Event: InfoWarCon April 23-24

Next week is InfoWarCon, a conference to discuss “theoretical and practical changes and uses of Information Operations/Information Warfare, Cyberwar, Strategic Communication and Public Diplomacy.” Giving keynotes are LTG Thomas F. Metz, Director, JIEDDO, (title: “IO: The Great Enabler") and the Honorable James Glassman, former Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs (title:"Can a ‘Conversation’ Win the War on Terror?").

The conference is two days, April 23-24, and in Washington, DC. Check their website for registration details. The panels promise to be interesting. Check them out below:

  • Cyberwarfare: 2008 Russian Invasion of Georgia chaired by Dr. Irving Lachow, Professor, National Defense University. Panelists Include:
    • Rafal Rohozinski, Principal Investigator, Information Warfare Monitor and The SecDev Group.
    • Jeffrey Carr, Principal of GreyLogic LLC and Principal Investigator for Project Grey Goose
    • Eneken Tikk, Head of Legal Team, NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence
  • Innovation Beyond the Pillars moderated by Dr. Dan Kuehl, Director of the Information Strategies Concentration Program (ISCP), Information Resources Management College, National Defense University. The “dueling experts” are
    • Mr.Winn Schwartau, The Security Awareness Company
    • Dr. Martin C. Libicki, Senior Policy Analyst, RAND Corporation
    • Dr. Lani Kass, Chairman’s Senior Policy Advisor OCJCS
  • The New Arab Media and Information Environment chaired by John Matheny, National Defense University, contributing author Defense Science Board Task Force on Strategic Communication. Panelists are:
    • Hisham Melhem, Washington Bureau Chief, Al Arabiya Network
    • Dr. Marc Lynch, Associate Professor of Political Science and International Affairs, The Elliott School of International Affairs, GWU
    • Mr. Austin Branch, Senior Advisor for Strategy and Plans, Information Operations & Strategic Studies, OSD, Pentagon
    • Leon Shahabian, Vice President & Corporate Treasurer, Layalina Productions
  • Strategic Communication in a Global Information Environment chaired by me, Matt Armstrong. The panelists are:
    • Mr. Shaarik Zafar, DHS Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Division
    • MAJ Matt Morgan, OSD Public Affairs
    • Dr. Christopher Paul, RAND Corporation, author of Enlisting Madison Avenue and Information Operations
    • Mr. Robert Cassilly, DoS, Stability Operations Division, Foreign Services Institute
  • IO: A Warfighter’s Perspective moderated by CAPT Michael Hewitt, USN, US Department of Defense, Assistant Deputy Director for Information Operations, J39, Joint Staff. Panelists include:
    • LtGen Richard F. Natonski, COMMARFORCOM
    • Air Commodore Graham Wright CBE, UK Chief of Defence Staff Officer to the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff
    • Mr. Austin Branch, Senior Advisor for Strategy and Plans, Information Operations & Strategic Studies, OSD, Pentagon
  • Homeland Psychological Defense moderated by Mr. Thomas Owens, Executive Vice President, Strategic Influence Alternatives, Inc.. Panelists Include:
    • Mr. Mats Ekdahl, Director-General, Swedish Ministry of Defence
    • Jack Guy, COL, USA (Ret), CENTCOM JPOTF Commander/Former 2nd POG commander
    • Col Joseph Heimann, USAF, Apellate Judge, US Air Force
    • Col Frederick “Bits” Bacon, USAF, Chief, Information Operations Division, North American Aerospace Defense Command and US Northern Command.
  • US Cybersecurity moderated by Mr. Richard Forno, Principal Consultant, KRvW Associates, Co-founder, Outbreak Security. Panelists are:
    • Mr. Pieter “Mudge” Zatko – L0pht member, testified to a Senate committee in 1998 that they could bring down the Internet in 30 minutes
    • Mr. James “Jim” Christy – Director of Futures Exploration for the Department of Defense Cyber Crimes Center (DC3)
    • Ms. Christine A.R. MacNutly, FRSA, President & CEO, Applied Futures
    • Mr. Robert Gourley, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Crucial Point LLC
    • Mr. Tim Rosenberg, CEO, Whitewolf Security
  • The Media and Information Dispersal in Afghanistan – Why Is This Exactly Different From Iraq? chaired by Mr. Assad Mattin, SOSi Senior Analyst, former Ambassador from Afghanistan to the UN. Panelist are:
    • Chris Stewart, The Gallup Corporation, Senior Director for Defense & Intelligence Programs
    • Dr. Brian Williams, Associate Professor of Islamic History, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth
    • Ali Younes, veteran Middle East analyst and commentator
  • Chinese Information Warfare: Chinese and US Perspectives with Chinese and US panelists:
    • Dr. Zhang Zhexin, Shanghai Institutes for International Studies
    • Mr. Charles Hawkins, independent consultant and senior analyst specializing in Chinese Affairs
    • Mr. Timothy L. Thomas, LTC, USA (Ret.), Senior Analyst, US Army Foreign Military Studies
    • Mr. Kevin C. Coleman, Strategic Management Consultant, Technolytics
    • Rafal Rohozinski, Principal Investigator, Information Warfare Monitor and The SecDev Group

