Tactical Deception Capabilities in the Heavy Division: Myth Versus Reality
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Tactical Deception Capabilities in the Heavy Division: Myth Versus Reality

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Michael B. Weimer
127 g
246x189x4 mm

This study examines tactical deception capabilities in the U.S. Army. The research question asks, "what should be the capabilities of the heavy division in Europe to perform tactical deception in defensive operations?" The study first analyzes the theory of deception from the writings of Mao, Sun Tzu, Clausewitz, Liddell Hart and Barton Whaley to determine what theory says our capabilities should be. Next, it traces the U.S. Army's development and use of deception from history. Theoretically and historically-derived capabilities to deceive at the tactical level are contrasted to current U.S. and Soviet doctrine. This background in theory, history and doctrine is then compared to contemporary evidence of U.S. tactical deception efforts of divisions employed in European REFORGER exercises. The final sections draw conclusions and implications concerning tactical deception in the U.S. Army, focusing upon the areas of doctrine, training, resources and command and staff processes. This study concludes there is a significant gap between what should be and what actually is a U.S. division's capability to perform tactical deception in the defense. Doctrinally, although the new FM 90-2 (draft) makes major improvements, our Army lacks an Army-level proponent for deception. Furthermore, deception doctrine is inconsistently incorporated into our general doctrine, and the relationship between surprise, deception and OPSEC remains unclear. Moreover, our doctrine does not specifically establish deception standards or capabilities in which divisions must be proficient. Second, the training and assignment of the 17-man deception element to division and corps will not be completed for two years. The study concludes that there are serious shortcomings of incorporating deception instruction within TRADOC institutions, tactical exercises and wargames at division level. Deception is not included in unit ARTEPS, METLs, or training guidance. Third, although the Army specifies future TAC-D