Deception: A Neglected Force Multiplier AUTHOR Major Michael B. Kessler, USMC CSC 1989 SUBJECT AREA - Warfighting EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Title: DECEPTION: A NEGLECTED FORCE MULTIPLIER I. Purpose: To acquaint tactical leaders with the need to give tactical deception serious consideration in future operations. II. Problem: We have lulled ourselves into the belief that either there will be no more conflicts or that we are above using "dirty tricks" to gain an advantage on the battlefield. We must recognize the value of planning for and exercising deceptive tactics to support our operations. III. Data: Since the time man has engaged hiself in conflict he has endeavored to defeat his foe using all available means. It didn't take long to discover that trickery resulted in surprise and, thus, a distinct advantage. Volumes have been written on the art of deception, most dealing with the deception operations of WW II. The British had separate cells that planned those operations. But, after WW II those cells were disbanded. Only the Soviets have elected to refine the art of deception until it has become a major cornerstone for all operations and at all levels to include strategic. Although, we have recognized deceptive operations as an enhancement to the success of the larger game-plan, we have failed to give it the attention it so richly deserves. It is time our leaders begin paying attention to and planning for deception operations. IV. Conclusions: A thorough study in the art of deception operations would convince most of the need to improve our position on such an issue. Tactical deceptions are not difficult and should be given the same attention as the fire support plan. V. Recommendation: Revisions should be made to OH-7-13 and it should become an "FM". During all exercises, units should be evaluated on their scheme of maneuver, fire support plan and deception plan. But, the Marine Corps should provide some training for the operators on various methods available in generating deceptive tactics. DECEPTION: A NEGLECTED FORCE MULTIPLIER Outline Thesis statement. It stands as a reasonable assumption that a decisive advantage will be gained by those who understand and practice the art of deception. I. Definition of terms A. Misrepresentation B. Deception C. Disinformation. II. Deceptions in WW II A. Scherhorn B. Barbarossa and Sealion C. Deception operations in support of Overlord III. The basics of deception A. The levels of deception l. Strategic 2. Operational 3. Tactical B. Principles 1. Plausibility 2. Centralized control 3. Thorough preparation 4. Availability of adequate resources 5. Coordination between plans 6. Creditable alternative to the real plan 7. Flexibility 8. Security C. Fundamentals 1. The ability of the enemy to collect and analyze 2. Executable 3. Believable D. Influence the senses 1. Visual 2. Audio 3. Olfactory IV. Planning deception operations A. Organize the staff B. Assigning responsibilities C. Use staff planning cycle D. Determine the target E. Answer the questions 1. Are the signatures which were expected being raised? 2. Are critical signatures associated with the main course of action being suppressed? 3. Are deceptive measures fill the enemy's information gap? 4. What do we look like to the enemy? 5. How is the enemy reacting to all of this? F. Lessons learned from WW II deceptions V. Research and development efforts A. Electronic emitters B. Radar reflectors. C. Multi-spectral decoys D. Anti-RF/IR decoys VI. Closing thesis statement: Military libraries are filled with writings on deception yet we continue to provide only lip service to one of the most creditable of all force multipliers. The art of military deception continues to be regarded, as it has for centuries, as a creditable means by which to gain a monumental advantage over an adversary. The success of a well-planned operation that fails to employ deceptions at all levels will depend a great deal on how well the plan is understood and executed. The same plan with well conceived deceptions will generate uncertainty, resulting in delayed responses by the enemy forces. It stands as a reasonable assumption, therefore, that a decsisive advantage can be gained by those who understand and practice the art of tactical deception. JCS Pub 1 defines deception as "Those measures designed to mislead the enemy forces by manipulation, distortion or falsification of evidence to induce them to react in a manner prejudiced to their interests." Another definition suggests that deception is the "deliberate misrepresentation of reality done to gain a competitive advantage."1 In any event, the successful deception results in luring the enemy commander's operation to fit the desires of the deceiver. An oversimplified summary may suggest merely concealing the real and revealing the false. Or, more appropriately, "manipulate the real, falsify as necessary".2 A deception incorporates several sub-elements, none of which are more important than another. We often speak of deception when we mean surprise and surprise when we mean deceptions although the two are intimately related. Janice Gross Stein writes "When deception succeeds, surprise results and, generally, it is a defender who is surprised by a challenger's deception".3 Misrepresentation is a viable aspect of deception in that it provide's false or misleading information to the enemy. "Disinformation" or misinformation is construed by many to be the use of "dirty tricks". While Webster's fails to recognize the word "disinformation", the Great Soviet Encyclopedia defines it as "the dissemination of false information with the intention to deceive public opinion". In actuality, the target is the decision making body of the targeted government or military establishment. The false information will come in the form of messages leaked into an adversary's communication network, causing some sort of reaction by the decision makers. To the Soviets, the act of generating varying forms of disinformation has become a polished art. History is replete with examples of creative deception plans, some that worked and some that did not. In August of 1944, a small Soviet intelligence unit began Operation Scherhorn by transmitting a request to the German High Command on behalf of Lt. Colonel Scherhorn. The deception story had the German elite believing the Scherhorn was actually in Berisino with his 2500 man armored battalion. The message indicated the battalion was in need of medical supplies, small arms, food and money. The High Command had confirmed that Scherhorn was, indeed, one of their battalion commanders. Attempts to verify the information were difficult. What had been confirmed, though, seemed to substantiate the Scherhorn story. Not only were the supplies provided by air drop to eagerly awaiting Russians, but Scherhorn was considered a hero and promoted to Colonel while a prisoner to the Soviet's.4 The well-publicized planned invasion of Russia by the Germans in World War II was Operation Barbarossa. Translated, Barbarossa means Red Beard, the nickname of Frederick I, and the idol of Hitler. Stalin was aware of the code name and was convinced Hitler would never invade Russia under a plan called Barbarossa. Hitler had briefed Stalin explaining to the Russian leader that Barbarossa was a deception plan to support "Sealion", the planned invasion of England. German troops were briefed on "Sealion" and preparing for an offensive operation against Britain. The British were also aware of the plan and had tied up fifteen divisions to defend against the crossing of the channel. While Barbarossa was to conceal Sealion, Sealion, in fact, concealed Hitler's true intent, an all-out offensive against Russia. The initial thrust into Russia was a complete surprise. It's success rests on the fact that: "...what Hitler had done was not to make Stalin merely uncertain and therefore indecisive (but rather) his cunning, ultimatum stratagem served to eliminate ambiguity, `making Stalin quite certain, very decisive and very wrong. "5 "Bodyguard" was a joint/combined deception operation and was supported by a series of other operations. Plans were conceived to confuse the German High Command as to where the actual large-scale offense by the allies would take place. Allied forces were tasked to portray operation plans for several possible allied invasion sites. Operation Tindall portrayed pressure on Norway. Other theater operations in Southern France were planned under Operation Zeppelin. "Wadham" created the illusion of a large allied buildup in England, possibly to support Operation Harlequin, a full scale attack on Pas-de-Calais. Under "Royal Flush" diplomatic deceptions had neutral countries supporting the allies. "Ironside Vendetta" and "Ferdinand" portrayed operations in the Western Mediterranean. Credibility was given to this plan with visits to Gibralter by Montgomery's look-alike. Project "Moonshine" was the first radio/radar deception that equipped seven fighters with the electronics to replicate fifty bombers. The successful landing on Normandy was the result of a series of will conceived deception plans. Each was designed to create uncertainty and indecisiveness on the part of the German High Command and thereby increase the liklihood of allied success. These are but a few of the classical deceptions of World War II. There have been several deceptions employed in conflicts around the world since the end of WW II by countries who practice battlefield illusions on a regular basis and at all levels. The country most adept at the art of deception is the Soviet Union where the term "Maskirovka" is used to define cover, concealment and deception. Unlike our own OH-7-13, the Soviets recognize three levels of deception; strategic, operational and tactical. The first is the "emphasis on the everyday, ongoing camouflage, denial and deception, in keeping with board cursory definition of camouflage as on the basic types of support activities for troops in operation and combat."6 In addition, it may include those necessary diplomatic deceptions that mislead world leaders as to the actual intentions of the deceiving nation. Operational and tactical deceptions are "actions, recordings and concentration, concealing troops and informations and misinforming the enemy".7 The difference between the two being a matter of scale. Well disciplined, extensive and creative deception plans are integrated into all Soviet operations and, in fact have become the central theme for Soviet Military Doctrine. The Soviets have recognized that originality and creativity provide a solid basis for all deception efforts. They have also stressed some basic principles that require strict adherence. The first is that the deception plan must be plausible in that it supports the operational scheme and must focus on a specific target, i.e., the enemy commander and his staff. The second suggests that control remains at the highest possible level to prevent lower-level deception schemes from compromising the overall plan. Next, preparation and execution must be thorough and with sufficient resources provided to ensure credibility. It calls for the necessity for absolute coordination between the actual plan and the deception effort. The plan must be a creditable alternative to the real plan and unfold in a logical and realistic fashion. On the larger scale it is necessary to feed as łany of the enemy's intelligence collection sources as possible. This is important as the enemy will attempt to verify information received through as many sources as he feels necessary. The principle of flexibility is as important in deception as it is in any operation. The plan may require alterations if, for instance, the enemy misses some signals, misinterprets some, or fails to accept others. Finally, security plays a major part in a successful deception plan.8 It is for this reason that some practitioners of deception conceal the truth from their own commanders and troops or feed them misinformation. While recognizing that these basic principles are outlined in some of our own publications, we rarely take the time to practice them on a routine basis. When outgunned and outnumbered (never the case in training exercises) deception planning is not longer a luxury but rather a vital necessity. While some basic principles have been provided, the recognition of certain fundamentals are critical to the success or failure of the intended illusion. In the analysis of enemy capabilities, it is important to examine his ability to collect and analyze the various types of signatures portrayed. The signatures must be capable of being physically collected and analyzed by the enemy's intelligence network if they are to influence his decision making process. It is unlikely far example, that a third-world country in a low-intensity conflict could collect and analyze electronic deceptions. Based on what the enemy knows of our own tactical doctrine and capability, a believable deception story is fed to the enemy. To generate a deception plan that is not executable would be futile and not achieve the intended surprise. Further, it is recognized that to carry out a plausible deception will require the use of combat troops and equipment. Troop activity, to include embarkation and deployment, as well as equipment staging and preparation enhance the authenticity of the deception plan. Currently, up to 3O% of the Soviet forces are expected to be actively engaged in maskirovka.9 The techniques and methods employed are becoming more technical due primarily to the advanced methods for collection, detection, and analyzing. However, the senses that must be influenced remain the same. Concealing the real from visual observation requires extensive and continual use of camouflage techniques. Conversely, efforts to reveal the false can be done through the use of two dimensional decoys. In 1987 the Army Development and Employment Agency conducted a test on the JANUS(T) wargaming system to determine the affect of decoys on the battlefield. The result showed a favorable increase in system survivability and effectiveness in the employment of decoys.1O Stationary decoys sustained six to seven hits before identified as decoys. To further influence the visual means of collection, heat and light signatures on decoys are detectable through infrared or thermal imagery devices. The sense of sound can is provided through the simulation of troop activity and/or vehicle movement. Olfactory deception through the intended use of recognizable odors can be simulated to portray the presence of troops and equipment. Finally, the use of electronic deception could be the decisive factor in a successful deception plan. Electronic methods could include the use of bogus messages, "accidental" breeches of OPSEC over the phonelines. The replication of critical nodes, fleet movement, and the use of radar reflectors create the illusion of several systems where there may be only one. Principles, fundamentals and techniques are the essentials to keep in mind when planning for a deception. Commanders have four options to choose from when organizing his staff in planning the deception: the normal staff, the commander only, close hold and ad hoc. The first, while benefiting from the experiences of everyone involved, sacrifices security. The ad-hoc method implies a select group working only on the deception plan and is removed from the everyday functioning and