Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield and Predictive Intelligence
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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This monograph examines the ability of intelligence preparation of the battlefield IPB to provide predictive intelligence. IPB is the foundation of tactical intelligence and plays a major role in tactical planning prior to the battle. There is a strong expectation that IPB will provide the basis to predict enemy courses of action. Current intelligence doctrine supports the proposition that IPB can determine the most probable enemy course of action. The question this study seeks to answer is whether or not IPB does provide the basis to predict enemy courses of action. The doctrinal IPB process is discussed to show how it arrives at a determination of the most probable enemy course of action. IPB focuses on the effects of terrain and weather on the battlefield together with enemy tactical doctrine to arrive at a conclusion. During this process a number of assumptions are made which have a major impact on the validity of the analysis. These assumptions tend to be implicit rather than explicit so that the tactical decision maker may be unaware of their impact on the conclusions drawn from the IPB. The monograph examines the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944, the Soviet Byelorussian offensive in June and July 1944, and the Soviet Manchurian offensive of August 1945. Each case provides evidence about the difficulty of predicting enemy courses of action based on the factors that IPB considers.
- Military Intelligence
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics