AIR FORCE PAMPHLET 14- 210 Intelligence

Chapter 4

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Chapter 4

4.1. Overview. The development of objectives and guidance is the first and the most critical step in the targeting cycle. Objectives and guidance identify what is to be achieved and under what conditions and parameters. This is the most important stage in the targeting cycle. Without clear understanding of what is to be achieved, it is impossible for efficient targeting strategies to be devised. An objective must be understandable, attainable, measurable, and allow room for a solution. Objectives and guidance begin at the national level as broad concepts and should end as short- term, well- defined mission objectives at the appropriate command level.

4.2. Objectives and Guidance. In this first phase of the process, objectives are determined and defined and guidance is explored for operational and targeting limitations. Specific guidance is essential for determining the best targeting alternative for a given situation. The term "objectives" and "guidance" are often viewed as synonymous, but they are not. Objectives are the goals calculated to serve national inter-ests which we want to attain. They provide targeteers a means to determine targeting priorities and they set the criteria for measuring mission success. Guidance sets the limits or boundaries on objectives and how we attain them. It provides the framework to achieve the objectives and establishes force employ-ment scope and restrictions. Inherent in the concept of objectives is that they are hierarchical. Objective definition, and therefore specificity, is most often greater at each layer of C2 down the chain from national, to theater, to component, to wing, to flight package.

4.3. Levels of Objectives. Objectives can be broadly classified to three areas: national, theater, and component. Each level down normally becomes more specific.

4.3.1. National Objectives. The National Command Authority (NCA) is responsible for setting national objectives. These objectives are usually very broad and generally outline the overall desired outcome of the campaign. It is vital that these objectives be defined before any military activity occurs because they will determine the course of action. The National Military Strategy (NMS) pro-vides strategic guidance for the employment of military forces, and required force structure to attain the national security objectives (see Joint Pub 3- 0).

4.3.2. Theater Objectives . The theater Commander in Chief (CINC) is responsible for objectives for the theater of operations. These objectives often involve all forces in the theater and are therefore broad in scope. They frequently are embedded in operations plans or contingency plans. These plans normally specify the threat, forces available, commander's concept of operations, and specific com-mand objectives. These objectives may be, individually or together, rolled into Courses of Action (see Joint Pub 3- 0).

4.3.3. Component Objectives. To accomplish the objectives of theater CINC, component com-manders develop plans for the employment of forces. Commanders base the objectives on the overall role of the command, the assigned mission (s), the resources available, the characteristics of the enemy, and the military characteristics of the operational area. Components normally supplement operation and contingency plans.

4.3.4. Relationship of Objectives . The different levels of objectives are all intertwined. The com-ponent's objectives are based on the objectives set by the theater CINC which are contingent upon the 32

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national objectives. There should be no conflicting objectives among the components. Targeteers must be cognizant of all objectives. Table4.1.illustrates the relationship of three levels of objectives during the Persian Gulf War.

Table 4.1. Persian Gulf War Objectives.

4.3.5. An objective defines the specific targeting problems to be solved. Measurable, definitive objectives must be given or derived from the guidance provided. A good objective must be under-standable, require action, be attainable, allow some room to reach the solution, and provide criteria for use in measuring both progress and effectiveness.

4.4. Defining Objectives. Eight questions should be answered when defining an objective.

  • What do we want to make the enemy do?
  • Against whom?
  • How do we want to reach the objective?
  • Why do we want to reach the objective?
  • How much (to what degree) do we want to affect enemy activity?


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  • When and for how long do we want to reach the objective?
  • Where do we want to affect enemy activity?
  • How much will it cost to achieve the objective and is it worth the cost?

    4.4.1. What Do We Want To Make the Enemy Do? Identify the enemy activity to be affected, changed, or modified. Normally, only a few enemy activities are encountered: offensive and defen-sive air operations, ground activity, naval activity, logistic activity, and economic activity.

    4.4.2. Against Whom? The specific goal (rather than a generalized or national goal) must be identi-fied. For example, do we wish to modify the behavior of political leader, military forces, the civilian population, or a combination of these three?

    4.4.3. How Do We Want To Reach the Objectives? A variety of means toward an end generally suggest themselves. Bombing strikes or attacks, display of intent or demonstration of force, airborne or missile attack, psychological operations, etc., are some choices available. There is also a wide choice of weapon systems available. In most cases, they will be combined. The systems available, or the situation, may dictate the use of a specific vehicle to achieve a desired targeting objective. For example, a B- 2 may be the only delivery vehicle able to reach a particular location in time to act. No decision should be arbitrary. Decisions on objectives should recognize external factors which may compel analysts to limit their investigation.

