Accession Number:

ADA370310

Title:

An Assessment of the IPB Process at the Operational Level.

Descriptive Note:

Monograph rept.,

Corporate Author:

ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

1999-05-27

Pagination or Media Count:

55.0

Abstract:

The Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield IPB is a significant part of the U.S. Armys planning process. The IPB is a methodical process that reduces the enemy and the environment into its component parts at an instant in time and finite space. At the tactical level, the inductive process allows a commander to develop a plan that focuses his combat power at particular military components that are identified as enemy vulnerabilities. This process has proven quite successful at the tactical level. The IPB process is described to a lesser extent at the operational and strategic levels of war in FM 34-130. The manual states the basic IPB process remains the same, regardless of the level of war at which it is conducted. This argument cannot be valid above the tactical level of war because of the complexity associated with higher level objectives and aims that integrate the instruments of power. This makes predicting one or two likely enemy courses of action at the operational and strategic levels almost impossible. The focus above the tactical level must not be on identifying specific enemy courses of action, but rather enemy centers of gravity, decisive points, and patterns of enemy behavior to develop friendly campaign plans. The monograph proposes establishing a theoretical foundation first and developing a methodology based on the preferred theories. The proposed methodology is evaluated using criteria established by Cohen and Gooch, authors of Military Misfortunes. They suggest that military failures are attributed to organizations that fail to learn, anticipate andor adapt. The basis of all current U.S. military operations and campaign plans are based on the results of the IPB process. Therefore, these attributes must be integrated into any proposed IPB methodology to be considered successful. A process that does not meet these criteria must be considered fundamentally unsound.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Intelligence
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE