The United States needs a better strategy and more advanced tools to information operationsLt. Gen. Dennis Crall, chief information officer for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Thursday.
The government has become slower and less confident in its approach, a reluctance it cannot afford as artificial intelligence dramatically increases the pace of messaging and information campaigns, said Crall, who is also the director of command, control, communications, Joit Staff computers. and cybernetic. .
“The speed at which machines and AI won some of these information campaigns is a game changer for us. If we study, if we doubt, if we don’t have good left and right lateral limits, if each operation requires a new set of permits … We will never compete ”.
Crall made his remarks at the NDIA conference for Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflicts, or SOLIC.
Representative Michelle “Mikie” Sherrill, DN.J., a former Navy helicopter pilot, said the issue has drawn the attention of the White House.
“I heard this directly from the President of the United States that they [China and Russia] they are doing a better job of this right now. They are telling people around the world that democracy is not fast enough. “Democracy cannot compete in today’s world. Democracy does not have the unity of purpose that we need ”. And now we have to come together to explain why you want to be part of democracy, ”Sherrill said. “We need to convey why it is a bad result for China to manage all its Internet operations.”
Currently, the US government lacks a central organizer for influencing campaigns. The State Department has a Global Engagement Center that can identify and respond to things like extremist messages on social media, disinformation campaigns, etc., and can make grants to private and non-governmental. governmental organizations and academics, but it is not in a position to interact with global audiences on broad topics such as the desirability of democracy or authoritarian rule.
In the United States Army, the primary roles in intelligence operations have traditionally fallen to the Army and the special operations community. That usually comes as part of larger military campaigns, such as the effort overthrow the Lord’s Resistance Army that was terrorizing Uganda, South Sudan, the Congo and the Central African Republic. But the need for information campaigns has expanded far beyond combat areas, and adversaries such as China and Russia have become adept at using the Internet to influence populations around the world. Commerce, human rights, the climate, and more.
Too often, Crall said, the information environment has been an afterthought for the US military.
“We understand kinetic operations very well. Culturally we distrust the way we practice information operations, ”he said. “If you wait until the last minute or if, as we’ve all heard the term,“ sprinkle some IO [information operation] in that ”, all you have is hypnotism. And we are not very good at it. Right? If you are going to condition an adversary, if you are going to condition the space to present these things, you have to spend time, work on it and be sophisticated. “
In addition to strategy, and better interagency coordination on that strategy, the United States also needs to be faster and more proactive in the way it talks about its activities and the contrast between democratic and non-democratic societies, he said, so that authoritarians do not use Internet enabled. speech and automation to their advantage, rendering America’s influence and messaging efforts useless.
“I would look at irregular warfare, whether it’s messages or really any kind of war going forward, the speed game of … digital transformation, predictive analytics, machine learning, artificial intelligence, they’re changing the game … and if we don’t match that speed, we will arrive at the correct answer and the correct answer will be completely irrelevant, ”Crall said.