Deception Recognition: Rethinking the Operational Commander's Approach
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
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The United States today is generally seen as the predominant world superpower because of its economic, political, and military might. Consequently any state or non-state actor at odds with United States policy or strategy is likely to plan and utilize deception as part of an asymmetrical approach to conflict or manipulation against the operational commander. How the operational commander plans for it, and protects against it, should be paramount in the day-to-day implementation of the theater commanders strategy. This paper explores the operational commanders vulnerability to this threat. It will define the scope of deception as it is understood today and will identify weaknesses in military deception doctrine and theory. It will explore current counterdeception theory and practice and discuss potential counterarguments that may be made. Finally, the paper draws conclusions concerning the recognition of adversary deception as a critical component of military deception practice and implementation and how it should be operationally addressed.