Deception- The Missing Tool AUTHOR Major Robert R. Parker Jr., USMC CSC 1991 SUBJECT AREA - Warfighting EXECUTIVE SUMMARY TITLE: DECEPTION- THE MISSING TOOL I. Theme: To outline the capabilities of military deception, both tactical and strategic, through the examination of historical case studies, and to identify Marine Corps stratagem deficiencies. II. Thesis: Successful employment of deception is a product of historical analysis, practical exercise, and realistic training. III. Discussion: The United States military establishment in the post Desert Storm era is facing budgetary and personnel cutbacks. With increased financial restrictions, the military will be looking for low cost force multipliers to enhance the existing high technology weapon systems. Proper employment of deception nearly doubles the chance of battlefield victory when coupled with surprise. Moreover, it is relatively inexpensive. Examined from the tactical and strategic perspective, attention is given to the successful application of this force multiplier in history. Focusing on the Marine Corps and Southwest Asia, the use of deception is scrutinized. IV. Summary: Deception is a viable force multiplier that could greatly enhance the Marine Corps' warfighting capability. Stratagem methodologies and employment need to be analyzed historically as well as exercised regularly. V. Conclusions: There are numerous reasons why the Marine Corps needs to become proponents of deception. But until realistic training and comprehensive education reforms are instituted, deception's value will not be fully realized. DECEPTION- THE MISSING TOOL Outline Deception is a product of historical analysis, training, and regular exercise. I. Why Deception A. Force multiplier l. Enhanced opportunity for battlefield success when used with surprise 2. Desert Storm II. Military Deception A. Strategic l. Definition 2. Operations Fortitude and Bluebird B. Tactical l. Definition 2. Task Force Troy III. Deception and the Marine Corps A. Is it our concern? B. Early days of Desert Shield l. MCLLS Report 2. Historical need for formally trained personnel C. Tactical deception l. Are we really training 2. Need to exercise deception through the staff planning process 3. Ability to enhance 0TH D. Strategic deception l. Necessity to participate in the joint arena E. Education 1. Command and Staff College IV. Summary A. Compatibility with maneuver warfare Desert Storm was a triumph of air power and high technology weapon systems, both of which are extremely expensive. With the expedition to Southwest Asia over and the peace dividend looming ominously in the future, the military is facing both budgetary and personnel cutbacks. The Reagan era of enriched military budgets and the fear of the evil Soviet empire no longer loosens purse strings on Capitol Hill. Consequently, the military needs to look for alternative means to achieve success on the battlefield. If we are to maintain a viable force in readiness in a leaner economy, we must offset any advantage the enemy might have by the prudent use of low cost force multipliers. One such multiplier, deception, is as old as warfare itself. Sun Tzu, that ardent military philosopher, some 2500 years ago stressed cunning, stealth and guile as keys to successful deception. Moreover, Sun Tzu contends that prudent application of this force turns an enemy's strength into weakness while simultaneously maximizing the originator's capabilities. Similarly, FMFM l: Warfighting, acknowledges two additional considerations that are significant as multipliers of combat power: surprise and boldness. Surprise, often a byproduct of deception, is a force multiplier that exponentially enhances the potential for 1U.S. Marine Corps, FMFM 1: Warfighting, (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Marine Corps, 1989), 33. battlefield success. Studies show that linking deception and secrecy to achieve surprise nearly doubles the opportunity for victory.3 In short, "all warfare is based on deception.4 Both an art and a technique, deception is virtually cost free. In this age of dwindling resources, a renewed interest in the utilization of deception is warranted. The combination of the these factors--surprise, secrecy and deception-- contributed greatly to the widespread success of Operation Desert Storm. But the overwhelming dominance of aviation and the publicity of the blitzkrieg ground offensive has overshadowed their importance in shaping the battlefield. Still the effective use of deception in the Kuwait Theater of Operations warrants a closer examination. In a recent interview in the Washington Post, Lieutenant General Walter Boomer, USMC, commander of all Marine forces ashore in Southwest Asia, described the Marine portion of the Desert Storm campaign. Boomer stated, "We're taking on ll Iraqi divisions with two Marine divisions. Our force ratios are horrible. We don't want him to know that... because I've got so 2U.S. Marine Corps, FMFM 1-2: Campaigning, (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Marine Corps, 1990) 75-77. 