planning carried out by the rest of the staff. While tight security is maintained, the ad-hoc group is working in a vacuum which could be detrimental to the plan. Higher headquarters generates the "Commander Only" method. It is a favored method because security is tight in that only the commander knows that his operation is the deception. The staff works the plan as though it is the selected course of action rather than a deception. The "close hold" structure allows for a degree of security while still employing the wide range of experience throughout the staff. Although the "commander only" method provides for the greatest amount of security, the "close hold" system maximizes the experience of the principle staff members while allowing for tight security. The staff organization must be identified early and exercised often as to create a confident and cohesive working arrangement. The planning of deception must be an integral part of the staff planning process and support the concept of operations. Some have suggested it should be a function of the S-2 while others contend it should be the responsibility of the operations officer. Where the Soviets rely on the intelligence branch to generate and control deceptions, the British suggest it should be a requirement levied on the operations branch. In fact, it should be a joint effort with the S-3 working closely with the S-2 and S-4. The plan begins with the enunciation of the mission, its analysis and the commanders guidance. The commander must have a clear grasp of his mission based on the intent of higher headquarters. He must not only concern himself with what he wants to do but also what he wants the enemy to do or fail to do. The commander should identify the target to be deceived and, if possible, the portrayal of a story that will result in a successful deception. The more choices the adversary must have to evaluate, the better the chances are for a successful deception plan. While the enemy commander is the ultimate target, it is important to recognize that he is highly influenced by an extensive information chain. In short, three goals must be realized and achieved for the plan to succeed: condition the targets' belief, influence the targets' actions and benefit from the actions of the target. In essence, the following questions must be answered: "Are the signatures which were expected being raised?" "Are critical signatures associated with the main course of action being suppressed?" "Are deceptive measures filling the enemy's information gaps?" "What do we look like to the enemy?" "How is the enemy reacting to all of this?".11 Regarding the planning that went into the deceptions of World War II, those that retained certain goals and completeness were the successful operations The commander's guidance for "Overlord" was broad in scope but expressed the desired goals. The goals to be accomplished included: l) convey the impression that the attack would come in the east instead of the west, 2) convey the impression that the date for the attack would actually occur much later and 3) attempt to convince the Germans that the actual attack would merely be a feint.12 This specific operation was a success in part due to the guidance provided but also due to the other supporting deception plans. Conversely, Operation Tindall failed to deceive the German High Command because the deception was incomplete. The Germans knew that an advanced air base would have to be established to support an operation in Norway. The likely location for such an airbase would be in Iceland, and since no such installation existed there was little credibility given to the plan. Additionally, there was no logical development of radio deceptions as they were compressed and lacked volume. Finally, the landing did not appear plausible as the British failed to portray adequate numbers of real or false aircraft. The major powers of the post war era were quick to describe the lessons learned regarding such operations. Information on Japanese deceptions were never recorded if, indeed, they took place. Many have speculated that the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor was more a factor of sound OPSEC rather than deception. The Russians were reluctant to record "lessons learned" as they imply failures. However, their current doctrine is based on the experiences of the war. They regarded the extensive use of radio and electronic means of deception as highly significant. Further, camouflage and cover must be exploited to the fullest extent possible. The position of the British is that "Deception cannot be an end into itself. .it must be tied to actual operation, as events cause the real plan to be modified, so must the deception plan. "13 The Research and Development communities of all services have achieved some success in the development of equipment that will aid in the creation of deceptions. Electronic emitters can portray the electronic signal of a command post, observation post or recon teams. Even entire fleets have been replicated through electronic deceptions. Visual deceptive images in the form of multi-spectral decoys paint images of vehicles in