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Mar 23, 2010 2:20 PM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Gates orders study of Pentagon 'information ops'

Defense Secretary Robert Gates has asked for a wide-ranging study of the Pentagon's information operations and given officials just 15 days to complete it.

The review comes amid a separate Pentagon investigation into whether an official hired private contractors to run an off-the-books spy operation for tracking suspected insurgents in Afghanistan and Pakistan. "Information operations" is a military term often used to describe collecting and disseminating intelligence, including electronic warfare, computer network operations, psychological operations and military deception.

Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell told a press conference Tuesday that Gates asked a small group of officials to study whether the programs are being run with proper oversight and guidelines.

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