Academic journal article Military Review

Complex Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield in Ukrainian Antiterrorism Operations

Academic journal article Military Review

Complex Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield in Ukrainian Antiterrorism Operations

Article excerpt

The U.S. Army Europe Joint Multinational Readiness Centers Raptor 14 team supported "Battle Staff Attack the Network/Network Engagement and Company Intelligence Support Team" training for Ukrainian armed forces officers conducting antiterrorism operations September 2015 at the International Peacekeeping and Security Center (IPSC) in Yavoriv, Ukraine. The training team determined traditional doctrinal tools for intelligence preparation were inadequate to help Ukrainian intelligence staffs understand their operational environment (OE). Consequently the team adapted the process in a way that would account for group dynamics and how they influence the behavior of populations relevant to the OE, consistent with a concept called complex intelligence preparation of the battlefield, or complex IPB. This experience serves as a case study on how cross-functional staffs and company command teams can improve problem framing, understand relevant issues at all levels, and inform operational planning. Complex IPB can support the Army's doctrinal intelligence preparation of the battlefield process and the joint process called joint intelligence preparation of the operational environment (JIPOE).

From IPB to Complex IPB

According to Army Techniques Publication 2-01.3, Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield, an Army intelligence staff (1) defines the OE, (2) describes environmental effects on operations, (3) evaluates the threat, and (4) determines the threat. (1) The staff uses this four-step process to analyze certain mission variables in the area of interest for a specific operation. (2) The mission variables analyzed are the enemy, terrain, weather, and civil considerations. (3) The goal of Army IPB is to provide Army commanders and staffs the information necessary to develop courses of action and make decisions. (4)

The IPB doctrine states that all four of the mission variables--including civil considerations--and their interactions must be analyzed if the process is to be effective. Staffs must "determine how the interactions of friendly forces, enemy forces, and indigenous populations affect each other." (5) However, in practice, the process tends to emphasize the enemy rather than holistically integrate the civil considerations. For instance, staffs might not adequately consider multigroup interconnectedness, micro decision making, and population behavior evaluation (i.e., human-domain-centric analysis). Thus, if an OE and its dynamics A Ukrainian soldier assigned to 1st Battalion, 80th Airmobile Brigade, looks for simulated enemy activity 14 November 2016 during an urban operations training exercise taught by soldiers assigned to 6th Squadron, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, as part of the Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine at the International Peacekeeping and Security Center in Yavoriv, Ukraine. (Photo by Sgt. Jacob Holmes, U.S. Army) are like a garden, the IPB process described in Army (and Marine Corps) doctrine focuses intelligence analysts on the soil, weeds, and insects, instead of the entire landscape and the interactions that made the plants vulnerable or resilient to harm or imbalance.

Authors Tom Pike and Eddie Brown explain how complex IPB could improve IPB in a March 2016 article in Small Wars Journal. (6) According to Pike and Brown, "Using IPB as the nucleus and integrating concepts from complex adaptive systems theory generates Complex IPB." (7) Instead of primarily identifying and evaluating the enemy or the threat, the complex IPB process helps intelligence staffs analyze multiple groups and how they interact and collectively behave. Like the hybrid and dynamic threats it was developed to defeat, complex IPB combines conventional and innovative approaches that emphasize cultural and population factors, perception assessments, and analysis of nonmilitary actors in order to create a more accurate understanding of the OE. …

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