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military deception

Definition/Scope: (JP 3-13.4) Actions executed to deliberately mislead adversary military decision makers as to friendly military capabilities, intentions, and operations, thereby causing the adversary to take specific actions (or inactions) that will contribute to the accomplishment of the friendly mission.OLD VERSION Military deception includes all actions conducted to mislead an enemy commander deliberately as to friendly military capabilities, intentions, and operations. At its most successful, military deception provokes an enemy commander to commit a serious mistake that friendly forces can exploit, there or elsewhere. However, effective military deception also introduces uncertainty into the enemy’s estimate of the situation, and that doubt can lead to hesitation. Deception is a good means of dislocating an enemy force in time and space. Military deception can contribute significantly to information superiority; however, it requires integration into the overall operation beginning with receipt of mission. To achieve maximum effects, deceptions require good operations security, significant preparation, and resources for maximum effect. If added as an afterthought, deception often proves ineffective. Successful deception requires a reasonably accurate assessment of the enemy’s expectations. The principles of MILDEC are (1) focus—the deception must target the adversary decision maker capable of taking the desired action(s); (2) objective—the deception must cause an adversary to take (or not to take) specific actions, not just to believe certain things; (3) centralized planning and control—MILDEC operations should be centrally planned and directed in order to achieve unity of effort; (4) security—friendly forces must deny knowledge of a force’s intent to deceive and the execution of that intent to adversaries; (5) timeliness—a deception operation requires careful timing; and (6) integration—fully integrate each military deception with the operation that it is supporting. JP 3-13.4 and FM 3-13



Used For:

Intelligence WFF
Mission command WFF
Movement and Maneuver WFF
Protection WFF



Broader Terms:

Functional Area 30 (Information Operations)

Narrower Terms:


Related Terms:

Functional Area 30 (Information Operations)
information engagement
information operations
nonlethal action

CALL Homepage >> Thesaurus Last Updated: Sept 17, 2008