Cyber and Epistemological Warfare—Winning the Knowledge War by Rethinking Command and Control
Should the Air Force embrace knowledge-centric warfare (KCW) as the logical extension of information warfare to attack an adversary’s knowledge-creation system? Although great strides continue to be made in improving both offensive and defensive cyber capabilities, we should shift from a focus at the tactical level to one on attacking an adversary’s perceptions and beliefs system to attain strategic effects. It is now becoming possible to suppress the adversary’s knowledge and information channels by penetrating his decision cycle and influencing his observations and perceptions. To do so, we need to understand how adversaries validate the beliefs that shape their orientation. With an even more dispersed command structure designed to provide actionable intelligence by monitoring a wider spectrum of today’s operating environment, the United States and especially the Air Force could position themselves to conduct KCW. This type of warfare aims to confound our adversary’s decision-making process by altering his observations and beliefs, thus turning the balance of knowledge in our favor.