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The Soviets relied on the intelligence branch to generate and control deceptions. Russia has a history of operating with a more complete inclusion of elements of political power and influence as well as Operational Art that ties combined arms to campaign objectives. Russia has dramatically expanded the theory and practical application of Maskirovka, making it a qualitative advantage Russia has over NATO, now and in the future.
It is so important to Russian doctrine, they have used and continue to use the term, Maskirovka — the art of deception, from the French masquer - to make invisible — to elevate the complete set of actions and conditions that fall short of war that enables battlefield victories to be decided before tanks and infantry close in battle. It is Maskirovka, and the complementary technological changes to the character of warfare now and in the future, that make Russia the significant resurging threat.
Critical questions for the deception planner include : "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?". Maskirovka constantly requires a variety, using each time new techniques that are not yet familiar to the enemy.
Deception includes 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. 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".
The Russian Ministry of Defense website states that "When organizing Maskirovka in the Strategic Missile Forces, it is necessary to take into account: the specific nature of the location of units, subunits and facilities with their demasking characteristics; a certain and rigid in time sequence and order of actions of units and subunits; the uniformity of the nature of the actions of units and units armed with identical missile systems; Species, reflecting and radiating characteristics of weapons, special equipment and structures.
"The main methods of the Strategic Missile Forces are concealment, imitation, disinformation of the enemy and demonstrative actions. The concealment of structures, weapons, special equipment is achieved by camouflaging, observing blackouts, using masking properties of the terrain in field positions in areas, conditions of reduced visibility, the use of camouflage coverings (networks), masks, the "silent" mode of radio electronic communications, Imitation is achieved by the device of false positions, constructions of communication centers, mock weapons and special equipment, etc.
"Disinformation of the enemy is carried out by spreading false information among servicemen and the local population in various ways. Demonstrative actions are carried out by maneuvering units, subunits, units in false positions (in areas), carrying out planned activities under the guise of classes, exercises, the work of false nodes (points), etc."
The long-standing battlefield doctrine of maskirovka is a living legacy in many former Soviet-client states. Maskirovka incorporates all elements of CCD and tactical battlefield deception into a cohesive and effective philosophy. During the Gulf War, Iraq used maskirovka to effectively maintain its capability of surface-to-surface missiles (Scuds) in the face of persistent coalition-force attacks. Enemy forces that are trained in maskirovka possess a strong fundamental knowledge of CCD principles and techniques.
A high-fidelity decoy in a plausible location often fools an enemy into believing that it has acquired the real target. An enemy who has mistakenly identified decoys as real targets is less inclined to search harder for the actual, well-hidden targets. Decoy fidelity (realism), which refers to how closely the multispectral decoy signature represents the target signature.
When deception succeeds, surprise results and, generally, it is a defender who is surprised by a challenger's deception. 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". Webster's fails to recognize the word "disinformation".
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia defined disinformation 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 comes 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 became a polished art.
The well-publicized planned invasion of Russia by the Germans in the Great Patriotic War 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. Sealion, in fact, concealed Hitler's true intent, an all-out offensive against Russia.
The Soviets recognized three levels of deception; strategic, operational and tactical. The first was 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. 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 were actions, recordings and concentration, concealing troops and informations and misinforming the enemy. The difference between the two being a matter of scale.
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. Control remained 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.
On the larger scale it is necessary to feed as many 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 felt necessary. 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.
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 decoys.
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