1997 Defense Week ran a story "Air Force Organizes For Offensive Info War." According to the article, the US Air Force has created the position of deputy director for information operations. An "offensive information warfare" division will be created under the new deputy director. The division will have the organizational code AF/XOIOW and will be headed by Lt. Col. Jimmy Miyamoto.

Offensive information warfare, which implies attacks on both military and civilian targets, is among the least discussed aspect of the Air Force's moves to organize, train, and equip the service for information dominance, the article admits.

The new Information Operations office will coordinate with the Pentagon's Joint Chiefs of Staff, National Security Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency, Central Intelligence Agency, National Reconnaissance Office, Defense Airborne Reconnaissance Office and the National Imagery and Mapping Agency.

New research efforts are underway to support this new program, including:

* Lethal HPM munitions. The USAF Office of Scientific Research is working on developing a small affordable laser and high powered microwave for unmanned aerial vehicles to perform a wide variety of missions, including enemy communications and computer systems.

* Software viruses to be placed or injected into enemy weapons and information links. These viruses would remain dormant until activated by satellite, aircraft radar, or jamming equipment, etc. When activated, the virus would render the equipment useless, or "better yet, there could be a very subtle change for a finite period of time."

* Holographic projection. The article describes a quasi-information warfare/psychological operations program that was first discussed in the Air Force after Desert Storm. Holographic projection involves projection of a three-dimensional holographic image in project decoys, or even an "angry god" above the battlefield.

The Pentagon had listed holographic projections openly as part of its "nonlethal" weapons program. But since 1994, the program has disappeared from view, evidently now a "black" effort, says Defense Week.

In conclusion, the Defense Week article states that the Army's JFK Special Warfare Center and School in late 1991 disclosed that it was looking to develop a PSYOPS Hologram System with a capability "to project persuasive messages and three-dimensional pictures of cloud, smoke, rain droplets, buildings . . . The use of holograms as a persuasive message will have worldwide application."


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