A General Theory of Influence in a DIME/PMESII/ASCOP/IRC2 Model


The leading question of this paper is “How can one conceptualise influence warfare in order to simulate it?” The authors discuss the foundational aspects of theory and model of influence warfare by building a conceptual framework. The framework forms a prism with three axes along the DIME/PMESII/ASCOP dimensions. The DIME concept groups the many instru-ments of power a nation-state can muster into four elements: Diplomacy, Information, Military, and Economics. PMESII describes the operational environment in six domains: Political, Military, Economic, Social, Information, and Infrastructure. ASCOPE is used in COunterINsurgency (COIN) environments to analyse the cultural and human environment (the ‘human terrain’) and encompasses Areas, Structures, Capabilities, Organization, People, and Events. Additionally, the model reflects about aspects of Information Collection Requirements and Information Capabilities Requirements (ICR2)—hence DIME/PMESII/ASCOP/ICR2. The paper focuses on building a framework for the problem space of influence/information/hybrid warfare and intro-duces the idea of the perception field, understood as a molecule (gestalt or shape) of a story or narrative that influences an observer. This molecule can be drawn as a selection of vectors that can be built inside the DIME/PMESII/ASCOP prism. Each vector can be influenced by a shielding or shaping action. These ideas are explored in the context of an influence wargame.


Photo of Thorsten Kodalle

The Bundeswehr Command and Staff College Hamburg,

Thorsten Kodalle LTC (GS) lectures on security policy at the Command and Staff College of the German Armed Forces with a special focus on NATO, Critical Infrastructure, and Cyber. He has a diploma in Social Science, has had assignments as a youth information officer and in the MoD. He also lectures on management and leadership; and for several years, he has supported computer assisted exercises with constructive simulation at the Command and Staff College. He is a member of the NATO Research Task Group 129, Gamification of Cyber Defense/Resilience; an experienced facilitator of manual wargaming on the operational level for courses of action analysis, for operational analysis, operations research, serious gaming, and especially for matrix wargaming on the strategic/political level. He just attended Connections US 2019 and Connections UK 2019 to present his best practice approach on facilitating a matrix wargame in a Slack Workspace. His next project is the Gamification of Strategic Thinking in which players will experience agile strategic planning techniques in a 5-team competition (5x5=25 players experience); and the construction of a “Global Matrix Wargame” with a special focus on cyber warfare on the semantic level. You can reach Thorsten Kodalle on Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/thorstenkodalle.

Photo of Dr. Dave Ormrod

University of South Australia
Adelaide, Australia

Dr David Ormrod is an Associate Professor and Enterprise Fellow in Cyber Security with the University of South Australia, with over 25 years of experience across the globe and within multiple Australian government agencies. Ormrod possesses a PhD in Computer Science, in addition to a broad array of industry experience and certifications in risk management, strategic thinking, and information warfare. Ormrod is an Australian Signals Directorate endorsed Information Security Registered Assessors Program (IRAP) professional, in addition to being a Senior Lead Auditor in ISO27001, a certified Project Management Professional (PMP), and an Australian Company Director (GAICD). Ormrod is an experienced cybersecurity researcher, working on practical solutions in the information operations and cyber domains. Ormrod’s research themes include cyber effects, cybersecurity, wargaming, modelling and simulation, artificial intelligence, low-earth-orbit satellite constellation cybersecurity, cyber threat intelligence, and the underpinnings of social networks and influence activities.

Photo of Dr. Char Sample

ICFI at US Army Research Labs Aberdeen, MD,

Dr. Char Sample is research fellow employed for ICF Inc. at the US Army Research Laboratory in Adelphi, Maryland. Dr. Sample is a visiting academic at the University of Warwick, Coventry, UK, and a guest lecturer at Bournemouth University, Rensselaer Polytechnic University, and Royal Holloway University. Dr. Sample has over 20 years’ experience in the information security industry. While Dr. Sample continues her research on modeling cyber behaviors by culture, she has, most recently, focused her research on Fake News, the role of cultural values in cyber security events, and the study of the relationship between human cognition and machines. Her other areas of research interest are information weaponization, deceptive data, and data resilience.

Photo of Dr. Keith Scott

School of Humanities De Montfort University Leicester,

Dr. Keith Scott is the Subject Leader for Languages at De Montfort University, where he is also a member of the Cyber Security Centre. In addition, he is a member of the Cyber Policy Centre, a UK-based independent public policy centre devoted exclusively to the consideration of cyber as a socio-technical phenomenon. His research interests include the social and cultural implications of ‘cyber’ as a concept, influence, online communication, and the use of gaming as a teaching and research tool.

Journal of Information Warfare

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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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