Table of Contents

Appendix A

Fighting Principles

There are no new principles of war. However, different principles should receive different emphases in different environments. Some are especially appropriate to the Navy's current environment. This appendix highlights a few of those principles.

Fight humans, not just machines. Machines do not yet think in terms of return on investment. Humans do. The less certain humans are of an outcome, the less inclined they are to invest effort (or wealth, or life, or time, or reputation) in its attainment. Uncertainty deters action. Increasing the enemy's uncertainty deters enemy action and thus buys more of the most precious commodity in battle: time.

But heightening uncertainty does not always work; and when it does not work, it is time to take action. Killing the enemy may be an option, but military action that emphasizes killing is not always the most effective measure. For example, martyrs do not fear death, at least not until after they are committed, and killing them usually breeds more martyrs. To be effective, find out what the enemy treasures and take it away; or find out what the enemy fears or hates or despises, and deliver it generously. The aim is to fight minds and wills. Defeating the enemy's will obviates the need to fight the enemy's machines.

Expect surprise! Currently, the United States Navy is the most powerful Navy in the world. Any enemy will plan to neutralize its power through surprise. To minimize surprise, the Navy should plan a variety of attacks against its own forces. It is a good exercise for junior officers and will simultaneously help them (and their commanders) to understand the enemy.

The best way to avoid being surprised by the enemy is to surprise the enemy first. However, the political situation or the Rules of Engagement may not allow naval forces to do that. The best way to accommodate surprise is to design and train the Navy to be flexible and to react quickly very, very quickly, and more quickly than any potential enemy.

Understand the enemy. Understand the enemy's objectives, treasures, fears, strengths, and weaknesses. Anticipate the enemy's exploitation of one's own vulnerabilities. Then use this knowledge and understanding to take what is treasured; give what is feared; turn the enemy's strength into a liability; attack the enemy's weaknesses; and guard one's own vulnerabilities.

Use intelligence wisely. Intelligence can be a force multiplier; it can also be an Achilles heel. Which one it is depends upon the effectiveness of enemy counterintelligence. Understand that the enemy will try to deceive sensors or deny information to them. Realize and accept that one's having been deceived or denied information remains unknown until the enemy is "at the gates." The key concern is not how much intelligence information is in one's possession, but how reliable the information is and how many "warfare currencies" should be bet on it.

Counter the enemy's surveillance. Although there are times when the enemy should know one's force is present and capable, it is never desirable that the enemy know the exact location of all one's units or one's precise intentions (i.e., one must be unpredictable). That lack of knowledge engenders uncertainty and may cause the enemy to increase surveillance efforts. Observation of the enemy's surveillance will reveal something of enemy intentions and capabilities, and those are good to know.

To maintain or even increase enemy uncertainty, the enemy's surveillance system must be neutralized. There are five ways to do this: destroy it; deceive it; deluge it by flooding it with excessive information; deny information to it; or disconnect it from enemy fighting forces and control centers so that they do not receive correct information.

Counter the enemy's targeting. If one is located by the enemy, one must keep from being targeted by enemy weapons. The same five ways of countering surveillance systems apply to countering targeting systems: destroy the weapons platform; deceive the sensor; deluge the sensor with excessive data; deny information to the sensor; or disconnect the targeting sensor from the control surfaces of the weapon.

Preplan responses. Preplanned responses enable a combat unit to react quickly and automatically to tactical conditions and do not require an order from a senior commander. Do not confuse "intentions," which require implementation orders, with "preplanned responses," which do not.

Use the offense. The best defense is still a good offense. However, a good offense must overwhelm the critical targets. In quick, fast-moving warfare, enemy decision makers and combat personnel are targets more critical than mere equipment and facilities.

Know the danger curves. Know which systems the enemy can bring to bear, their range, and the tactics for their employment. As additional enemy systems populate the battle space, they cause stepped discontinuities in one's danger curves. Defensive posture and/or momentum of attack must be increased upon entering the envelopes of opposing systems. In trans-industrial warfare, 'know the danger curves' applies not only to weapons systems but also to enemy information systems and enemy manipulation of neutral information systems (e.g., political forums and public media).

Use tough, simple, and workable tactics. Good engineering simplifies operation. Similarly, good tactics simplify combat. Like good engineering, however, good tactical design is rare. Good tactics:

Simplify, clarify, and shorten tactical instructions. Complex tactical instructions are seldom read carefully, if they are read at all. If read, they are seldom understood in the same way by all. If understood, they are seldom remembered in detail. If not carefully read, commonly understood, and accurately remembered, there is insufficient time in battle to review or clarify them. And then it is far too late.

Mind the arithmetic. Make sure there is enough matiriel to support the tactics. Know the detection horizons and limitations one's own and the enemy's. Minimize the detection and engagement holes, or at least make them unpredictable.

Avoid the worst of all emissions control errors. The worst emissions control error is to come out of the restricted emission condition too late.

Define the timelines.

Obvious, But Frequently Neglected Principles

Know and understand one's capabilities.

Understand the tactics and execute them properly.

Know what one is talking about and how one will be understood.

One's own capabilities, tactics, and clarity of communication cannot be adequately known unless tested under real stress.

Although respect is not necessarily prerequisite to understanding, it is wise to respect the enemy, or at least to respect what the enemy can do. Given its present vantage of military and economic preeminence, the United States is often tempted to arrogance, dangerously blinding itself to its own shortcomings and to an enemy's strengths. It is extremely imprudent to assume that the enemy is inferior because of fewer numbers, less wealth, and "strange" culture and appearance. Moreover, American culture is spread throughout the world, and the United States is often the focus of the international media. It is therefore likely that enemies of the U.S. understand it better than the U.S. understands its enemies a situation fraught with danger for U.S. armed forces. return