Marines are laying the groundwork for the Corps' next generation of information warfare — including offensive operations.
The commandant of the Marine Corps also established a new position — assistant deputy commandant for information warfare — whose job it is to lead development and integration of forcewide information warfare capabilities.
"When deterrence fails, [information operations] help Marines win in war by providing essential protection and enhancing the effective use of force," the publication states.
The new task force, however, aims to accelerate the expansion of information warfare into the offensive domain by institutionalizing it across the Marine Corps. At the same time, the Corps will continue to focus on defensive operations geared toward protecting personnel, networks and operational security.
The new task force, however, marks the next phase in expanding information warfare beyond passive, defensive operations geared towards protecting personnel, networks and operational security into the offensive domain.
This will provide a critical tool for commanders, in line with the Marine Corps' warfighting philosophy which "seeks to shatter the enemy's cohesion through a series of rapid, violent and unexpected actions to create a turbulent and deteriorating situation with which he cannot cope," according to the Marine Corps' 2013 operating concept for information operations.
"We are now at a point in the development of the cyber force where [Marine air-ground task forces] need to be capable of planning, employing and leveraging offensive and defense cyber capabilities for warfighting and crisis response," then-Commandant Gen. Joseph Dunford stated in his 2015 Commandant's Planning Guidance. "Our end state will be to increase the capacity and capability of the MAGTF to operate and exploit the cyber domain."
- Assessing current doctrine, organization, training, materiel, leadership and education, personnel, facilities and policy;
- Createing case studies through the use of vignettes, experimentation and war-gaming to develop lines of operation and effort;
- Identifying current gaps and proposeing solutions, including changing current capabilities and military occupational skill sets;
- Determineing a new conceptual and organizational model for the operating forces;
- Developing a game plan to integrate this across the force, in line with the Marine Corps’ Expeditionary Force 21 concept.
An executive steering committee will make final recommendations on strategy and plans to the assistant deputy commandant for information warfare at the end of the session.