People, Procedures and Professionalisation
Achieving that Long-Desired Information Advantage
This thoughtful and candid article from Jason Logue addresses challenges and opportunities within the Australian Defence Force (ADF) regarding the evolution of operations in the information environment. While he focuses on his experiences within the ADF, his characterisation, observations and views are consistent with US challenges based upon my almost 30 years of experience as US Department of Defense Information professional.
Essentially, Grey Matter – matters! Lessons of the past illuminate, and affirm that people – skills, experience, knowledge, and creativity – are ‘the decisive terrain’ in competition and war. It is strategically important to identify, cultivate and sustain a cadre of ‘information and influence’ professionals supporting a broader foundation of the strategic and operational art of manoeuvre. In a complex and evolving environment that is dominated by effects at the intersections of information technology and human cognition, this support is critical to national and global security.
This appreciation is not new. Logue highlights that it is reflected in the lessons, organisational designs, and strategic and operational applications of some of the world’s greatest thought leaders of the past. But, time-worn constructs, risk concerns, complexity, and ambiguity within the rapidly evolving multidisciplinary information mission-space handicap the ability of democratic nations to effectively compete against adversaries who understand the value and have prioritised resources (technological and human) to gain strategic advantage. A competitive gap is further exacerbated by shortfalls in well experienced and skilled career professionals capable of the necessary understanding, campaign design, capability development, and sustained implementation of actions critical to achieve strategic and operational objectives.
Logue’s treatment of these issues is well considered and timely. Not only for an Australian audience but also for the broader international partner enterprise that is also seeking to improve foundational capabilities and effects in a competitive global environment defined by information and influence. His analysis and recommended solutions are based on his years of experience and historical examples that affirm Logue’s premise that a ‘quality professional staff’ - educated, trained, and experienced in the complexities of the information environment - is essential to the achievement of competitive advantage over those who challenge our interests.
Professor of Practice
University of Maryland
Applied Research Lab for Intelligence & Security
(Retired US Army and Office of Secretary of Defense Executive)
23 September 2022