Knowledge of the Enemy

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If the information given is not accurate but slanted to the informant’s viewpoint, the decisions made can be wrong and lead to disaster. We must give out information in a timely fashion, not after the fact, when it is too late to respond. Information must be objective and not slanted to our own ideas. It should be as complete as possible and totally accurate. If the information is not relevant to the need, you could be sending out red herrings.

By Dianne Ellis

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“Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.”

(Ezekiel 28:14-19)

 

“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?”

(Isaiah 14:12-17)

 

Knowledge of the enemy is a preeminent but difficult responsibility. Traditionally, emphasis has been on understanding enemy capabilities; but knowledge of enemy intentions can be equally or even more important, to the extent that it sheds light on enemy plans and allows us to take timely and effective action to blunt them.

 

A key concept that integrates intelligence and operations is center of gravity; a term first applied in the military context by Clausewitz to describe “the hub of all power and movement, on which everything depends.” Joint doctrine defines a center of gravity as: “Those characteristics, capabilities, or localities from which a military force, derives its freedom of action, physical strength, or will to fight.

 

  • Finding and attacking enemy COGs is a singularly important concept. Rather than attack peripheral enemy vulnerabilities, attacking COGs means concentrating against capabilities whose destruction or overthrow will yield success. Though providing an essential focus for all efforts, attacking COGs is often not easy because they are an adversary’s sources of strength. Progressively defeating enemy measures undertaken to defend COGs may be required to expose those centers to attack, both at the strategic and operational levels. Actions to extend offensive efforts throughout the theater, including deep penetrations of enemy territory, can increase the vulnerability of enemy COGs.

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