Information Operations (IO) Concentration
The IO Concentration prepares a select group of National War College and Industrial College of the Armed Forces students--future strategic leaders--to effectively integrate and employ the information component of national power in the development and execution of national military and security strategy.
Specifically, the IO Concentration prepares students to:
Shape strategy and policy decisions, acquire and employ new information technologies, and shape interagency relationships and partnerships that protect, defend and assure information infrastructures in support of our national military, economic, and political power and security.
Employ strategic plans and operational concepts that apply the tools and doctrinal principles of information operations, shape theater and strategic campaign plans, and employ IO in support and execution of military plans, capabilities and operations.
Develop US efforts to employ Strategic Communications in support of national security operations and objectives within the “global information battlespace” and apply both information technology and the content it carries in the “worldwide war of ideas”.
Information Component of National Power
The definition of the information component of national power presented to the students at the outset of the IO Concentration is derived from national security strategy and policy documents dating back more than two decades. This definition is as follows:
“Information content and technology employed as strategic instruments to shape fundamental political, economic, military and cultural forces on a long-term basis to affect the global behavior of governments, supra-governmental organizations, and societies to support national security objectives.”
Strategic Intent of the IO Concentration
The IO Concentration courses are not technical “how to” courses for the management and use of information technology, but rather strategic level courses that explore the impact of the information age on national security. In addition, the IO Concentration goes beyond the different “information” concepts that are evolving within the DOD today  to examine the broader strategic implications of the information revolution and its impact on national security. The IO Concentration focuses on information as both a “component of national power” and a strategic environment of increasing criticality to the economist, diplomat, political leader, military planner and national security strategist. This component of power is at work every day, during peace and war, and is used by and against the United States in the global interplay of nations and non-state actors.
Evolution of the IO Concentration
The IO Concentration evolved from the Information Strategies Concentration Program (ISCP) that was offered during the past decade. For the purposes of clarity and alignment with DoD’s emphasis on IO, the name has been changed, but the focus of the courses remain the same. The student population of the last several classes averaged about 70, with representation from all Services, many Federal agencies, and a number of students from the private sector, and since its inaugural class in Academic Year 1997 more than 600 students completed the ISCP.
IO Concentration Courses
All of the IO Concentration courses are considered electives within the NDU course structure. Students are required to take two courses. All students take 6207 in the Fall semester (the foundation course). In the Spring semester, students select one of three track courses.
Foundation Course– Fall Semester
National Security in the Information Age
(Introduces Information Assurance/Critical Infrastructure Protection (IA/CIP), IO, and Public Diplomacy/Strategic Communications (PD/SC))
Track Courses – Spring Semester
Information, Warfare, and Military Strategy
Information Engagement & Strategic Communication
 This term—the information component of national power--did not originate at NDU, but can be traced back at least as far as National Security Decision Directive 130, issued by the Reagan administration in 1984, and was a critical element of President’s Reagan’s approach to National Security Strategy.