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One of the major categories of activity of interest within the general heading of troop control and control of combat is the problem of influencing the opponent's will and mind as he is making decisions. When selecting the methods to achieve this influence and when executing them one must consider that one is in a complex process in which the opponent is conducting analogous activities as well. M. N. Tukhachevskiy noted "... Actions are genuinely governed only by that side which achieves their development in conformity with a plan, and this means that genuine control of a combat engagement should constitute control of the entire process of combat, that is not only of one's own actions but to a certain degree the actions of the opponent as well, forced upon him by our actions... The art of control in combat demands an understanding of this complex, conflictive process.

What is control of an opponent's actions? It seems that the term "reflexive control" most precisely reflects the aspect of the control process under consideration. This term emphasizes the reciprocity of the process, which encompasses our effort not only to impose our will on the opponent with the aid of a large number of measures, but also to prevent him from exercising similar control with respect to ourselves.

To exercise control over an opponent's action the following primary activities are essential:

----- - penetration of the enemy's intentions and plans

----- - skilled conduct of combat

----- - precise execution of one's own decisions and plans

----- - seizure of the initiative.

In warfare control of an opponent's actions is achieved by deluding him as to one's own intentions, capability, state, and actions of troops and concealment of their actual position; and by means of dummy, decoy, feinting actions; by seizing the initiative and exerting military pressure; and by employing bold and varied combat techniques and actions. One of the most important conditions for such control is knowing the enemy's plan and intentions. The commander must mentally put himself in the opponent's position in order better to grasp the latter's plan.

The essence of control is to cause the enemy to make and execute his decisions which are favorable to us. This may be furthered by the following actions:

----- - by applying the pressure of force

----- - by the opponent's forming an estimate of the initial situation desired objectives or decision making procedures favorable to us

----- - by influencing his choice of decision making moment.

Power pressure -

This includes easily recognized techniques. The use of force is aimed at influencing his psychological state and forming in his mind the primary objective of avoiding combat.

Techniques for shaping the enemy's initial situation estimate -

These include methods connected both with tactical camouflage and with means for "instantaneous" and abrupt change in the initial situation (surprise). These in turn affect the choice of decision making moment.

Techniques for shaping the opponent's objectives -

These are difficult for the enemy to discover, but are also more difficult for the commander to think of and develop as well. They require great knowledge and understanding of military history and art as well as of the specifics of the opponent. Objective shaping techniques are realized through the psychology of the decision making commander. These methods work through neutralization of the opponent's deductive decision making processes.

Techniques for influencing the choice of the decision making moment -

These are particularly important for air defense or other functions which operate under conditions of rapidly changing situations. Using a time shortage of the opponent is the most important technique for influencing the choice of his decision making moment.

There are connections between control and various kinds of combat support such as reconnaissance, concealment, psychological warfare, and radio-electronic warfare.

In order to ensure control of an opponent's actions reconnaissance is required on a broader scope, encompassing not only the organizational aspect but also the morale- psychological state of the enemy command and troops and determination of the effectiveness of psychological techniques being employed. Radio-electronic warfare is closely linked with techniques for influencing the enemy's decisions, but it affects only the initial situation shaping, primarily at the tactical level.

Control of an opponent's actions is of a creative character. It should not rely on chance. Likewise one should not be carried away with too many hypotheses and speculations when conducting counter control decisions. Deception in the main requires only running one step ahead of what the opponent knows about what we are doing. However, it is essential to avoid underestimating the enemy, for a sure way of being deceived is to consider oneself more clever than others.

Reflex control has a probability nature since the opponent may or may not be taken in by our devices. Selection of given method of reflex counter control is determined by the enemy's skill and experience, and his estimate of the effectiveness of the device utilized. Reflexive control, particularly at the strategic and operational levels, requires the processing of large volumes of information and consequently use of automated devices.