As a follow-on to China’s strategy, we show how Russia’s use of narrative reorients decisions in an Observe-Orient-Decide-Act (OODA) Loop. The distortion of information is not just divisive. It envelops the “when-deterrence-fails” US approach to warfare.
Colonel John Boyd’s OODA Loop—Observe, Orient, Decide, and Act— is a powerful model for making decisions in contested environments. Strategic use of information can defeat it. Understanding narrative strategies can protect it.
This Note paraphrases today’s webinar from the Alliance for Security Democracy on Hamilton 2.0, a dashboard on Russian, and now Chinese, disinformation.
Warfare has become all-domain, all-effects, and all-information. This reality is thriving in a comfort zone outside our entrenched concept of a “threshold of armed conflict.”
State-sponsored cyber attacks against critical infrastructure are increasingly pervasive. Their global presence and effective methods are asymmetric, coercive, and debilitating.
We must also seek solutions that limit the effects of disinformation. This effort starts with leaders recognizing and publishing Russian exploits as they are discovered. Overt exposure of Russian methodology goes a long way in limiting the effectiveness of false narratives. Investigations should identify who is targeted in hacks, why they were chosen as targets, what information has been stolen, and the extent of related penetration.
The question of what and whom to trust applies to all situations because uncertainty is pervasive. In the information environment (IE), the overriding context of trust is that it’s contested. Actors fight for the kind of information and people they need to compete and prevail. Four types of competition become apparent when we consider four contested purposes of strategic and anticipatory analysis: