INTENSITY CONFLICT (LIC) - SPECIFIC
PREPARATION OF THE BATTLEFIELD (IPB)
From D + 2 onward, stability operations were the primary mission of the maneuver elements in Panama. Intelligence gaps became apparent as units began searching for Noriega loyalists, leaders of para-military and criminal organizations, or securing areas from looters. Location of homes and work places of the wanted personnel and determining likely areas of looting became critical nontraditional elements of IPB. As a result, the All-Source Production Section quickly reorganized priorities and began providing the new necessary information.
The standard IPB process was conducted effectively throughout the pre-deployment and operation phases. Situation-dependent, minor adjustments were made to some products to support the on-going mission. However, more attention could have been given to the unique factors presented by the LIC-specific aspects of the mission, its locale or the follow-on nation building operations. For example, the Population Status Overlay, which could have represented the living quarters and work places of the leaders of the DIGBATs and the para-military organizations, were not produced. Another valuable product, the Trap Overlay, used to portray attractive targets for terrorism or insurgent sabotage, could have been used to present proposed targets of looters and criminal elements. These graphics and other LIC-specific products could be produced during the pre-deployment phase, providing maneuver units with workable documents to assist them.
- The IPB process is sound. LIC operations require the consideration of more factors than the traditional enemy, terrain, and weather. The civilian population, logistics sustainability, critical economic and resource areas are important nontraditional factors.
- Courses of action must consider the reaction of the civilian population, refugee control and collateral damage.
- Decision Support Templates/Matrices must be extended to highlight long-term effects of combat operations so countermeasures can be planned.
- CA teams, the Chaplain, the S4, the S5, MPs and others should contribute to the IPB process and expand its focus.
- The IPB process is dynamic and requires constant re-evaluation. Refugees and unpredictable civil elements compound this.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|