terms of sight, sound and heat. Another target is the enemy radar system. Developments include a synthetic helicopter simulator and other radar target simulators that replicate moving convoys. Inflatable/ejectable or spinning decoys are available to portray an increase in the numbers of aircraft signatures appearing on radar scopes. Decoys against anti-ship missiles create false-fleets or false infrared or RF images at safe distances from the targeted vessel. Recent conversations have even suggested the employment of tele-operated vehicles fitted with skirts to look like tactical vehicles. Regardless of the quality or quantity of systems created, the emphasis must continue to focus on how and when to use deceptions and how to achieve the desired story and objective. Military libraries are filled with writings on deception yet we continue to provide only lip service to one of the most creditable of all force multipliers. Deceptions at all levels are invaluable force multipliers and should receive more attention. In fact, battlefield deception should receive the same emphasis as that of the scheme of maneuver and fire support plan. In reality, deceptions seem to occur only in response to a crisis. Deception is a form of warfare that is designed to benefit the deceiver. This is accomplished by influencing the thought process of the adversary through a well conceived program of disinformation. While most recognized Sun Tzu as one of the first master of deception, Lt. General Bernard E. Trainor, USMC(Ret) recognized the significance of deception when he wrote, "Deception has principles and characteristics, but it has no rules. It is the playground of the creative mind. As a force multiplier it is without match and may be employed at every level of warfare. Like any techniques, it must be practiced to be perfected. "14 If we abide by the axiom that we fight as we train than we must focus more attention in training our commanders and operations planners on the significance of creating deception operations. FOOTNOTES l Donald Daniel and Katherine Herbig, ed., Strategic Military Deception, Pergamon Policy Studies on Security Affairs,p.3. 2 Arbeeny, John, Major US Army, Concept Paper, "Tactical Deception" ,p.3. 3 Stein, Janice Gross, Military Deception. Strategic Surprise and Conventional Deterrence: A political Analysis of Egypt and Israel 4 Sevin, Dieter, "Operation Scherhorn", Military Review. (March 1966). 5 Whaley, Barton, Codeword Barbarossa (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press 1973). 6 Beaumont, Roger, "MASKIROVKA: Soviet Camouflage, Concealment and Deception", Strategic Studies, SS82-1,p.5. 7 Soviet Military Encylopedia, Vol.4,p.175. 8 Dick, C.J., "Catching NATO Unawares: Soviet Army Surprise and Deception Techniques", International Defense Review (January 1986),p.26. 9 The Army Field Manual, Vol. V, Part 5, "Deception In War", Army Code 71359 (part 5), 1985,p.vi 10 Battlefiled Deception JANUS(T) Wargaming, U.S. Army Development and Employment Agency, Ft. Lewis, Washington, (July 1988) 11 Arbeeny,p.16. 12 Boyce, Earl J., Major USAF, "Cover and Deception in World War II, It's Lessons and Doctrine Implications", as quoted in C.J. Masterman, The Double-Cross System in the War of 1939-1945. (New Haven: Yale University, Press, 1972) ,p.109-112. 13 Boyce,p.109-112. 14 Trainor, Bernard E., Lt. General, USMC (Ret), "Deception", Marine Corps Gazette, (Oct. l986),p.61. Bibliography Arbeeny, John., Major, USA. "Tactical Deception." November 1983. Beaumont, Roger. "MASKIROVKA: Soviet Camouflage, Concealment and Deception." Strategic Studies, SS82-1, Novemember 1982. Bittman, Ladislav. The KGB and Soviet Disinformation. Pergamon-Brassey's International Defense Publishers, 1985. Boyce, Earl J., Major, USAF. "Cover and Deception in World War II - It's Lessons and Doctrine Implications." Air Command and Staff College, Air University, Maxwell AFB, AL., March 1982. Daniel, Donald and Katherine Herbig, ed. Strategic Military Deception Pergamon Policy Studies On Security Affairs, 1982. Dick, C.J. "Catching NATO Unawares: Soviet Army Surprise and Deception Techiques." International Defense Review, January 1986. Gooch, John and Amos Perlmutter. ed. Military Deception and Strategic Surprise, Frank Cass and Co., Ltd., 1982. Painter, N.J., Major, British Army. "Decoys and Deception." Camberley, June 1988. Sevin, Dieter. "Operation Scherhorn." Military Review. March l966. Thibault, George Edward. ed. The Art and Practice of Military Strategy. National Defense University, Washington, D.C., 1984. Trainor, Bernard E., Lt. General, USMC (Ret). "Deception." Marine Corps Gazette, October 1986. U.S. Army Development and Employment Agency, "Battlefield Deception JANUS (T) Wargaming." February 1988. U.S. Army Intelligence Center and School Directorate of Combat Developments, "Interim Operational Concept for Battlefield Deception." March 1986. U.S. Department of State, Contemporary Soviet Propaganda and Disinformation, June 1985. Ziyemin'sh, M.A., Soviet Red Army. "Deception in Warfare." Krasnaya Zrezda (Red Star). The Soviet Strategic View, Fall 1979.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|