3Analytical deception data presented by Ronald G. Sherwin and Barton Wharley in their article, shows the probability of achieving victory given surprise is 93%, while the probability of achieving, victory given no surprise, declines to 50%. [ Sherwin and Wharley, "Understanding Strategic Deception: An Analysis of 93 Cases," in Strategic Military Deception, ed. Donald C. Daniel and Katherine L. Herbig (New York: Pergamon Press,l982) 189.] 4Sun Tzu, The Art of War, trans. Samuel B. Griffin (Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 1963) 66. few resources."5 Yet by deploying a Marine Expeditionary Brigade to the Persian Gulf, the United States gave the Iraqi commanders "a number of false impressions deliberately created by the allied command, including the threat of an amphibious landing on the Kuwait coast that in fact never existed."6 This action, according to the U.S. News and World Report, "tied up at least four Iraqi coastal divisions."7 Thus by causing Iraq to focus simultaneously on the Kuwait coast and the western desert, the United States caused Saddam Hussein to be a victim of Frederick the Great's adage, "He who attempts to defend everywhere, defends nowhere." Deception is designed to mislead the enemy by manipulation, distortion, or falsification of evidence to induce a reaction that is prejudicial to its interests. Military deception is designed to mislead foreign leaders, causing them to believe the desired appreciations of military capabilities, intentions, operations, or other activities which result in a foreign response that is beneficial to the originator's objectives. Current Joint Chiefs of Staff Publications acknowledge three forms of military deception: strategic, tactical and department/service. For the purpose of this essay only strategic 5Molly Moore, "Commander Waged War from Battlefield Convoy," Washington Post, 3 March 1991, A32. 6Edward Cody, "Marine Say Iraqi Performance Fell Far Short of Expectations," Washington Post, 3 March 1991, A33. 7Brian Duffy, "Victory in the Gulf: The 100-Hour War," U.S. News & World Report, 11 March, 1991, 16. and tactical military deception will be examined.8 Strategic deception is military deception planned and executed to change the national policies and actions of a foreign country to support our national objectives, policies and strategic military plans.9 Three assumptions can be made about military deception at the strategic level: 1) That they involve large numbers of individuals and organizations as the perpetrators and victims of deception, including the national command authority on both sides of the deception interaction. 2) That they are relatively long term deceptions, recurring over the course of weeks or months. 3) That the stakes are very high, in that they affect the out comes of wars or large scale front level campaigns as opposed to tactical deceptions, which affect the outcome of battles or local engagements.10 Perhaps the best and most familiar example of strategic deception is Operation Fortitude, which involved deceiving the Germans as to the actual site for the allied invasion of France. 8John LeHockey, author of FMFMRP 15-6 Strategic and Operational Military Deception: U.S. Marines and the Next Twenty Years, presents a strong argument for the need to include operational deception as the bridge between strategic and tactical military deception. Essentially LeHockey contends that the objective of operational deception is "to influence the decisions of the enemy commanders before battle occurs so the tactical outcome of battles and engagements are favorable and subsequentially exploitable operationally." [ FMFMRP 15-6 (Washington, D.C.: Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps, 1989) 4]; hereinafter cited as FMFMRP 15-6. 9Instructional Publication 3-9: Deception in Amphibious Operations, (Quantico, Virginia: Education Center, Marine Corps Development and Education Center, December 1982), 2; hereinafter cited as IP 3-9. 