Deception In Joint, Combined, And Contingency Operations
Although deceit is detestable in all other
things, yet in the conduct of war it is laudable
and honorable; and a commander who vanquishes an
enemy by stratagem is equally praised with one
who gains victory by force.
-Machiavelli, The Discourses
Airland Battle Doctrine, as set forth in FM 100-5, provides
guidance for operational and tactical employment of Army forces on
a worldwide basis. Chapter 2 and Chapter 3 provide guidance on conducting
operational and tactical deceptions on a worldwide basis. AirLand
Battle and Army deception doctrine is based on the assumption that
other service participation in Army operations will be routine.
It is further assumed that Army deployments in mid- to high-intensity
conflicts will result in routine combined operations as well.
Joint forces include-
The Army provides contingents-service (Army) components-to
unified and specified commands. Army forces are normally ASSIGNED
to unified or specified commands and ATTACHED to JTFs.
- Unified commands.
- Specified commands.
- Joint task forces (JTF).
Joint forces operate within two distinct gains of command, one
for operations and one for administrative and logistic matters.
The operational and administrative and logistic chains of command
are displayed in Army terms in Figure 7-1
Both wartime strategic and departmental-level deception plans
impact on how Army contingents, to specified and unified commands
as well as JTFs, plan their respective wartime operational-level
deceptions. This is done in one of two ways:
Figure 7-1. Chain of command
- As campaigns and deceptions conducted to support strategic
- As independent campaigns and deceptions to support the
outcomes of battles and engagements conducted by subordinate
For the following reasons, a conscious, concerted effort
should be made to harmonize strategic, departmental, and
operational deception plans:
The optimum organizational location to coordinate or harmonize
wartime strategic-departmental-operational deception plans is found
in emerging joint tactical deception doctrine: the tactical
deception support element (TDSE) operating in J3. Designated C3CM
personnel should be routinely consulted as well.
- Army EAC sustainment-oriented portions of deception plans
are preconditioned on sustainment capabilities provided to
EAC commanders from headquarters, DA.
- Army operational deception plan requirements are
preconditioned on mission taskings directed by unified or
specified commands or JTFs.
Joint force commanders should establish deception objectives
in all major exercises to ensure that wartime planning and
execution requirements are identified and practiced as part of the
normal mission planning process.
Army forces must be prepared for combined operations with
land, air, and naval forces of our Allies. Operational-level
deception planning in combined theaters imposes these special
considerations for the deception planner:
Wherever the US Army has been employed in a combined context,
special efforts have been necessary to coordinate operations and
deceptions. Continuation of such efforts is necessary to facilitate
future combined operations. As with regular operations, the
following are the chief considerations in planning and conducting
- Combined military effectiveness and cohesion are functions
of the political will of all nations involved in maintaining
the coalition. (There may exist political proscriptions
against, or constraints on, the employment of deception.)
- Political and military objectives among the Allies may
differ. This directly impacts on-
- Who can be targets of deception?
- What deception objectives are politically affordable?
- What deception perceptions can be created?
- What channels can be used to portray the story to the
- What means can be used to execute deception plans?
- Differences in deception capabilities (concepts, doctrine,
training, force structure, materiel) will require tailored
planning, coordination, and liaison.
- Complex host-nation and organic sustainment systems, or
combinations thereof, will stretch the creative and
imaginative capabilities of the deception planner to the
- Command and control.
- Operational procedures.
COMMAND AND CONTROL
Unity of command is essential in all wartime operations. The
commander responsible for the operation is also responsible for its
accompanying deceptions. When command relationships are
established between US units and superior, subordinate, or adjacent
Allied headquarters, special deception liaison arrangements are
required through operations channels.
Specialist (deception) liaison officers should be exchanged
when Allied or US forces employ deception personnel with which
either army is unfamiliar.
During World War II, the British in the Middle East were the
Allied deception experts. However, through the process of
personnel assignments, this expertise naturally moved to, and
matured within, other theaters and units. US Army deception
planners should be willing to learn from our allies who demonstrate
that expertise. They should also be willing to transfer our
expertise when opportunities to do so are presented.
