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To the question about the war of the fourth sphere
Material posted : Administrator Publication date: 21-04-2001

US President George Bush, speaking on March 20 in front of the employees of the Central intelligence Agency in the headquarters of the CIA in Langley, listed the major threats to the security of the United States. In second place, after terrorism, this list is an information war. And already behind it - the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery. This is another evidence of the relevance of the long article by Sergei Grinyaev "War in the fourth field", published in "IEE" # 42 for 2000, However, the author, in our opinion, covered a number of important issues.

According to American military experts, in the agenda the question about the shift in armed confrontation with traditional forms of management (fire, shock, maneuver) in the information intelligent and information-technology field and that is where being prepared, the adoption and implementation of the military and political decisions. Even a future war could be provoked in the information sphere, which will cover the totality of political, economic, technical and military fields.

According to the documents of the joint staff chiefs of staff (OR JCS) of the U.S. armed forces, information warfare can be conducted both in wartime and in peacetime, both at the state (diplomatic, economic, informational, special and other forces and means) and at the military level (the forces and means of combat systems command and control).


The contents of the information war (Information Warfare), which Sergei Grinyaev in accordance with the domestic views calls "information confrontation" is given in his article in a somewhat distorted form. Information warfare is not a simple "impact of systems on each other". In the basic documents of the armed forces of the United States says that the impact of information is diverse and varies depending on task and situation. It can be information and intelligence (identification of military, economic, political and cultural potential); be to counter any type of enemy intelligence (OPSEC); to distort, destroy, neutralize, destroy or, conversely, to protect the information (CNA, CND); to start a computer representation of the real or virtual environment and inadequate visualization of the battlefield; to carry out information and psychological (PSYOP) or lethal and non-lethal physical effects on personnel, objects, military equipment, weapons, communication lines and management; focus on demonstration actions, deceit and deception (Military Deception); get the task on electronic countermeasures; be used to reduce the visibility of objects of military equipment and weapons; the protection of personnel, facilities, equipment, weapons, controls, and a variety of electronic equipment from exposure to electromagnetic or other directed energy; withdrawal of weapons from homing the most important goals etc.

The documents also stated that at the state level, the main objectives of information warfare are:

  • the compulsion of the military-political leadership is hostile and allied States to the political decision-making, ensuring the interests of the United States;
  • the national security of the United States;
  • obtaining information necessary for making political and military decisions.


And what are the objectives of information warfare employed by armed forces of the United States?

In accordance with the statutes of the U.S. armed forces, you must:

  • to force the military-political leadership of hostile States to make decisions to ensure the creation of favorable to U.S. conditions;
  • to gain and retain "information superiority" over the enemy;
  • to achieve the goals and objectives of campaigns and operations.
  • to produce and promptly update the information to military decision making.

U.S. forces use the following forces and means of combat systems command and control (BSBU), provided comprehensive intelligence and counterintelligence: electronic war (EW), military misinformation (MD), operational security (OPSEC), psychological operations (PSYOP), physical defeat, capture, and incapacitate (PD), attack and computer network defense (CNA,CND).

Depending on the theatre of war, operational environment and tasks, any component of these forces and means can play a crucial role.


The US command on the basis of studying the experience of local conflicts of recent decades came to the conclusion that information operations can only be effective when a comprehensive and integrated use of all forces and means involved in the information warfare. The degree of effectiveness of information operations command U.S. army distinguishes three levels of integration of forces and means of BSBO.

Low. Is characterized by a common operational tasks, but scattered use in the operation of forces and means of BSBW ("desert Storm"). Such information operations the Americans call "special operations" or "specialized."

High level. Characterized not only with General operational tasks, but a unified planning, interpenetration and merging of forces and means of BSBO. Such operations are called "synergistic" (system planning and the application of forces and their integration).

The highest level of unification of forces and means of BSBA can be achieved with strict adherence to the following conditions: General operating goals and objectives, the full relationship of all forces and means of BSBO, ensuring the unity of rhythms, tempos and complement the use of forces and means of BSBO and intelligence at all stages of the operation and throughout its entire depth. These information operations are called "coherent" operations of the armed forces of the XXI century (a kind of amalgamation of all the forces BSBU at the place, time, objectives, directions and pace of their conducting).


In the article Sergei Grinyaev often meet such terms as "strategic" and "operational" disguise, it is argued that the distinctive features of offensive information operations are "the methods (i.e. disguises) use", and defensive information operations, they (again masking) are "dominant" purpose.

