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DOD Officials Cite Information Operations as Key Factor in U.S. Military Dominance

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Christopher Maier, acting assistant defense secretary for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict (ASD SOLIC), said the U.S. military must refocus information operations toward diverse threat environments to stay ahead of adversaries, Defense One reported Wednesday.

Maier said at a House hearing that the Department of Defense (DoD) must evolve fast and bring diversity into recruitment procedures to bring significant benefits to national security missions.

A former defense official also said at the hearing that the U.S. Special Operations Command's (USSOCOM) challenges in information operations stem from not having enough civilian oversight on the command. 

ASD SOLIC fills the role of USSOCOM management, according to Defense One. The defense secretary’s office is currently reviewing the potential elevation of the ASD SOLIC’s authorities, according to Maier. 

James Sullivan, defense intelligence officer for cyber at the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), noted that IO will serve as a key factor in U.S. competition with adversaries like Russia and China. He added that information domain threats are “here to stay” and that China is likely to surpass Russia in IO through its artificial intelligence and machine learning efforts.

“Cyber is a great equalizer in that nobody is 100-percent mature in this domain and information dominance is effective,” he noted.

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