Lt Col Ben Hatch is a career Air Force Office of Special Investigations officer. A combat veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, he has commanded units at the squadron and detachment levels. His staff assignments include a Pentagon tour on the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the Deputy Directorate for Global Operations (J-39) where he supported sensitive plans and joint military operations. During a Headquarters, Air Force, staff assignment, he concurrently served as an executive officer for the Scientific Advisory Board Study on Defense of Forward USAF Bases. He previously earned his black beret as an Air Force Tactical Air Control Party, where he supported Army light infantry, armor units, and joint special operations. His article, “Defining a Class of Cyber Weapons as WMD: An Examination of the Merits,” was published in the Journal of Strategic Security in 2018. He holds a master’s degree in Government from Johns Hopkins University.
Subject Area Keywords
Counterintelligence, Cybersecurity, Defense policy, Diplomacy, Foreign policy, Information operations, National security, Public diplomacy, Russia, Security policy, Strategic communications, Strategy
To prepare for future challenges across the continuum of conflict, the United States (US) must optimize how it manages, counters, defends, and exploits the effects of information by organizing for strategic information and cyber-enabled information operations across and through multiple domains. Currently, information related capabilities are fielded across the United States Government (USG) among multiple organizations and agencies, and therefore lack efficiencies normally gained through combined action, unity of command, and unity of effort. In considering a solution to these challenges, this study examines historic and current examples of successful information operations to show organization matters, and reviews options to organize for future engagements. The methodology used to conclude a new approach is necessary is patterned after a 1941 study on production requirements for the US to enter World War II. This article similarly considers answers to related questions, and shows the creation of an organization and the designation of a senior official responsible for strategic information and cyber-enabled information operations empowers the nation to integrate, synchronize, and harmonize activities pursuant to a national and defense information strategy, thereby making the joint force more lethal, and posturing the USG for dominance in the information environment.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the U.S. government, the Department of Defense, or Air University.
I would like to thank Dr. John Geis, Director, Airpower Research Task Force, Air War College, Air University, Maxwell AFB, AL, for his advice, guidance, and assistance in developing this article. Your efforts have helped shape a generation of defense thinkers.
Hatch, Ben. "The Future of Strategic Information and Cyber-Enabled Information Operations." Journal of Strategic Security 12, no. 4 (2019)
Available at: https://digitalcommons.usf.edu/jss/vol12/iss4/4