The purpose of this manual is to describe the fundamentals of intelligence preparation of the battlefield (IPB). It describes IPB, its use in directing the intelligence effort, and its role in driving the staff's planning for contingency or combat operations. It prescribes the procedures followed in performing IPB and illustrates the application of IPB in various situations. This manual is intended to serve as a guide for the use of IPB by units of all types, at all echelons, across the entire spectrum of conflict, and during the conduct of any mission. It does not contain all the data required to conduct IPB, such as specific information on threat doctrine or equipment capabilities. Rather, it is intended as a guide for applying the fundamentals of the IPB process to any situation. No part of this document should be construed as limiting commanders' freedom of action or committing commanders to a fixed or particular course of action (COA). Nor should it be construed to imply that all IPB products must be prepared by all commands in all situations. Commanders should apply the doctrine and information presented in this manual in any manner appropriate to their particular situation and mission.