10Donald C. Daniel and Katherine L. Herbig, "Introduction," Strategic Military Deception, Daniel and Herbig ed., (New York: Pergamon Press, 1982) , xi. Another lesser known, but highly successful strategic deception of World War II, was Operation Bluebird. Operation Bluebird dealt with the invasion of Okinawa in 1945. To minimize casualties during the assault of the island, the Japanese were led to believe that following the seizure of Iwo Jima in February 1945, the next American objectives would be Formosa and South China. "Through conferences, planned leakage, increased reconnaissance, shifts in radio traffic, double agents, coastal surveys and carrier air strikes, the focus was shifted [away from 0kinawa] to Formosa and South China."11 The net result of these efforts included transferring a first line Japanese Division from Okinawa to Formosa and replacing them with an equal number of second rate units. Of more strategic significance, Operation Bluebird ensured the Japanese did not reinforce Okinawa. Most successful strategic military deceptions rely on two complementary actions occurring. Hiding the truth and establishing a lie. In the examples cited, the enemy's belief of a certain fact was exploited. In the Fortitude scenario, the Germans believed that the invasion of Europe would occur at the Pas de Calais. Since allied intelligence confirmed this belief, the Germans were fed false information to reinforce their misconception.12 Similarly, Bluebird capitalized on the 11IP 3-9, 3. 12For a detailed account of Operation Fortitude see Anthony Cave Brown, Bodyguard of Lies, (New York: Harper and Row, 1975); for a general overall of deception in World War II see Charles Japanese belief that MacArthur's southwestern route to Japan, which included the capture of Formosa, was the most logical scheme of maneuver for american forces in the Pacific to follow. Tactical deception is "military deception planned and executed by and in support of operational commanders against the pertinent threat, to result in the opposing operations actions favorable to the originator's plan and operations."13 A strong imagination coupled with camouflage, dummy positions, and tactical deception devices is essential if tactical deception is to be achieved. Additionally, if true success is to be achieved, tactical stratagem considerations must be incorporated as part of the overall campaign plan. Task Force Troy accentuated this harmonious relationship. For two weeks before allied forces stormed into Kuwait and Iraq, a phantom Marine division stalked the border with loudspeakers blaring tank noises. It filled sand berms [sic] with dummy tanks and artillery guns. Helicopters landed daily, never delivering or picking up a passenger. Military creators dubbed the team Task Force Troy- a subtler alternative to the original designation of Task Force Trojan Horse- 460 troops trying to imitate the activity of 16,000 Marines who, in a major last minute change of allied war plans were actually racing more than 100 miles to the west for a new assault position. "We wanted to avoid the appearance of the truth- that there was nobody home," said Brigade Cruickshank, Deception in World War II, (Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 1979) and John Gooch and Amos Perlmutter, ed., Military Deception and Strategic Surprise, (London: Frank Cass and Co., 1982) and Barton Whaley, Stratagem: Deception and Surprise in War, (Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT's Center for International Studies, 1969). 13IP 3-9, 2. General Tom Draude, who commanded the operation. "We wanted to create the illusion of force where there was none."14 Having defined military deception, in both the tactical and strategic sense, let's apply it to the Marine Corps. Some may argue that the Marines clearly know how to properly employ tactical military deception. After all, Task Force Troy demonstrated this. As to strategic military deception, others will insist that is beyond the Marines' scope or concern. To both arguments, I contend the Marine Corps is inadequately prepared and woefully understaffed. Despite the obvious battlefield success and effective use of tactical deception during the ground war in Southwest Asia, the Marine Corps was initially caught napping. Lessons learned from the early days of Operation Desert Shield report: l) Marine personnel from the MEF G-2, G-3 and G-6 were not trained in the use or application of deception(11/03/88). 2) Maritime Pre-positioning Ship containers are all painted olive drab, regardless whether they are intended for Norway or the desert(11/01/9O). 3) Chemical protective overgarment are available only in woodland camouflage(11/O1/9O). 