Predictive Analysis: An Unnecessary Risk in the Contemporary Operating Environment
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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The construct for predictive analysis is based on the unfounded assumption that technologies and sound analysis will dissipate uncertainty in war. U.S. military doctrine shows an expectation for prediction from the intelligence process it assumes that prediction is possible, and details a methodology to achieve predictive results. However, this methodology is based on assumptions that presuppose an adversary with a developed doctrine or well-developed patterns of operation. Given that predictive analysis is based largely on knowledge of cyclical patterns in the form of doctrine or established procedures, current U.S. military analytical methods are at odds with the existing geopolitical environment. Predictive analysis may still have its place -- against a well-known, conventional peer competitor, or against a more unconventional foe who falls into recognizable patterns over time. Still, research suggests that predictive analysis is not feasible for operations in the COE due to the environments discontinuous nature, inherent unpredictability, and the resultant level of risk to the friendly force as adversaries make the attainment of surprise a priority. To establish a baseline understanding of the various theories of the relationship between intelligence and maneuver, this monograph examines the three modern schools of thought on intelligence methods and their uses of prediction. With this theoretical understanding of the range of possible relationships between intelligence, prediction, and maneuver, the monograph explores the nature of the COE, and aspects of unpredictability within the environment. The monograph then returns to the concept of prediction using the earlier theoretical basis and understanding of the COE to examine how uncertainty in general, and human behavior in particular, makes successful prediction in war unlikely, and increases risk for the friendly command. 61 refs.
- Operations Research
- Military Intelligence
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics