Phyllis Beveridge Nissila
I included a footnote in a previous post that goes like this:
Quick reference for how to tell real good from real evil in this topsy-turvy world:
EVIL lusts after beauty, bucks, brawn, and power, people be damned.
GOOD produces “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control,” aka the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians chapter 5:19-21), people be redeemed and set free.
Or, as Jesus put it, “just as you can identify a tree by its fruit [good or bad], so you can identify people by their actions.”
To the description of evil’s strategies, I would add this today: it also involves piles of deception. Indeed, the evilest of all the evil ones is called the Father of Lies, so that’s his native tongue.
Of course, some of the deception deployed in the constant wars the world seems to become embroiled in is used for good overcoming evil, fighting fire with fire, you might say.
But the fire of the evil consumes everything in its wake to steal, kill, and destroy what’s good, while good, in its purest form, uses fire for cleansing the world of evil.
So there is a big difference even though war gets foggy and confusing and combatants and innocents still lose limbs and lives even in the best of times and among the best of men.
What brings that footnote up today is a read of an interesting article I came across titled, “Military Deception, A Handbook,” by Steven Aftergood. It is part of the U.S. Army’s response to a larger, classified document on “deception tactics” (for use with friends and against enemies) titled Army Support to Military Deception, Field Manual 3-13.4, 26 February 2019.
Here is an excerpt of Aftergood’s piece involving only 2 of the many tactics:
Military tacticians use deception to induce an opponent to act against his own interests, or to refrain from acting when it would be advantageous. The theory and techniques of military deception were detailed this week in a new Army publication for military planners that also implicitly illuminates the role of deception in other contexts.
In one form, deception may increase an adversary’s uncertainty so as to hinder decision-making. In another form, it may decrease uncertainty to encourage the adversary to make a decision that is mistaken.
“Ambiguity-increasing deception is designed to generate confusion and cause mental conflict in the enemy decision maker. Anticipated effects of ambiguity-increasing deception can include a delay to making a specific decision, operational paralysis, or the distribution of enemy forces to locations far away from the intended location of the friendly efforts,” the Army manual said.
Deceptive actions “can cause the target to delay a decision until it is too late to prevent friendly mission success. They can place the target in a dilemma for which no acceptable solution exists. They may even prevent the target from taking any action at all. This type of deception is typically successful with an indecisive decision maker who is known to avoid risk.”
On the other hand, “Ambiguity-decreasing deceptions manipulate and exploit an enemy decision maker’s pre-existing beliefs and bias through the intentional display of observables that reinforce and convince that decision maker that such pre-held beliefs are true. Ambiguity-decreasing deceptions cause the enemy decision maker to be especially certain and very wrong… Planners often have success using these deceptions with strong-minded decision makers who are willing to accept a higher level of risk.” continue reading…
Remember, that’s just two of the deception tactics.
Although the above referenced document is available for public reading, a larger work, writes Aftergood, is not, because “By its nature, the effectiveness of military deception depends on secrecy. Specific applications of military deception are addressed in classified publications such as DoD Instruction S-3604.01. The latest (2017) version of Joint Publication 3-13.4 on Military Deception is restricted in distribution.”
HOWEVER, even the less specific and unclassified Army Manual is comprised of 92 pages, total, with 4 chapters (after the preface and introduction), 3 appendices, 3 figures, and 4 tables.
But that’s not all.
In each chapter there are 3-12 subsections, 1-5 in the appendices, 3 in the figures section and 4 under tables.
That’s still an awful lot of info about deceptions, counter deceptions, counter to the counter deceptions, not to mention how to set them all up and use a massive amount of intel on the enemy including but not limited to individuals’ lifestyles, cultures, beliefs, risk tolerance levels, and so on.
And if that’s not enough fun, check out the “CYBERSPACE ELECTROMAGNETIC ACTIVITIES SECTION” (p.21).
In short, Military Deception is an impressive and extensive job, even what they will allow the unwashed non-military masses to know about, involving a lot of staff, administration, charts, graphs, figures, rules and regs (introductions and prefaces).
And that’s just for the Army.
NOTE: You really want to be on the “friendly” side of all this.
On the other hand, it’s not as if many of us are not familiar with the “tangled webs” of deception involved in battle strategies, let alone in peace (which is mostly an illusion on this war-worn planet) that constitute how to conquer the opposing forces, their space, and their stuff.
I mean, read the headlines, right?
The totalitarians of our day, for example, who, it seems, are on their biggest, baddest, downward slide into destruction of the “old order” to fire up their “new” one, have finally rolled out the big guns of confusion, chaos, fake news, division and rage, top-down, bottom-up, and inside-out, and they are piling on the deceptive strategies by the day…it seems…by the hour in certain situations.
It’s a good thing there is an option!
But there are “truth tactics,” which is why I appreciate more and more the objectives and goals of God’s plans which go like this (as put in Jeremiah 29:11):
For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Which, when we trust and obey Him, result in the fruit of His Spirit as noted above. Not to mention when in actual conflict, what He promises:
Yet those who wait for the Lord
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary. (Isaiah 40:31)
Getting from here to victory might be tricky, however, as we slog through the muck and mire of the worst of mankind’s strategies, particularly as perpetrated by Team Evil where it’s always open season for lying, cheating, stealing, killing, and destroying.
But regarding the “white-robed troops,” you might put it, as in EVERYONE who chooses to be made righteous by Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, we have a Commander in Chief of Whom it is said,
Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. (Jams 1:17)
(Read: no lies, deception, obfuscation, deceit, dishonesty, disinformation, misrepresentation, fraud, subterfuge, prevarication, falsification–there are a LOT of tricks to this trade.)
And it is also said of Him and of His rank and file,
We know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)
A VERY good reminder at this dark time in history, don’t you think? Especially because no matter how bleak the battlefield becomes, our CIC also told us how it’s going to end (see, end times prophecy).
He told us what will happen to our real enemy as well–plus none of this information is classified.
And it’s a bona fide “happily ever after” ending, too, for us, no matter how much distortion, fabrication, slander, calumny, revilement, defamation, and vilification our real enemy and his minions in the flesh throw at us…
Remember this, troops. It’s good for the mind and the spirit.
And don’t leave home without your armor (but that’s another post).