Source: United Kingdom (British) Ministry of Defense
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    JDP 04 JOINT DOCTRINE PUBLICATION 04 UNDERSTANDING Joint Doctrine Publication 04 (JDP 04), December 2010, is promulgated as directed by the Chiefs of Staff  Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff (Development, Concepts and Doctrine) CONDITIONS OF RELEASE 1. This information is Crown copyright and the intellectual property rights for this publication belong exclusively to the Ministry of Defence (MOD). No material or information contained in this publication should be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form outside MOD establishments except as authorised by both the sponsor and the MOD where appropriate. 2. This information may be subject to privately owned rights. i      JDP 04  AUTHORISATION The Development, Concepts and Doctrine Centre (DCDC) is responsible for publishing Joint Doctrine Publications (JDPs) within a hierarchy of similar publications. Readers wishing to quote JDPs as reference material in other work should confirm with the DCDC Doctrine Editor whether the particular publication and amendment state remains authoritative. Comments on factual accuracy or proposals for amendment are welcomed by the Doctrine Editor at: The Development, Concepts and Doctrine Centre Ministry of Defence Shrivenham SWINDON, Wiltshire, SN6 8RF Telephone number: 01793 314216/7 Military Network: 96161 4216/4217 Facsimile number: 01793 314232 Military Network: 96161 4232 E-mail: DISTRIBUTION Distribution of JDPs is managed by the Forms and Publications Section, DSDA Operations Centre, C16 Site, Ploughley Road, Arncott, Bicester, OX25 1LP. Requests for issue of this publication, or amendments to its distribution, should be referred to the DSDA Operations Centre. All other DCDC publications, including a regularly updated CD Joint Doctrine Disk  (containing both JDPs and Allied Joint Publications (AJPs)), can also be demanded from the DSDA Operations Centre. DSDA Help Desk: 01869 256052 Military Network: 94240 2052  All publications (including drafts) are available to view and download on the Defence Intranet (RLI) at: This publication is available on the Internet at: ii      JDP 04 PREFACE: WHY A DOCTRINE FOR UNDERSTANDING?   ‘ Know the enemy and know yourself; in a hundred battles you will never be in peril. When you are ignorant of the enemy but know yourself, your chances of winning or losing are equal. If ignorant of both your enemy and of yourself , you are certain in every battle to be in peril. ’ 1   Sun Tzu 1. It is often said that knowledge is power. 2   However, in isolation knowledge does not enable us to understand the problem or situation that we face without further interpretation. Analysis and judgement equips decision-makers at all levels with the insight and foresight required to make more effective decisions. Understanding is therefore the ability to place knowledge in its wider context to provide us with options for decision-making. In the national context, understanding underpins the decision-making process that informs the application of national power. It also enables us to understand the implications of our decisions for our adversaries, allies or bystanders. 2. One common analogy used to explain understanding involves the game of chess. Knowledge involves having the insight to recognise where the pieces sit on the chessboard and the rules on how they can move; understanding is having the foresight to anticipate how the game is likely to develop. Unfortunately, we tend to view understanding as a natural reflex, like breathing. Comparable to learner swimmers, who quickly discover that breathing is not a straightforward task but a technique that must be mastered to improve performance, understanding also requires application and effort. 3. Understanding is indispensable to informed decision-making not only within the MOD, but also across government to ensure the effective application of all elements of national power in support of UK national security policy. Understanding is, therefore, a non-discretionary element of decision-making .   4. The aim of JDP 04 is to develop the commander’s approach to understanding, whether as an individual, as part of a team, or in a coalition. 5. Structure . JDP 04 is divided into 4 chapters: a. Chapter 1  explains understanding in the national defence context. 1  Sun Tzu, The Art of War  , Samuel B. Griffith trans, Oxford University Press 1963, page 84. 2  Sir Francis Bacon, Religious Meditations, of Heresies, 1597 . English author, courtier, and philosopher (1561 - 1626). iii  
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