4) Marine tanks and artillery units do not possess tactical deception devices (Tactical deception devices are low cost items that assume the characteristics of a major end item, such as an artillery piece or a tank. Some sophisticated tactical deception devices even give the same infrared signature as the real major end item [11/O1/90)]. 5) Marine forces did not have enough desert camouflage netting for the defensive(11/0l/9O). 6) Smoke generator units did not have the 14Molly Moore, "Allies Used a Variation of Trojan Horse Ploy," Washington Post, 17 March 1991, A23. capability to rub on different grades of fuel(11/01/90) From this list of selected lessons learned, several observations need to be made. First, II MEF reported in November 1988, that a critical problem existed regarding the lack of formally trained deception personnel. In the report, II MEF identified an important deficiency-that effective deception operations require a nucleus of personnel who not only receive formal training, but who practice their training. To validate this concern, II MEF requested that this section of the command post be exercised during Solid Shield-89. The importance of proper training regarding tactical military deception is obvious. Improper, or poorly employed deception may cause the enemy to react in a manner that is unfavorable to the originator's plan. Deception is not a panacea that replaces other miliary action, rather it is a tool to augment the overall campaign plan. Therefore, it must be exercised just as often as fire support planning. Britain's most experienced deception planner in World War II, Brigadier General Dudley Clarke, brings home this point well: In the first Deception Plan I ever tackled I learned a lesson of inestimable value. The scene was Abyssinia.. General [Sir Archibald] Wavell wanted the Italians to think he was about to attack from the south in order to draw off forces from those opposing him on the northern flank. The deception went well enough- but the result was just the opposite of what Wavell wanted. The Italians drew off in the South, and sent what 15"Tactical Deception," Marine Corps Lesson Learned System[a computer service], 25 January 1991, 1-45. they could spare from there to the North, which was of course the true British objective. After that it became a creed in `A' Force to ask a General `What do you want the enemy to do,'and never, `What do you want him to think?'16 Other points of concern from the MCLLS REPORT is the lack of tactical deception devices and inadequate quantities of camouflage netting. If we are really going to use deception tactically on the battlefield, we must train to that standard. Tactical deception devices should be used by tanks and artillery personnel each and every time they go to the field, not just because they went to Saudi Arabia. Yet, from MCLLS, the need did not become apparent until the Marines in Southwest Asia saw the capabilities of British and U.S. Army equipment. Moreover, the shortage of desert camouflage netting should not have been a constant dilemma for the commander in the field. Rather, planners in conjugation with logisticians should have adjusted Tables of Equipment to reflect requirements for desert netting based on the experiences of Twenty Nine Palms. Instead, they apparently did not consider it. True, the deployment of forces to Saudi Arabia was on short notice, but the notion that the Marines might be engaged in desert warfare is not. Otherwise, why does the Marine Corps conduct live fire exercises in the desert at Twenty Nine Palms? Imagination is an important part of tactical deception, but so is 16John LeHockey, "Are We Deceiving Anyone?",U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings, (September 1989) , 54; citing Barton Whaley, Stratagem: Deception and Surprise in War, (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Massachusetts Institute for Technology's Center for International Studies, 1969) , 135. basic equipment. If we are really going to effectively utilize tactical military deception as a force multiplier, we must understand the basic requirements- equipment, school trained personnel, and realistic training. Since it is unlikely that the Marines will be afforded six months of preparation time for the next conflict, it is imperative that the lessons learned early in Desert Shield be scrutinized. One excellent training method to familiarize Marines with deception is to utilize nonselected courses of action. During the staff estimate process, normally more than one course of action is prepared. With relative ease, one of the rejected staff options can be developed in tandem with the principal option as the deception plan. Thus the commander is provided an available tool for exploitation should