The panel Chinese Information Warfare: Chinese and US Perspectives will still be interesting even though several of the Chinese will no longer be attending (such as the authors of Unrestricted Warfare).

2 thoughts on “Event: InfoWarCon April 23-24

  1. Thanks, Matt!InfowarCon 2009 is a rapidly moving target! I have had a few of the briefs that will be presented at InfowarCon 2009 shared with me… and a few of them are quite… different. I always thought most of these briefs were plain vanilla, but they are rather innovative, outside the box and controversial.
    Just the other day I took part in a discussion with Matt about the Smith Mundt Act and other such ‘impediments’ to information disclosure (my phrase, I should copyright it). I was asking the question in another forum “Is Propaganda Illegal?” Wow… we had a storm of answers but the bottom line is a very subdued ‘yes’… the Smith Mundt Act, of which Matt is an accomplished expert, prohibits US propaganda from coming back to the US… and this and other acts prohibit propaganda from being targeted at US citizens. But… to echo Dr. Dan Kuehl from NDU… “One cannot inform and not influence”, so merely informings th American public might be defined as propagandizing the American public…
    I just read Kevin Coleman’s briefing that he is presenting at InfowarCon 2009… very damning. He is also presenting to the USCC, the Congressional China Commission and his presentation is… damning…
    I can guarantee Matt’s session is going to be outstanding. I also know that Secretary Glassman’s and LTG Metzs speeches are going to be outstanding, I talked with both speechwriters. I can’t wait to hear and see Matt!

  2. Matt,My experience is limited to Counter-IED operations over the past year in Khost province, Afghanistan. All I can say about IO, from a soldiers perspective, is that we do not conduct IO. The enemy conducts IO.
    There are videos available in Kholbesat and Mahktab bazaars of attacks on a convoy I was a part of, and of the Zambar District Center (Sabari District) being over-run by insurgents. This was after we had turned over the DC to ANSF. They abandoned it after repeated attacks, and the insurgents then staged a filmed “battle” and released the footage as proof that they had defeated Afghan and Coalition forces.
    On March 27th, I was involved with the discovery and rendering safe of a 5,500 pound vehicle born IED in the center of Khost City. (Right at the Mujaheddin Intersection, for those that know the area) During the 6 hours we were there, we requested Civil Affairs and Psyop support, but the local ground commander was unable to support our request. The local radio station did run the news, but no Coalition influence was reported.
    I grasp the notion of putting an Afghan face on operations. But the utter failure to inform the Afghan people of WHY we are there, what the events we were involved in meant to them, does nothing but further alienate them.
    Part of the problem is the lack of maneuver power. By this I mean the troops who actually go outside the wire, and the vehicles to get them there. Any troop surge will not fix this, only increase combat power by a small percentage. If there are not enough trucks and men to escort the CA and Psyops troops to an incident, they cannot respond.
    Another issue is the lack of understanding of just what interaction with the Afghan people could accomplish. We had a family in Gorbuz district inform us of an IED. They were subsequently extorted by the insurgents for lost revenue because the IED did not hit us. The family stood up to the insurgents with arms, and asked for ISAF and OEF assistance. They were denied. I will always wonder about the what the effects on the local population would have been had we placed 2 squads with them.
    We are fighting this war, at least where I was, from behind 5 inches of armor. We drive from base to base, rarely stopping to talk, walk, and interact with the very people who we are supposed to be helping.
    One last thing. At a recent Super Shura in Sabari, the locals were told they were going to be denied US aid due to the fact that they had not increased security in their area. During the Shura, a rocket impacted nearby. The US military then cut short the Shura and left the area. We meet to discuss security, and run when a theat appears. This is the message we are presenting.

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