Overt information operations during peacetime
Information superiority is the most critical asset in war making. It directly addresses the perception of the opponent and in the long term the will of him to act. Sun Tzu's classical text states this fact by the concept of deception as the basis of all warfare. The success in warfare then is dependent on being aware of what's happening, accurately realizing the context. This is the intelligence function in broad terms and mostly open source intelligence as it provides the context. Competitive intelligence is based mainly on open sources and day by day the open source share in the intelligence product is increasing. Present diversified open sources & services represent a methodology shift in war. The two preceding ways have been overt physical acts against military targets in wartime and covert information operations conducted throughout peacetime against even nonmilitary targets respectively. The present methodology must be overt (open) information operations during peacetime. This coincides with a metaphor change as well. It proposes a transformation from a war metaphor into a game metaphor in which there are some playing rules. In fact, the existence of such rules helps in drawing the boundary of the field of competitive intelligence and thus making it a profession. Game metaphor is safer to adopt than war as it's easier to take responsibility in public disclosure scenarios in this case. By following this metaphor, you continue to stay in the boundary of legitimate competition. In other terms, you make a conscious preference in terms of war intensities by choosing to avoid the more intense war forms limited conflict, and actual warfare respectively. Finally, this preference is in accordance with the fundamental point of the Sun Tzu's entire argument: The vision of victory without fighting. To summarize, open source domination in the competitive intelligence lays the ground for the game metaphor that represents a transformation in warfare. The apparent outcome is overt information operations during peacetime. It emerges as the most important tool to fight against deception, thus success in information warfare in the contemporary world.