Discussion in 'Int Corps' started by alfred_the_great, Jun 29, 2010.

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  1. Right, we're having a bit of a discussion at work about this: can any one help.

    I've been taught that the definitions are as follows:

    MLCOA - that COA likely to be chosen by the En when taking into account his displayed intent and current Orbat.

    MDCOA - that COA which offers the greatest risk to the En, again IAW his intent/capability, which also offers the greatest reward.

    The argument hinges around the latter - some of my oppo's think it means that COA that is most dangerous to friendly forces.

    Can anyone tell me where I can find the DCDC approved definitions? I've had a quick scout through JWP 2-00, but nothing seen. I've got access to DII (and if necessary DII(Secret)!) and Armynet if you want to PM me.

    many thanks in advance!


    Also posted in the Staff Officer's forum.
  2. I always thought it was MDCOA was the COA that was the greatest danger to blue forces, at least it was when i was in Templer last year.
  3. Source pse? Lots of people are reinforcing one of the two options (by PM), but as yet no source.....
  4. MLCOA. That course of action that the enemy is likely to take given the IPE, doctrine, capability and his assessed endstate.

    MDCOA. That course of action that the enemy has available to him which given the IPE, doctrine, capability and his assessed endstate, but presents a greater risk to himself and is the most dangerous to friendly forces.

    If you have presented your Q1 correctly FR should plan for the first but with a CONPLAN for the second. Source - LWC/CAST/me
  5. If the COA is of greatest reward to the enemy isn't it, by definition, also most dangerous to us? This is assuming the enemy is rational, and has based his plan on what he thinks is most likely to achieve success and therefore, defeat for us. Now we could see this was only a matter of semantics, but it does open an interesting debate. Are ML and MDCOA relevant in the COA? One could argue that a more accurate version of the definition for MDCOA is now "the adversary COA that offers the greatest threat to the safety and security of the local population, whilst at the same time presenting itself as a success in the information domain". Or to put it another way, MDCOA is one that is a complete nightmare for friendly forces and the local population, but is painted as a complete success across jihadist websites and media.
  6. I'll take an example from the RN (as I'm dark blue):

    My definition - En Submarine is hiding at the end of a minefield transit, waiting for the Aircraft Carrier to come through, and torpedo her whilst he is constrained by the minefield - the loss of our unit will pretty much be a game ender for us. The danger to En lies in the fact he will be operating extremely close to Friendly Forces, will probably be destroyed if he gets his attack wrong or doesn't quite pull it off, but with immense reward if it goes well.

    Other definition - En throws missile after missile at us, from relatively long range, at the complete Task Force whilst they are at sea. Most Dangerous for us, because the of the fine detail of Anti-Ship Missile Defence and the En's ability to overwhelm our systems. V little (immediate) risk to him (he's launching from 50nm+) but a v bad day for us.

    Either one has the same result on us (a generally bad day), but differ in the amount of risk he is willing to take.
  7. They are therefore both 'dangerous' COA, but one is more likely than the other. This calls for a MLMDCOA and SMLMDCOA :eek: . This is further complicated by our preception, is the carrier more important than the rest of the TF? In which case the SMLMDCOA becomes the MLMDCOA if you happen to be the carrier or consider it to be the object of the enemy's intent. I base this on an assumption that in the first scenario the carrier WILL be hit, whereas it only MAY be hit in the second. Or do we need to consider RCS? :?
  8. i always thought MDCOA was the most dangerous to blue forces. it would often tend to involve more risk than MLCOA for the enemy too, otherwise they would be one and the same. as far as i am aware, it does not directly represent the plan which is most dangerous for the enemy. i think that one is called the FSCOA (fucking stupid course of action) :)

    trying to think of a good example from history. german thrust through the ardennes leading to the battle of the bulge? blue forces pretty much discounted an attack through the ardennes, so would not have classed it as the MLCOA... but it was certainly a pretty dangerous COA to blue forces and may (in our current terminology) have been considered the MDCOA?

    or the bypassing of the maginot line? in considering a possible invasion via holland & belgium, that would probably have leapt to the top of the french list as MDCOA?
  9. msr

    msr LE

    For simplicity, how about:

    MLCOA: En withdraws from hill
    MDCOA: En reinforces hill with T72

  10. Well, so far the only written bit of "doctrine" that has been dug up is from the AKX Combat Estimate website, which states:

    "Lecturer’s Note (for info in case of a question---NOT TO BE READ OUT):
    The enemy's most likely COA will be the COA which gives the enemy the most consistent superiority (with the least amount of risk) and most closely matches his doctrine or way of doing things.
    The most dangerous COA will be the COA that gives the enemy the most decisive superiority but is considered a less likely option due to excessive unnecessary risk to the enemy."

    Anyone from the G2 side of life wish to give the LWC a slap?
  11. I've always thought that Enemy MDCOA = MDCOA for the enemy.

    But you know what? Just found this.....

    Joint intelligence preparation of the operational
    environment (JIPOE) is the analytical process used by
    joint intelligence organizations to produce intelligence
    assessments, estimates, and other intelligence products
    in support of the joint force commander’s (JFC’s)
    decision-making process. It is a continuous process
    that involves four major steps: defining the total
    operational environment; describing the impact of the
    operational environment; evaluating the adversary; and
    determining and describing adversary potential courses
    of action (COAs), particularly the adversary’s most
    likely COA and the COA most dangerous to friendly
    and mission accomplishment. The JIPOE
    process assists JFCs and their staffs in achieving
    information superiority by identifying adversary centers
    of gravity (COGs), focusing intelligence collection at
    the right time and place, and analyzing the impact of
    the operational environment on military operations.

    or, if you've got a spare lifetime.....

  12. What on earth would be the point of considering the COA that is most dangerous to the enemy?

    The purpose of having the two, ML and MD, is so that you can a) plan in accordance with your prediction of the enemy's movement and b) make a contingency plan for the worst that might happen.

    See msr's post for examples. If MD was most dangerous to the enemy it would read something like:
    MDCOA: En lie down under our tanks.
  13. msr

    msr LE

    Surely: Piss on them and wait for them to rust ;)

  14. I'd agree with that one (= most dangerous to FF).

    Be careful of quoting JIPOE as a reference - it's a US joint publication, so the UK purists may well start twitching (even if, like most doctrine, we're initially scathing about the Yanks, then quietly re-issue it with UK spellings and a few quaint touches).
  15. The MDCOA is the COA MOST DANGEROUS to Blue Forces. If it isn't then:

    1. I have been given a bum steer (with apologies to an old mate)

    2. Every wargame/ROC drill I have conducted has been fundamentally flawed and I should be flogged with a porcupine on a stick.

    Source: LWDG/LWS/CAST/Howayman/Me