Military operations depend heavily on communications and intelligence to be successful. When one or both of these elements becomes compromised, the result is often called the fog of war. The fog of war encompasses all of the confusions and miscalculations which can occur during an actual combat situation. There is also a political version of the fog of war, in which public opinion can be swayed by misinformation or ambiguous reporting of the facts.
One common event caused by the fog of war is called "friendly fire". Troops may be positioned on the battlefield according to a master plan, but those positions could change without warning during the actual battle. The results of this unplanned movement could be catastrophic, as friendly forces fail to recognize their comrades, or target positions thought to be clear of friendly troops. A number of accidental "friendly fire" deaths can be attributed to the fog of war