So. "Strategic camouflage", "operational camouflage" is from the terminology of the Armed forces of the Russian Federation. Americans other terms and concepts. For example - "operational security" (Operational Security) in no way is analogous to the two terms of the armed forces.

First, OPSEC means countering all kinds of intelligence (in all areas). Secondly, OPSEC is under the direct supervision of the commanders, not only at strategic and operational levels, but also at the grassroots tactical level. Third, the basic tasks of operational security:

  • information security;
  • safety of organs and systems management, and systems and automation control;
  • physical safety of armed forces personnel (organization of access control, working with documents, protection of life, combat operation, etc.);
  • the safety of objects, equipment and weapons;
  • development of methods of combat intelligence of the enemy, revealing telltale signs of the channels of information leakage, monitoring and alerting of the armed forces on critical information that could become known to the enemy.

A few words about military disinformation in the US armed forces (Military Deception). She, according to the American statutes, on the scale of application has four levels - strategic, operational, tactical and species (in the interests of a single force) - and provides for when an organization BSBU, conduct information operations, operational security, electronic wars and psychological impact.


It is necessary to say a few words about the content of the term "electronic war" (Electronic Warfare), or, more precisely, the "electronic war". Sergei Grinyaev uses two terms: "electronic warfare" and "electronic counter".

According to the unified Charter, the OSH joint chiefs of staff of the U.S. armed forces, electronic warfare, being the basis of BCBU, is a complex of measures on the use of electromagnetic radiations and other types of directed energy, homing on radiation RES weapons, and the means of electronic protection and electronic support of combat operations. Objects influence and protection for electronic warfare (unlike the electronic warfare and electromagnetic effects) - not only electronic means but also the personnel of the armed forces (primarily offices), military equipment, facilities, weapons, and computer network. There are new instruments of war (lethal and non-lethal).

Over the last 10 years in the US armed forces decided tactical trends of development of electronic warfare, which include:

  • gradual radical change of content, objectives, tasks, forms and methods of warfare (radio-electronic countermeasures, electronic contractror, measures, electronic security, which in the course of development was part of measures measures to combat systems, communications and control; electronic attack; electronic protection; electronic support of combat operations included in the measures of combating command and control systems);
  • use to conduct electronic war is a new kind of radiation of electromagnetic and directed energy;
  • the expansion of the number of objects influence and protection (members of the armed forces, military equipment, facilities, weapons, computer and various information networks);
  • full computerization and automation of processes (not only radio-electronic war, but BSBA in General);
  • the shift of influence and protection of information and intellectual scope, the scope the preparation, adoption and implementation of military solutions, especially in the first phase of carrying out the IO;
  • hard interconnection, interdependence, mutual influence of all elements of electronic warfare and BSBW on the basis of common operational objectives and targets at a constant coordination of all efforts during the operation.

There are new forms of conducting electronic warfare: electronic strikes and electronic-fire attack, information and electronic blockade etc.


A number of comments on the article Sergei Grinyaev.

It is impossible, in our opinion, to divide the theater of war and military operations in two parts: the "traditional space" and "cyberspace". The information component is in any of the elements of the theater of war and theater. Cannot be the object of destruction in the new wars, "the psychology of the enemy" - the impact will be on the psyche of people. Basic, primary objects of the impact will be no network communication and information, and personnel. Information operations is not a "nerve information warfare" and not an independent type of operational security (by the way, in the US armed forces, this term either), but a form of information warfare. Information provision is not a form of information operations (as shown on one of the drawings of the author), and a component of intelligence support of an operation or battle (Electronic Warfare Support), which is one of the new elements of the "electronic war".

We agree that the issue for the military-political leadership of the United States - how to provide "comprehensive mastery" in the twenty-first century. However, the attempted answer to it, in addition to the document Joint Vision 2010, can be found in the document Joint Vision 2020 (may 2000), which is developing the concept of the previous, reveals the views of the ruling circles of America. And here we are talking above all about the conquest of informational superiority over the potential enemy, about the quest to convince the world of the correctness of their action in time of peace and to show its determination in the event of war to ensure their superiority in any conflict.

Confirmed four key strategic concepts of the U.S. armed forces and focuses on three main factors, which should be the basis of success in their implementation:

  • ensuring close and complete cooperation of the U.S. armed forces and their allies;
  • innovation in all spheres. The development and use of new methods of warfare with the aim of improving the combat capabilities of the "United forces" (including the information-psychological and information-technical);
  • preemption of the enemy in the adoption and implementation of political and military decisions, achievement and retention over him information superiority.
    Yu. E. Gorbachev, V. M. Tyurin


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