Intentions and Capabilities

From No Bended Knee: The Battle for Guadalcanal, by Merrill B. Twining:

There is a little paragraph in nearly every textbook on military intelligence. In substance it says, “Take note of all enemy capabilities to damage or destroy your own forces. Pursue a course of action that will best enable you to deal with those enemy capabilities most dangerous to you. Do not attempt to discern his intentions.”

The Naval War College version, however, is gravely suspect. In part it says: “The enemy’s capabilities as well as his intentions must be considered.”

I repeat: you cannot know your opponent’s intentions, but you can determine with reasonable certainty his capabilities.

Landon Lehman
Data Scientist

My research interests include data science, statistics, physics, and applied math.