the opportunity or circumstance arise. Lastly, in an age of joint operations, Marines need to be intimately familiar with the employment and methodology of deception. Otherwise, when it comes time to execute a deception, the Marines will be left high and dry on the beach. Moreover, as the Over-The-Horizon (0TH) concept becomes a reality, the use of deception will augment that capability by pitting our strength against an enemy's weakness. As FMFMRP 15-6 states, "Unfortunately, improvements in radar technology and the recent explosion of surveillance capabilities of all nations, including 17This concept and the methodology of employing tactical deception are discussed at length in Bernard E. Trainor, "Deception," Marine Corps Gazette, (October 1986), 57-61. those of the Third World, have made the conduct of amphibious operations increasingly vulnerable."18 Accordingly, personnel that are well versed in the use and employment of tactical deception becomes paramount. The second major area that needs to be addressed is strategic military deception. As defined previously, strategic military deception involves not only a large amount of personnel but also detailed and meticulous planning. If the Marine Corps is going to truly participate in a joint arena, then it must also understand the value of strategic deception. The following satire describes its potential: Art Buchwald, no mean strategist he explored the implications of total masking representing the Stealth---since no one can see it. It could be presented (inventing) as a false reality to the Soviets, who will waste vast sums countering the threat. When they find they have been cheated, we announce an invisible submarine; finally, when the Soviets, cunning chaps, no longer respond to the threat of invisible weapons systems, the United States will be truly ready. The Americans will leak that they have decided to build an invisible aircraft carrier. The Soviets will think this is more "disinformation" being put out by our side and will do nothing about it. But this time we'll go ahead with the plans, and the Soviets will wake up one morning and see hundreds of invisible aircraft carriers off their shores. If they are invisible how will they see them? Because we will deny they are there.19 18FMFMRP 15-6,6; citing Martin Kamhi, "Shipboard EW: A Growing Awareness," International Defense Review, (Special Supplement No. 2, "Electronic Warfare," 1985), 40. 19FMFMRP 15-6, 217; citing Steven E. Daskel, "A True Strategic Asset," Armed Forces Journal, (December 1988), 10. Strategic deceptions affect the enemy's total ability to conduct war. Not only does it influence their warfighting concepts, but it also affects their doctrine, training, force structure, and material procurement. Consequently, not being part of strategic deception may adversely affect the Marine Corps warfighting capability. For example, if a strategic deception was designed to influence the enemy's naval capabilities, it might result in the enemy shifting its focus from the sea to coastal and beach defense. Therefore, it is in our best interest that we have personnel that represent the Marine perspective at the strategic level. Moreover, these people must be well versed in Marine doctrine, equipment and capabilities. Lastly, since deception nearly always works and is inexpensive, why have the Marines failed to spend more time studying it.20 We pride ourselves on being innovative yet thrifty. Deception seems to gives us both. Perhaps it the natural reluctance on the practitioner's part to reveal their modus operandi. Still, Marines must be exposed to the methodology of deception if it is to be effectively utilized. Marine Corps Command and Staff College gives only a cursory glimpse on the subject through its analysis of Operation Fortitude and ensuing theoretical discussions. Though this equates to one morning of study, the college neglects to discuss 20Each tactical deception device for a M1Al main battle tank cost approximately $3,300. For the cost of less than one M1A1 the Marine Corps could equip its entire fleet of tanks. Robert K. Ackerman, "The Art of Deception," SIGNAL, (September 1988), 48. the use of tactical deception devices or on going Marine deception initiatives. Moreover, when developing an exercise concept of operations, students rarely discuss deception in detail. Perhaps this explains the Marines' initial dilemma in Southwest Asia. As proponents of maneuver warfare, it is time that we wholeheartedly embrace the use of strategic and tactical military deception. This process must begin at the educational level with detailed analysis of successful and unsuccessful strategic and tactical military deception. Not only must we study and examine it, we must practice it through the use of formal deception plans and concepts. Further, we must incorporate tactical deception into our regular training. Adequate camouflage is just not enough. Marines must familiarize themselves with the use of tactical deception devices, dummy positions, feints, ruses, demonstrations, signal intelligence, and electronic warfare. Deception has the capability to enhance aviation and ground components alike and should be used accordingly. With the Corps facing a certain personnel cut, it behooves us to utilize all the tools available to enhance our warfighting capability. Deception is one instrument that should not be left out of the toolbox. BIBLIOGRAPHY BOOKS Cave Brown, Anthony. Bodyguard of Lies. New York: Harper and Row, 1975. Chesney, Charles H.R. and John Huddlestone. The Art of Camouflage. London: Robert Hale Limited, 1941. Clausewitz, Carl von. On War. Edited and translated by Michael Howard and Peter Paret. 8th ed. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1976. Cruickshank, Charles. Deception in World War II. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 1979. Daniel, Donald C. and Katherine L. Herbig, ed. Strategic Military Deception. New York: Pergamon Press, 1982. Gooch, John and Amos Perlmutter, ed. Military Deception and Strategic Surprise. London: Frank Cass and Company, 1982. Hart, B.H. Liddell. Strategy. New York: The American Library Inc., 1967. Hart, Gary and William Lind. Can America Win: The Case for Military Reform. Bethesda, Maryland: Adler and Adler, 1986. Hartcup, Guy. Camouflage: A History of Deception and Concealment in War. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1980. Howard, Michael. Clausewitz. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 1983. Reprint with corrections 1986. Lind, William S. Maneuver Warfare Handbook. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 1985. Paret, Peter, ed. Makers of Modern Strategy from Machiavelli t9 the Nuclear Age. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1986. Sun Tzu. The Art of War. Translated by Samuel B. Griffin. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 1963. Whaley, Barton. Stratagem: Deception and Surprise in War. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Center for International Studies, 1969. GOVERNMENT MANUALS AND REPORTS U.S. Army. Field Manual 90-2: Tactical Deception. Headquarters, U.S. Army. Washington D.C., 1978. U.S. Marine Corps. Fleet Marine Force Manual 1: Warfighting. Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps. Washington D.C., 1987. ________________. Fleet Marine Force Manual 1-2: Campaigning. Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps. Washington D.C., 1990. ________________. Fleet Marine Force Reference Publication 15-6: Strategic and Operational Military Deception- U.S. Marine Corps and the Next Twenty Years. Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps. Washington D.C., 1989. ________________. Instructional Publication 3-9: Deception in Amphibious Operations. Education Center, Marine Corps Development and Education Command. Quantico, Virginia, 1982. ________________. Long Report on Deception: Marine Corps Lessons Learned System. (A computer service) Warfighting Center, Marine Corps Combat Development Command. Quantico, Virginia, 1991. ________________. Operational Handbook 7-13: Military Deception. Marine Corps Development and Education Command. Quantico, Virginia, 1986. MAGAZINE AND NEWSPAPERS ARTICLES Ackerman, Robert K. "The Art of Deception." SIGNAL, (September 1988). Cody, Edward. "Marines say Iraqi Performance Fell Far Short of Expectations." Washington Post, 3 March 1991, 1, A32-33. Duffy, Brian. "Victory in the Gulf: The 100-Hour War." U.S. News and World Report, (3 March 1991). Lehockey, John D. "Are We Deceiving Anyone?" U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings, (September 1989). _______________. "Silence: Golden for Us- Deadly for Them." U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings, (November 1989). Moore, Molly. "Commander Waged War from Battlefield Convoy." Washington Post, 3 March 1991, 1, A32-3. ____________. "Allies Used Variation of Trojan Horse Ploy." Washington Post, 17 March 1991, A22. Reed, George L. "Voices in the Sand: Deception Operations at the NTC." ARMOR, (September- October 1988). Scheffler, Randall M. "Battlefield Deception." ARMOR, (May-June 1988). Trainor, Bernard E. "Deception." Marine Corps Gazette, (October 1986).
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