News | Feb. 1, 2007

I-Power: The Information Revolution and Stability Operations

By Franklin D. Kramer, Larry Wentz, and Stuart Starr Defense Horizons 55


The Information Revolution and Stability OperationsOverview

Information and information technology (I/IT) can significantly increase the likelihood of success in stability operations— if they are engaged as part of an overall strategy that coordinates the actions of outside intervenors and focuses on generating effective results for the host nation. Properly utilized, I/IT can help create a knowledgeable intervention, organize complex activities, and integrate stability operations with the host nation, making stability operations more effective. 

Key to these results is a strategy that requires that 1) the U.S. Government gives high priority to such an approach and ensures that the effort is a joint civilian-military activity; 2) the military makes I/IT part of the planning and execution of the stability operation; 3) preplanning and the establishment of I/IT partnerships are undertaken with key regular participants in stability operations, such as the United Nations and the World Bank; 4) the focus of the intervention, including the use of I/IT, is on the host nation, supporting host-nation governmental, societal, and economic development; and 5) key information technology capabilities are harnessed to support the strategy. Implementing the strategy will include 1) development of an information business plan for the host nation so that I/IT is effectively used to support stabilization and reconstruction; 2) agreements among intervenors on data-sharing and collaboration, including data-sharing on a differentiated basis; and 3) use of commercial IT tools and data provided on an unclassified basis.