Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
The Art of Darkness

The Art of Darkness: Deception and Urban Operations

Scott Gerwehr
Russell W. Glenn
Copyright Date: 2000
Edition: 1
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 81
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    The Art of Darkness
    Book Description:

    This research was undertaken to gain a better understanding of the relationship between deception and the urban environment, first to explore the power of deception when employed against U.S. forces in urban operations, and second to evaluate the potential value of deception when used by U.S. forces in urban operations.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-4831-8
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. ix-x)
    (pp. xi-xiv)
    (pp. xv-xvi)
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
  9. Chapter One INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 1-6)

    The urban environment has unique characteristics, making operations difficult and dangerous. Cities possess great numbers of noncombatants, are dense with vital infrastructures and important sociopolitical institutions, and are usually cluttered three-dimensional spaces that pose significant logistical and navigational challenges. It suffices to say that these and other characteristics conspire to create a daunting environment for U.S. forces. The World War II–era urban combat policy for U.S. forces involved clearing and holding urban areas on a room-by-room and building-by-building basis. This tends to be a bloody, expensive, disorienting, time-consuming, and manpower-intensive business—one that is increasingly deficient in the complex...

    (pp. 7-14)

    We will use the terms “urban environment,” “urban terrain,” and “built-up areas” interchangeably. A useful working definition of these terms, drawn from Army FM 90-10-1, is the following:

    A concentration of structures, facilities, and people that forms the economic and cultural focus for the surrounding area. The four categories of built-up areas are large cities, towns and small cities, villages, and strip areas.

    Note that the definition explicitly includes thepopulationof the terrain, one of several features unique to the urban environment that affect operations. Urban areas are centers of social, financial, and political importance in a country, and...

  11. Chapter Three DECEPTION
    (pp. 15-36)

    Deception, the employment of trickery or guile, is equal parts art and science. It is typically defined as “causing another to believe what is not true; to mislead or ensnare” (Webster’s, 1999). Deception aims todeliberately induce misperception in another. Deception is a deliberate enterprise; it is not the result of chance, nor the by-product of another endeavor (McCleskey, 1991). Whaley (1982, p. 188) has defined deception as “information designed to manipulate the behavior of others by inducing them to accept a false or distorted presentation of their environment—physical, social, or political.” It is ubiquitous and enduring in human...

    (pp. 37-56)

    The following four propositions, culled from the “Modern Maxims for Urban Warfare” in Marine Corps Warfighting Publication 3-35.3, suggest the powerful influence that deception may have upon urban outcomes:

    Intelligence is imperative to success in urban warfare. As discussed previously, the paramount aim of deception is to provide the adversary with poor intelligence (misperceptions), worsening his decisionmaking (decisionmaking being the overall target of IO generally). Note that we treat the term “intelligence” interchangeably with “perception,” in the sense that both are a product of the information collected plus the processing done. Intelligence is vital at all levels of war: the...

  13. Chapter Five CONCLUSIONS
    (pp. 57-60)

    It is a widely held perception that the post–Cold War world contains many possible Davids and only a handful of Goliaths (of which the United States is the most powerful). If history is any guide, Davids will nearly always seek to reduce the inequity between their own capabilities and those of Goliaths by adopting an asymmetric strategy. One possible asymmetric approach is to invite conflict on friendly urban terrain, in hopes of hindering the stronger, foreign foe. Chapter Two of this report examined how this may occur and the effects to be expected. Another possible asymmetric approach is to...

    (pp. 61-70)