    4.4.4. Why Do We Want To Reach the Objective? There is always a "why." Frequently, the "why" has not been thought out, is poorly stated, or is misunderstood. Not understanding "why" may result in analysis and recommendations which neither meet the commander's needs nor are as effec-tive as they could or should be.

    4.4.5. How Much (To What Degree) Do We Want To Affect Enemy Activity? State the criteria against which progress and success will be measured. Criteria must use quantifiable terms and be realistic. Criteria should assist in understanding objectives by providing a performance measure. For example, an objective such as "gain air superiority" is not specific enough; it has no measurable crite-ria. It might be stated better as "gain air superiority by degrading enemy operational capability to inflict damage on friendly forces by reducing the enemy's strike sorties to less than 10 per day," or "gain air superiority by reducing friendly attrition to less than two percent of sorties flown per day." Establishing Measures of Performance . Avoid the use of absolutes in establishing measures of performance, because they are neither realistic nor achievable. As a rule, reduction in enemy activity rates is a nonlinear curve that flattens out as it progresses towards a high probabil-ity of affecting overall enemy activity. It is almost impossible to eliminate all enemy activity. For example, in a given case, 100 friendly strike sorties may reduce enemy sortie rates by 50 percent; but 200 friendly sorties may only reduce enemy sorties by 75 percent; and 300 sorties may reduce enemy sorties by 82 percent; etc. Another example involves the interdiction of enemy supply activity. It is possible to hinder, impede, or slow down, and destroy part of the enemy's supplies. That is, it is possible to severely hamper that resupply effort, but it may prove nearly impossible to stop it entirely. Figure 4.1 illustrates performance measurement during World War II. 34

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    Figure 4.1. Planning Performance Measurements. 4.4.6. When and For How Long Do We Want To Reach the Objective? Four principle timing factors must be considered in formulating an objective:

  • Timing of the attack.
  • Timing of strike impact on enemy operations.
  • Synchronization of Attacks.
  • Recuperation or reconstitution time. Timing of the Attack . Determining the most opportune time to attack to gain maxi-mum benefit while minimizing cost is a key to targeting. The inherent speed and flexibility of air-power can best be exploited through synchronized, parallel attacks on the enemy's centers of gravity. When properly timed, parallel attacks can overwhelm the enemy's command and control and defensive systems, creating strategic paralysis. This principle was brilliantly applied on the opening night of Desert Storm, as the Iraqi air defense network was struck with precisely timed parallel attacks and quickly rendered ineffective. The Iraqi defenses were first blinded by nearly simultaneous attacks on early warning radars, then paralyzed by successive attacks on key com-mand and control nodes. Timing of Strike Impact on Enemy Operations . The timing of attacks should be based on enemy time- table or "time critical" parameters. "Time critical" parameters are time- sen-sitive tasks or activities that must be effectively and efficiently performed by the enemy for his plans to succeed. To target the enemy effectively, his goals and tasks (particularly those which are time sensitive) must be identified. "Time critical" periods must be determined. This involves maintaining an intelligence posture capable of detecting, reporting, and assessing the conduct of

    This is key to combat assessment and future objective development. Performance measurement must be common in all levels of planning to ensure that each objective achieved helps to reach the overall objective. World War II provides a good illustration.

    One national objective of the United States was to secure peace in Europe through the defeat of the Axis powers. American leaders decided that force was necessary to achieve this objective. The Joint Chiefs of Staff prescribed the way in which force was to be used in the form of a military strategy-- in this case, the liberation of occupied Europe and the occupation of Axis territory. The measure of performance for mil-itary strategy was its effect on the enemy-- whether the strategy would cause the enemy to modify its be-havior in the manner the United States wanted. The goals of the military strategy were to be met by a number of campaigns, such as the bombing offensive against German industry and the invasions of France. These campaigns in turn entailed day- to- day operations and their specific objectives. Subsequently, the results of each day's operations contributed to the results of the campaign. The results of the campaign in turn contributed to the military strategy. The success of the strategies (military, political, and economic) contributed to attaining the national objective. The common measure of performance was how the friendly operations affected Axis behavior. It still is. 35

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    enemy tasks prior to and during friendly operations. During offensive operations the general attack is followed by resupply or the introduction of follow- on forces. The interdiction of these can severely hamper an attack.

