The¬†US Military Deception and Psychological Operations manual¬†outlines some of the deception tactics and information operations used to psychologically manipulate a target into doing or not doing certain things.
The tactics are used to get inside of decision makers heads and makes it difficult for the ‚Äúenemy‚ÄĚ to establish an accurate perception of reality prompting the enemy to take specific actions or inaction.
Furthermore the deception operations uses full array of civil and technological capabilities along with technical means to control and manipulate any and all communication systems during a deception operation.
Gaining complete control of the EM spectrum can be achieved through the deliberate radiation, alteration, absorption, or reflection of energy or the emission or suppression of nuclear particles.
Using the EM spectrum, they can disrupt communication and intelligence systems to insert deceptive information coupled with traditional psychological operations using Multi-media (radio, television, sound broadcasting, or computers) or even tactics such as the emission or suppression of chemical or biological odors.
These are just some of the many Military Deception (MILDEC) operation tactics outline in the manual and are applied using four basic deception techniques: feints,¬†demonstrations, ruses, and display.
- Provides a General Overview of Military Deception
- Outlines the Relationship of Information Operations to Military Deception
- Discusses the Roles, Coordination, and Training for Military Deception
- Summarizes the Military Deception Planning Process
- Details the Execution of Military Deception Operations
Military deception (MILDEC) is applicable across the range of military operations. Military deception (MILDEC), conducted at strategic, operational, and tactical levels, is defined as being those actions executed to deliberately mislead adversary decision makers as to friendly military capabilities, intentions, and operations, thereby causing the adversary to take specific actions (or inactions) that will contribute to the accomplishment of the friendly mission.
MILDEC can be conducted during all phases of military operations. Use of MILDEC during any phase of an operation should help to mislead adversaries as to the strength, readiness, locations, and intended missions of friendly forces. In later phases of an operation, prior to termination,¬†MILDEC should support the transition of responsibility to civil control or other authority¬†and must focus on national objectives and end state, not just the military termination. During this time, the joint force commander (JFC) focuses on¬†synchronizing and integrating all elements of national power¬†to bring operations to a successful conclusion.
Six principles of MILDEC are:
(1) focus ‚ÄĒ the deception must target the adversary decision maker capable of taking the desired action(s);
(2) objective ‚ÄĒ the deception must cause an adversary to take (or not to take) specific actions, not just to believe certain things;
(3) centralized planning and control‚ÄĒMILDEC operations should be centrally planned and directed in order to achieve unity of effort;
(4) security ‚ÄĒ friendly forces must deny knowledge of a force‚Äôs intent to deceive and the execution of that intent to adversaries;
(5) timeliness ‚ÄĒ a deception operation requires careful timing; and
(6) integration ‚ÄĒ fully integrate each military deception with the operation that it is supporting.
MILDEC employs physical means to convey or deny selected information to an adversary. Technical means are those military material resources and their associated operating techniques used to convey or deny selected information to an adversary. Administrative means include¬†resources, methods and techniques¬†designed¬†to convey or deny oral, pictorial documentary, or other physical evidence.
Information operations (IO) involve the integrated employment of the core, supporting, and related activities and operations to influence, disrupt, corrupt, or usurp human and automated decision making. Collectively, MILDEC targets decision makers to affect their information, information systems, and decision making processes. Conduits consist of all the systems, organizations, and individuals through which information reaches the adversary.
Military planners rely on deception to mask the real objectives of military operations. Capabilities in MILDEC operations vary with the mission type, adversary, location, assets available, and even the political climate.¬†Technological advances¬†now¬†enable¬†joint forces to employ a¬†larger range of deception techniques. Proper planning with regard to time, resources, accurate intelligence, cultural awareness and other factors is essential to a successful MILDEC operation. In addition, risk is a key factor that must be reexamined during every phase of planning and execution. Commanders must understand the risks associated with basing the success of any operation on the assumed success of a deception.
The MILDEC plan must be able to clearly delineate both the goal and the objective of the MILDEC. The ability to do so provides the commander with a solid understanding of how the deception supports the overall operation and establishes a firm foundation for planning and executing MILDEC operations . MILDEC often requires substantial investments in effort and resources that would otherwise be applied against the adversary in a more direct fashion. Consequently, it is important for the commander to first envision the deception goal in terms of its specific contribution to accomplishing the designated mission.
The MILDEC objective is a concise statement of what the MILDEC will cause the adversary to do or not do. The objective of the MILDEC is expressed in terms of the target‚Äôs action or inaction that directly leads to the purpose or condition stated in the MILDEC goal. An example of a MILDEC objective is: ‚ÄúCause the adversary to misdirect reconnaissance and surveillance assets away from the friendly attacking force and to defend the wrong sector.‚ÄĚ
Further MILDEC objectives may include:
- Cause the adversary commander to employ forces and assets in ways that are advantageous to the joint force.
- Cause the adversary to reveal strengths, dispositions, and intentions.
- Cause the adversary to withhold strategic reserves until friendly forces have achieved mission success.
