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Deception in Strategic Studies

Deception Cycle

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Il ciclo della Deception

In this cycle, the deceiver transforms knowledge into information and then into data, whereas the target transforms data into information and finally back into knowledge. The goal of the deceiver, of course, is to see that the process distorts the target's knowledge. This cycle begins with another theme common to all the research we have reviewed: the deception objective. In wartime, achieving strategic or tactical surprise has been the objective of nearly every commander since Sun Tzu and the connection between deception and surprise is a strong one. Whaley found 73% of the strategic operations and 53% of the tactical operations he examined involved both surprise and deception, and most other authors writing about military deception cite surprise as the objective of deception. Nevertheless, surprise is not the only objective. Both the strategic deception and scientific literature describe the objective of deception in terms of competitive advantage.

You find deception in nearly any situation you can think of – nature, business, politics, or personal relationships – anywhere it might provide someone, or something, an edge.

[…] In our information hierarchy framework, these three steps – identifying the actions required by the target, determining the perceptions that will induce the target to take these actions, and developing the deception story that will lead the target to these perceptions – represent the transformation of knowledge (about the target and the deceiver's own capabilities) into information (a story) that will be presented to an audience: the target's military, intelligence, and diplomatic analysts and decision-makers. Once deception story has been developed and approved, the deception planners can begin to identify the deception methods to be used to generate the data, the required observables that support the deception story.

(M. Bennett, E. Waltz, Counterdeception Principles and Applications for National Security, Boston, Artech House, 2007, p. 49-51).


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