    4. 4.6.2. 1. The time from the attack until its impact is felt is very important. For example, striking or attacking enemy supplies stored near the battle lines will have a more immediate effect on the battle than striking or attacking supplies stored in rear area warehouses or striking enemy factories. If the effects of friendly strikes or attacks are to be felt immediately, different targets may have to be selected than if immediate impact on the enemy is not required. Attempts to have an immediate impact may delay the achievement of longer range goals. Such trade- offs must be considered in establishing the timing criteria in objectives. Factors such as enemy supply cushion and reserves are also important considerations in selecting tar-gets for attack for immediate or long term impact. Synchronization of Attacks. Individual attacks should be timed for maximum synergy in achieving the overall objective. The inherent speed and flexibility of airpower can be exploited through synchronized, parallel attacks on the enemy's centers of gravity. When properly timed, parallel attacks can overwhelm the enemy's command and control and defensive systems, creating strategic paralysis. This principle was brilliantly applied on the opening night of Desert Storm, as key air defense nodes were struck in precisely timed parallel attacks and quickly rendered ineffec-tive. Recuperation and Reconstitution Time . Recuperation and reconstitution times are also critical in targeting. The period during which the target is to be neutralized will influence the type and amount of force to be used. For example, a few aircraft could attack local defenses and achieve local air superiority for a limited time, but it would take many more aircraft to gain air superiority or supremacy over a long period. Recuperation time should always be considered when formulating combat assessment (CA) criteria.

    4.4.7. Where Do We Want To Affect the Enemy Activity? The specific location where activity should be modified is a significant part of the objective. By stating "where," the workload of the tar-get analyst can be greatly simplified. For example, if only local air superiority is required, there is no need to prepare an analysis to support attaining air superiority for the entire country. Time constraints limit analysis.

    4.4.8. How Much Will It Cost To Achieve the Objective and Is It Worth the Cost? Assuming the objective is attainable, make an estimate of the cost (time, resources, manpower, etc.) and the potential benefit to be derived from a successful operation. We must weigh carefully the cost and ben-efit of different alternatives. The decision maker should be informed where cost can be lowered by modifying the objective. The decision maker must also be told, if the cost seems too great for the ben-efits gained. This question supports the military principle of Economy of Force.

    NOTE: Figure 4.2 provides a worksheet for understanding objectives. 36

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    Figure 4.2. Worksheet for Understanding Objectives. #_______ Objective: _______________________________________________________________________________

    Identify the enemy activity to be affected. (i. e., WHAT do we want to do?) _________________________________________________________________________________ ________________

    _________________________________________________________________________________ ________________

    Identify the target system( s) performing the activity. (i. e., Against WHOM?) _________________________________________________________________________________ ________________

    _________________________________________________________________________________ ________________

    Identify logical, available assets that can reach the objective target( s) in the time constraints noted in guidance.

    (i. e., HOW do we want to reach the objective?) _________________________________________________________________________________ ________________

    _________________________________________________________________________________ ________________

    State attainable, quantifiable criteria against which effectiveness/ success will be measured. (i. e., TO WHAT DEGREE do we want to reach the objective?) _________________________________________________________________________________ ________________

    _________________________________________________________________________________ ________________

    Determine the most opportune time and duration to impact the enemy. (i. e., WHEN and for HOW LONG do we want to impact the objective?) _________________________________________________________________________________ ________________

    _________________________________________________________________________________ ________________ 37

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    4.5. Types of Guidance. Given that objectives are the goals we want to attain, then guidance sets the limits or boundaries on objectives and how we attain these goals. There are two different types of guid-ance, general and self- imposed. General guidance is the international unwritten and written rules of war (e. g., Principles of War). Self- imposed guidance is made up of LOAC, Rules of Engagement and Com-mand Guidance (the latter two can change with each conflict and command).

    4.5.1. Principles of War . Primarily following Sun Tzu (500 BC) and Clausewitz (1800 AD), Colo-nel J. F. C. Fuller is recognized as the author of the modern principles of war. In 1921, the US Army listed Fuller's eight strategic principles, plus the principle of simplicity, in War Department Training Regulation 10- 5, "Doctrine, Principles, and Methods." The principles we use today are essentially the same. Table 4.2 lists these modern principles of war.

