Volume 14, Issue 1

Volume 14, Issue 1 Editorial

Stylized Image of the Word Editorial

APRIL 2015

The year 1995 was considered the start of the Revolution of Military of Affairs (RMA) in the United States and in the last two decades, much has changed with respect to Command and Control Warfare (C2W), Information Warfare (IW), Information Operations (IO), and now Cyber Warfare.  Unfortunately there are still significant issues that are unresolved including how perception management or strategic communication is (or is not) conducted by Western Governments in this current era.  A quick look at the major foreign policy issues involving ISIS and the conflict in the Ukraine over the last few months reveals that the great promise indicated in RMA in ’95 is still unrealized, with significant deficiencies in the ability of the US Government to conduct IO on a real time basis.

Wild Predator Erratic Attacks versus Dynamic Defence


Attacks by lone gunmen in public places have been experienced in schools and universities around the world. These attacks are viewed as isolated acts by individuals with little or no connection to any political or ideological agenda. Additionally, these attackers are commonly seen as having little connection to each other. However, viewed from the perspective of tactics it is argued that certain commonalities arise. Taking examples from past infamous school shootings in the U.S., a particular attack method of operations and a possible range of tactical solutions to these deadly attack methods can be identified. A methodology is proposed which views these actions by the lone gunmen as a tactical concept called erratic attacks. The attackers themselves in this methodology are viewed as wild predators. The wild predator attacker can only be defeated with one of two defences. These are a denial of space, such as boxing, and/or a dynamic defence. These approaches are designed to overcome the significant information advantages which an erratic attacker can have, namely deception advantages. This article proposes to discuss this methodology in terms of terrorist ‘tactics, techniques, and procedures’ (TTPs).

Unrestricted Warfare versus Western Traditional Warfare: A Comparative Study


The rise of the cyber dimension as well as the emergence of new strategic/economic leaders in the world, like China, is currently changing not only the face of the world but also threatens to upset the strategic balance in the world. In this context, the concept of warfare itself must be redefined. This paper seeks to analyse the concept of new warfare precisely, and then to discuss developments in the new art of warfare, and, finally, to establish a redefinition of the stakes.

Storytelling or Non-Kinetic Weaponry? – Strategic Communication from a Narratological Perspective


This article inquires into the practice and theory of Strategic Communication (StratCom). It suggests that, while narratives are a crucial concept, StratCom continues to rely more on communications theory than narratology and a better knowledge of the latter would make StratCom more effective and would help users avoid current pitfalls. By creating a ‘storyweb’, a network of interlinked stories, instead of a rigid structure of themes and messages, StratCom could unleash its full potential and could embrace the plurality of narratives and passions involved in storytelling.

When Military Public Relations Professionals Enter the News Business: Assessing the Effectiveness of a News Website Operated by the US Department of Defense Trans-Regional Web Initiative


The United States Department of Defense is concerned that, in important regions, journalists are not properly communicating its message. Therefore, the department has created eight news websites designed to look like regular news websites such as CNN.com and Aljazeera.com. This study examined one such website, Setimes.com, to ascertain whether it excels as a news website and as a public relations website. Findings show that the website excels as a public relations website but is flawed as a news website. This shows that the Department of Defense needs to rethink how it presents news via the news websites.

Management Information Systems for Electronic Warfare Command and Decision Support


The electromagnetic spectrum is becoming congested with the number of available wireless communication systems; the implications are that modern battlefields will have many electromagnetic signals. Electronic warfare commanders need sufficient information to allow them to manage their own spectrum, to identify threats, and to deny adversaries’ use of the spectrum. In this paper, the concepts of integrated electronic warfare and spectrum battle management are introduced, and the relevant information requirements are discussed. A high-level design of an electronic warfare information system is proposed to meet these requirements. The objective of the system is to provide electronic warfare commanders with relevant information to effectively manage the complex electromagnetic battlefield.

Fusion of Malware and Weapons Taxonomies for Analysis


This theoretical research uses forensic practices to support a likely resultant taxonomy for weaponized malware. Current malware taxonomies focus on behaviours, generations, and targets as part of their definitions. Naming and generational coding are often inherent in the taxonomical definition of a malware variant. In considering malware that may be weaponized, two core questions need to be answered. What makes a particular piece of malware a weapon, and is there such a thing? This research answers both questions and attempts to structure taxonomy. In this research, taxonomies of malware and weapons are considered for fusion in such a way as a taxonomical derivation will allow for discussion and evaluation of possible malware targets.

Feasibility of a Cyber Attack on National Critical Infrastructure by a Non-State Violent Extremist Organization


This study describes the possibility of a Violent Extremist Organization’s (VEO’s) capacity to perform an attack upon national critical infrastructure and key assets causing “mass disruption” or “mass destruction”. Emphasis is placed upon Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems in an effort to identify vulnerabilities that a non-state actor could utilize to conduct a cyberattack, including the energy sector’s architecture, potential vulnerabilities, and limitations. An emerging VEO’s ideology, capacity, cyber sophistication, and target type are evaluated. An analysis and discussion of an attack scenario’s results is followed by limitations, conclusions, and recommendations for future areas of study.

Sustainability of the Afghan Law Enforcement and Security Forces: A ‘Wicked, Messy Problem’


Aside from the challenges associated with establishing and maintaining security within Afghanistan, government officials are faced with the additional and equally complex tasks of implementing and maintaining appropriate sustainability measures over the longer term. This paper explores the subject of Afghan security force sustainability using General Morphological Analysis (GMA)—a method that has proven to be highly suited to the detailed analysis of wicked, messy problems. The paper acknowledges that the sustainability problem in Afghanistan exhibits systemic features that conspire to cause underperformance and, if an appropriate level of sustainability is to be achieved, these systems-based elements must be managed. 

Journal of Information Warfare

The definitive publication for the best and latest research and analysis on information warfare, information operations, and cyber crime. Available in traditional hard copy or online.

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