I stumbled across a website recently, the Information Warfare: Directory. At first I was thrilled, new websites, new resources, another place for discussions!
But, sadly, I was mistaken. All the words are there, just no meat. The Keywords on the right side are really good, but as many of us know, the words alone do not indicate any expertise.
My first clue was when I clicked on the first box: MARKETING, PROPAGANDA AND INFORMATION WARFARE. The professor, Hendrik Speck, Ph.D, is well qualified to teach this course from a marketing or a propaganda perspective, but a quick read of his bio indicates absolutely zero experience in anything remotely resembling information warfare, warfare being the discriminating factor.
While there is no current definition of information warfare in the US Department of Defense, the definition was put out of use in the early 1990s to maintain a semblance of political correctness (at the Department of State’s insistence during the staffing process).
While I think the intentions of this class are noble, I can only hope some military experience can be brought to bear in not only putting this course together, but also in teaching.
This is not to say that all professors of a subject that deals with conflict or war must be military, they must have, at least, experience with working and researching along with the military. Dr. Speck is Swiss and, therefore, must be a member of the at-home military but I see no qualifications beyond that.
The Institute For The Advanced Study Of Information Warfare was my next let down. True to the advertisement on the Information Warfare Directory, there are links to definitions, links and theories. But that is where it stops.
There is no qualification, there is no quantification, there is no logic walking someone through the minefields of information warfare. I tried to locate a link for the Institute itself but I couldn’t easily find a source, a contact or an affiliation. Another clue: Psycom.net.
Psycom deals with mental health issues and I have a feeling at one point a semi-lucid link with psychological operations (now MISO) was established and a quasi basis for interest in information warfare was established. At least that is a non-conspiracy theory which may or may not be true…
The rest of the directory was about the same, not quite gold, a few steps above coal.
Bottom line on the bottom, where all good conclusions belong. There are literally tons of websites out there dealing with information warfare, information operations, psychological warfare, military information support operations and a myriad of topics that are legitimate, supporting, related and/or just plain odd.
This website is not bad, not bad at all, it’s just not good. Every website owner wants to make an impact and become the expert is his/her field, some succeed and some don’t. I am more than willing to work with any and all website owners to help improve your site, share information, share links with you, help the community!
Cross-posted from To Inform is to Influence