    Identify the specific location where enemy activity should be modified. (i. e., WHERE do we want to affect the enemy activity?) _________________________________________________________________________________ ________________

    _________________________________________________________________________________ ________________

    Perform cost analysis to estimate the cost versus potential benefit. (i. e., HOW MUCH will it cost to reach the objective, and is it WORTH it?) _________________________________________________________________________________ ________________

    _________________________________________________________________________________ ________________

    Check the draft objective against U. S. policy, U. S. military strategy, and all known guidance. (i. e., WHY do we want to reach the objectives?) _________________________________________________________________________________ ________________

    _________________________________________________________________________________ ________________

    Table 4.2. Principles of War.
    Principle Discussion
    Objective Direct military operations toward a defined and attainable objective
    Offensive Act rather than react and dictate the time, place, purpose, scope, intensity, and pace of operations
    Mass Concentrate power at the decisive time and place
    Economy of Force Create useable mass by using minimum power on secondary objectives
    Maneuver Place the enemy in a position of disadvantage through the flexible appli-cation of power
    Unity of Command Ensure unity of effort under one commander
    Security Protect friendly forces from enemy actions
    Surprise Strike the enemy at a time or place, or in a manner for which he is unpre-pared
    Simplicity Avoid unnecessary complexity in military operations

    38 Page 39 40 39 The two most important principles to the targeteer are objective and economy of force. As stated earlier, a well- defined and measurable objective will result in effective force employ-ment. In addition, the targeteer needs to apply the principle of economy of force and determine when military action is inappropriate. This occurs when the potential for losses to friendly forces outweighs the advantage of achieving the objective or when the amount of force required becomes so high that the objective is not worth the effort.

    4.5.2. Law of Armed Conflict . The Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC) constitutes that part of inter-national law that regulates the conduct of armed hostilities (see attachment 4). LOAC imposes restric-tions on the types of weapons that may be employed and the targets against which weapons may be applied. The primary purpose of LOAC is to protect civilian populations as well as prisoners of war, the wounded and sick, and shipwrecked. Two principles that form the foundation of LOAC are mili-tary necessity and proportionality. Military necessity requires combat forces to engage in only those acts necessary to accomplish a military objective. The principle of proportionality serves as the ful-crum for balancing military necessity and unnecessary suffering to the civilian population. Therefore, combat forces must attempt to minimize collateral damage. These two principles are woven through-out almost the entire LOAC and understanding these will enable personnel to understand what is and is not lawful.

    4.5.3. Rules of Engagement (ROE) . ROEs, as defined by JP 1- 02, are "directives... which delineate the circumstances and limitations under which United States forces will initiate and/ or continue com-bat engagement with other forces encountered." In other words, ROEs are guidelines that we impose upon ourselves. For example, during the Korean war theater commanders placed a five mile no- strike target area below the North Korean and Chinese border. The reason for this was to try to prevent drawing China into the war. During the Gulf War, one restriction was that damage to the Iraqi econ-omy and its capacity for postwar recovery would be limited. This rule was put into effect to keep Iraq as a viable nation, thus furthering the national objective of promoting regional stability. It is the tar-geteer's responsibility to weigh target nominations against the ROEs and to request exemptions if cer-tain targets are deemed vital enough to the campaign.

    Due to all of the possible interpretations of LOAC and ROE, it is essential that targeteers involve the Judge Advocate General (JAG) office early in the targeting process. Early involvement by the JAG can prevent any possible violations of international law or other guidance.

    4.5.4. Command Guidance. Theater, major command, unified, and specified commanders provide more specific guidance for the employment of forces to meet objectives. Command guidance comes in many forms and can entail a very broad area of subjects, from approved tactics for aircraft, to proper behavior in local establishments by service members. 39

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    4.6. Conclusion. Objectives and guidance are the cornerstones of the targeting process. They guide the later phases of the targeting process and should be clear and well defined. Once developed, theater and command objectives need to be constantly reviewed to assure they accurately reflect the national objec-tives and any political and international constraints. Because of their role, everyone involved in the tar-geting process must fully understand the objectives and guidance given by their commanders. If there is any doubt about the meaning of a commander's objective or guidance, it is the targeteer's duty to request further clarification before continuing the targeting process. 40



    AIR FORCE PAMPHLET 14- 210 Intelligence
    1 FEBRUARY 1998