Unweaving the Web

Unweaving the Web: Deception and Adaptation in Future Urban Operations

Scott Gerwehr
Russell W. Glenn
Copyright Date: 2002
Edition: 1
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 92
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7249/mr1495a
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  • Book Info
    Unweaving the Web
    Book Description:

    Deception is a powerful yet understudied instrument of war. Using the extensive literature on deception in the animal kingdom, where ruses of near-infinite variety are applied to offense, defense, and intelligence gathering, the authors delve into the theory of deception to reveal new avenues of experimentation. These pathways may lead to new technologies or training techniques and provoke a new look at deception doctrine applicable at every level of war. ISBN: 0-8330-3159-7 Price: $24.00 Page count: 98

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-3389-5
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. PREFACE
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  4. CHARTS AND FIGURES
    (pp. vii-viii)
  5. TABLES
    (pp. ix-x)
  6. SUMMARY
    (pp. xi-xvi)
  7. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
  8. ABBREVIATIONS
    (pp. xix-xx)
  9. Chapter One INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 1-4)

    What do defense planners have to learn from animal and plant biology, particularly in the area of deception? The answer is not immediately obvious, relative to what might be learned, for example, from a historical review of earlier military engagements. As defense analysts and decisionmakers grapple with the difficult challenges of operating in urban environments, animal and plant biology might seem at a far remove from obvious utility. Yet previous research (Gerwehr and Glenn, 2000) has observed a powerful resonance between military deception in urban environments and biological deception techniques—techniques that are highly effective and commonplace in support of...

  10. Chapter Two OBJECTIVES OF THIS REPORT
    (pp. 5-8)

    The authors began with this question: How exactly can a better understanding of deception in nature help prescribe deception and counterdeception measures in military matters, specifically in urban operations?

    In framing an answer, we sought to accomplish two principal aims:

    1. Expand and elaborate upon existing deception theory.

    2. Open new avenues of experimentation for deception in both exercises and simulations.

    We have an opportunity to improve on existing frameworks for classifying and comparing deceptions. This enterprise is the first step toward a genuinescienceof deception, which is necessary if we are to credibly perform cost/benefit analysis of deception...

  11. Chapter Three LESSONS ON DECEPTION FROM ANIMAL BIOLOGY
    (pp. 9-26)

    Within a particular patch of woodland, swamp, desert, or ocean, it is common to find dozens or even hundreds of examples of deception that vary widely in form and effectiveness. The clouded leopard seen in Figure 1 (see following page 32) illustrates one of many forms of camouflage coloration.

    There are countless examples of camouflage, disruptive coloration, disguises, feints and demonstrations, feigned retreats, false or misleading communications, and so on. In nature, deception is ubiquitous, overwhelmingly diverse, and spanning the length of the fossil record (Lamont, 1967, 1969; Eldredge, 1980; Thulborn, 1994; Kacha and Petr, 1995).

    Previous work by the...

  12. Chapter Four A FRAMEWORK FOR DECEPTION ANALYSIS
    (pp. 27-48)

    Consider the battle for Grozny in January 1995. Earlier work by the authors described the broad range of deception measures employed by the Chechen fighters against better-armed, numerically superior Russian forces in Grozny (Gerwehr and Glenn, 2000; examples drawn from Thomas, 1997; Lieven, 1998; Gall and De Waal, 1998; among others). For example,

    Chechens and Muslim volunteers disguised themselves and vehicles as Russian.

    Chechens and Ukrainians disguised themselves and vehicles as Red Cross.

    Chechen fighters purposefully commingled with noncombatants to close with or escape from Russian forces.

    Chechens camouflaged firing points, staging areas, command posts, and observation posts.

    Chechen decoys...

  13. Chapter Five A COEVOLUTIONARY PERSPECTIVE OF DECEPTION AND COUNTERDECEPTION
    (pp. 49-58)

    In the course of this research, the authors have seen an interesting motif often repeated in descriptions of OPFOR, insurgents, guerrilla fighters, terrorist groups, overmatched conventional combatants, and the like. That theme is one ofadaptation: of evolving tactics, technologies, targets, group dynamics, and other behaviors. The list of actors that have been characterized in this fashion—that is, by an invocation of biological principles—includes groups spanning the globe, from Northern Ireland, to the Balkans, to the Caucasus, to Kashmir and Sri Lanka, throughout Latin America, across the Pacific Rim, and, not incidentally, within the United States itself (Bell,...

  14. Chapter Six CONCLUSIONS
    (pp. 59-64)

    What does all of this analysis mean for urban operations? How do these observations, principles, and theoretic constructs apply to the soldiers, marines, and airmen who must execute their missions in the dense, chaotic terrain of a city or other built-up area? The authors’ goals in this research on deception were twofold: (1) to broaden and deepen current theory and (2) to identify new possibilities for innovation and experimentation. We believe that there are several reasonable propositions that stem from this analysis, any and all of which will support U.S. deployments into the urban environment.

    Deception techniques should be cultivated...

  15. BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. 65-78)