During war, national intelligence products relating to
deceptions must be shared. Deception-specific PIR and IR must be
coordinated. Combined feedback mechanisms and procedures should
Arrangements must be made to ensure the rapid dissemination
of intelligence for the use of multinational assets and
capabilities which may be used to portray the deception story.
Some of those are-
Combined intelligence staffs, or the use of liaison and
exchange officers, facilitate the contributions that intelligence
systems of all nations must make to the deception effort.
- Military communications and noncommunications emissions.
- Public radio.
- False documents.
The design process for combined deception should maximize the
use of US and Allied capabilities and minimize individual and
SOPs should be established to integrate deception planning
into the combined mission planning process.
The planning of campaigns and major operations include
branches and sequels, which are deceptive in nature. This requires
particular attention to the organic and improvisation capabilities
of US and Allied units to display, demonstrate, and feign. The
disparities that combined deception planners must take into account
resulting from different weapons, radios, vehicles, and
other materiel, and the different operational procedures
which give operational fidelity to technically-based
- Dissimilar deception control measures.
- Dissimilar operational styles and tactics.
- Dissimilar deception-specific organizations and equipment.
- Differences in the multispectral (technical) signatures
The use of deception-specific liaisons, equipment exchanges,
and combined deception training programs can minimize these kinds
of problems before war breaks out.
COMBAT SERVICE SUPPORT
Although logistic support is normally a national
responsibility, combined commanders will have to take those
measures necessary to preserve the robustness and survivability of
supporting sustainment systems.
The sustainment system supporting combined commanders will be
a mix of-
Deceptive uses and protection of these capabilities should be
arranged early in any combined operation. Chapter 2 addresses
sustainment considerations that are equally applicable to combined
- Host nation.
- United States.
- Other-army capabilities.
The use of Army assets to satisfy contingency requirements
which are inherently strategic must be addressed despite the
battlefield focus of this manual.
Contingency operations are National Command Authority
(NCA)-directed military actions requiring rapid deployment to
perform military tasks in support of national policy objectives.
Contingency operations are normally undertaken-
Contingency operations are usually executed to-
- When vital national interests are at stake.
- When direct or indirect diplomatic efforts to resolve the
situation have been exhausted or need to be supplemented
Planning to support contingencies places the deception planner
squarely between the horns of the time-surprise dilemma.
- Rapidly show force to support a threatened ally.
- Blunt the invasion of a friendly country.
- Protect the property of US nationals.
- Evacuate endangered US nationals from hostile environments.
- Rescue hostages.
- Execute other NCA taskings.
Time becomes a critical factor in terms of-
Surprise becomes a critical factor because of-
- Capabilities and limitations to develop deception targets,
objectives, perceptions, stories, and plans.
- Letting the story unfold to have the desired effect in
relevant time frames.
- Intelligence community capabilities to quickly clarify the
situation and produce the necessary products to support
- Justifiable political (NCA) inclinations to terminate the
contingency situation at the lowest level of political
- Justifiable military (Joint Chiefs of Staff and
commander-in-chief) inclinations to terminate the contingency
situation at the lowest level of military violence to
prevent the threat from developing the situation on
The above considerations are formidable obstacles for the Army
operational deception planner; but they can be overcome. First,
deception planners at all echelons in the contingency chain of
command must realize that strategic, operational, and tactical
deception considerations rapidly collapse. This happens to the
point that no meaningful distinctions among the three levels exist.
Second, the contingency chain of command must predispose itself to
- Justifiable predispositions to use military force as a last
- Its potential contribution to minimizing the level of
political risk-taking and military violence to the force,
the target, and noncombatants.
- The fact that strategic, operational, and tactical
distinctions collapse and blur into a set of contingency
indicators for which the deception planner, depending upon
his position in the chain of command, may or may hot have
an opportunity to manipulate for surprise purposes.
- Domestic and international media predispositions to collect
and report the story, particularly the response option
- Potential targets can logically conclude that military and
political options to resolve the situation are proceeding
- Potential political constraints on using every means
available to portray the deception story.
- To facilitate winning militarily at the lowest political and
- To keep the full range of options open-political, economic,