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Posted on Nov 29, 2010 in Tactics101, War College

Tactics 101 055 – Military Deception

By Rick Baillergeon and John Sutherland

Always mystify, mislead, and surprise the enemy, if possible…”

Lieutenant-General Thomas J. ‘Stonewall’ Jackson


In our first article addressing military deception, we focused on the basics. The takeaways from our discussion are: 1) There is no dictum stating you must utilize military deception in every mission. 2) If your plan for military deception is not tied to assisting you in accomplishing your overall mission; it is not worth expending your valuable assets. 3) Speaking of assets, time is perhaps, the most critical. To sell a deception you must begin your execution far in advance. 4) Ensure your deception efforts are focused on decision makers. 5) Deceiving your enemy to simply do nothing can be just as fruitful as forcing him into an action.



Armed with a firm foundation of the doctrine of military deception, we will now get into more detail on its’ art and science. In our next article, we will focus on the means a commander has at his disposal to conduct military deception. You will find a commander has potentially much available to him. The key is taking these available assets and synchronizing them into a believable story focused at the right audience. Next month, we will discuss how you do that.

Deception is common sense soldiering.”

General Carl Vuono

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