- Condition the adversary to particular patterns of friendly behavior to induce adversary perceptions that are exploitable at a time chosen by the joint force.
- Cause the adversary to waste combat power with inappropriate or delayed actions.
The functions of MILDEC include:
a. Causing ambiguity, confusion, or misunderstanding in adversary perceptions of friendly critical information, which may include: unit identities, locations, movements, dispositions, weaknesses, capabilities, strengths, supply status, and intentions.
b. Causing the adversary to misallocate personnel, fiscal, and material resources in ways that are advantageous to the friendly force.
c. Causing the adversary to reveal strengths, dispositions, and future intentions.
d. Conditioning the adversary to particular patterns of friendly behavior to induce adversary perceptions that can be exploited by the joint force.
e. Causing the adversary to waste combat power with inappropriate or delayed actions.
Levels of Military Deception
a. Strategic MILDEC.¬†Strategic MILDEC attempts to influence adversary strategic decision makers‚Äô capability to successfully oppose US national interests and goals. Strategic MILDEC is conducted to undermine adversary national leaders and senior military commanders‚Äô ability to make accurate decisions. The desired result is adversary strategic objectives, policies, and operations that favor friendly interests.
b. Operational MILDEC.¬†Operational MILDEC seeks to influence adversary operational level decision makers‚Äô ability to successfully conduct military operations. The objective of operational MILDEC is to undermine adversary operational commanders‚Äô ability to make decisions and conduct campaigns and major operations. Operational MILDEC influences the decisions of adversary commanders before, during, and after battle so the tactical outcome can be exploited at the operational level.
c. Tactical MILDEC.¬†Tactical MILDEC focuses on the ability to affect adversary tactical commanders‚Äô ability to make accurate and timely decisions. The objective of tactical MILDEC is to influence the adversary commander‚Äôs capability to make decisions on the conduct of battles and engagements. These deceptions manipulate adversary commanders before and during combat. Tactical MILDEC serves to exploit the immediate tactical situation confronting the commander and should both take advantage of and support operational MILDEC efforts.
Military Deception Means, Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures
MILDEC employs three basic means : physical, technical, and administrative. Employ these means independently or in collaboration depending on the situation.
(1) Physical Means. Activities and resources used to convey or deny selected information to an adversary. Physical means include operational activities and resources such as:
(a) Movement of forces.
(b) Exercises and training activities.
(c) Dummy and decoy equipment and devices.
(d) Tactical actions.
(e) Logistics actions, and location of stockpiles and repair facilities.
(f) Test and evaluation activities.
(g) Reconnaissance and surveillance activities.
(2) Technical Means. Those military material resources and their associated operating techniques used to convey or deny selected information to an adversary. As with any use of US military material resources, any use of technical means to achieve MILDEC will strictly comply with domestic and international law. A variety of technical means include:
(a) Deliberate radiation, alteration, absorption, or reflection of energy.
(b) Emission or suppression of chemical or biological odors.
(c) Emission or suppression of nuclear particles.
(d) Multi-media (radio, television, sound broadcasting, or computers).
(3) Administrative Means. Administrative means include resources, methods and techniques designed to convey or deny oral, pictorial, documentary, or other physical evidence.
MILDEC Tactics.¬†The applications of tactics vary with each operation depending on variables such as time, assets, equipment, and objectives and are assessed for feasibility accordingly. The tactics of MILDEC may:
(1) Mask an increase in or redeployment of forces or weapons systems spotted by the adversary.
(2) Shape the adversary‚Äôs perception and/or identification of new forces or weapons being introduced into combat.
(3) Reinforce the adversary‚Äôs preconceived beliefs.
(4) Distract the adversary‚Äôs attention from other activities.
(5) Overload adversary ISR collection and analytical capabilities.
(6) Create the illusion of strength where weakness exists.
(7) Desensitize the adversary to particular patterns of friendly behavior to induce adversary perceptions that are exploitable at the time of friendly choosing.
(8) Confuse adversary expectations about friendly size, activity, location, unit, time, equipment, intent, and/or style of mission execution, to effect surprise in these areas.
(9) Reduce the adversary‚Äôs ability to clearly perceive and manage the battle.
MILDEC Techniques.¬†MILDEC operations apply four basic deception techniques: feints, demonstrations, ruses, and displays.
(1) Feints. A feint is an offensive action involving contact with the adversary conducted for the purpose of deceiving the adversary as to the location and/or time of the actual main offensive action.
(2) Demonstrations. A demonstration is a show of force where a decision is not sought and no contact with the adversary is intended. A demonstration‚Äôs intent is to cause the adversary to select an unfavorable course of action (COA).
(3) Ruses. A ruse is a cunning trick designed to deceive the adversary to obtain friendly advantage. It is characterized by deliberately exposing false or confusing information for collection and interpretation by the adversary.
(4) Displays. Displays are the simulation, disguising, and/or portrayal of friendly objects, units, or capabilities in the projection of the MILDEC story. Such capabilities may not exist, but are made to appear so (simulations).
The entire document has much more detail.