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The objective of this evaluation is to determine whether the U.S. Special Operations Command's Joint Military Information Support Operations Web Operations Center (JMWC) supports the combatant commanders’ requirements to conduct military information support operations (MISO).
The JMWC was established in 2018 [REDACTED]. The U.S. Special Operations Command-funded JMWC provides facilities and technical support, as well as some additional capabilities, to MISO Web Operations (WebOps) teams from participating combatant commands. The MISO WebOps teams operate from the JMWC facility to conduct MISO [REDACTED].
We concluded that the JMWC has satisfied the basic needs of the combatant commanders while conducting Internet-based MISO but is not providing some important capabilities related to new technologies, cybersecurity, and the ability to operate nonstop. This lack of provisions occurred because key Government positions responsible for delivering these capabilities were unfilled or eliminated, limiting both oversight and support capacity at the JMWC.
These compromises occurred because the JMWC lacks a set of standards for the conduct of WebOps and has no mechanism for enforcing such standards by the WebOps teams. The lack of standards and enforcement is a result of the Offices of the Under Secretaries of Defense for Policy and for Intelligence and Security providing neither sufficient MISO WebOps policy nor proactive oversight. Additionally, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict has not delegated any entity with sufficient oversight authority to ensure MISO WebOps teams’ compliance to policy and guidelines.
Finally, we concluded that the current mechanism for funding the JMWC does not prioritize the JMWC Core’s mission support and also requires that the JMWC Core compete with the MISO WebOps teams it supports for the same funds. The lack of priority occurred because the consolidated MISO funding system used criteria and a ranking system that prioritized conducting operations over support, the JMWC Core’s function.
To address these conditions, we recommend that:
- The Under Secretary of Defense for Policy update the DoD’s MISO policy to define MISO and associated roles and authorities, establish parameters for conducting non-attributed operations, and develop a quality assurance oversight process for non-attributed MISO and MISO series.
- The Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict establish MISO WebOps standards and enforcement, and determine a funding mechanism for JMWC Core.
Management Comments and Our Response
As a result of management comments, recommendation 1.d (formerly 2.d), was redirected to the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy.
The Under Secretary of Defense for Policy agreed with recommendations 1 and 3 but did not outline the actions that they would take to address the recommendations. Therefore, the recommendations are unresolved.
The Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security did not respond to recommendation 2. Therefore, the recommendation is unresolved. We request that the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security provide comments on the final report within 30 days of report issuance.
This report is the result of Project No. D2022-DEV0PD-0131.000.