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Document created: 1 March 06
Air & Space Power Journal - Spring 2006
Questions and Answers
Lt Col J. P. Hunerwadel, USAF, Retired
|Editorial Abstract: Effects-based operations (EBO) are currently a rapidly expanding area of military discussion, thought, and application. The author posits that despite numerous definitions of EBO, the concept remains largely misunderstood. This article addresses and attempts to answer key questions concerning the nature of EBO, its meaning, and ways of using it to discuss and formulate operational strategy as well as conduct operations.|
The US military has an amusing and persistent fondness for catchphrases and buzzwords. Effects-based operations (EBO) has proven one of the most popular for at least the last 15 years. Some individuals have touted EBO as “a new paradigm for . . . military operations” and as a construct promising “war-winning efficiency.”1 Others have proposed it as an alternative to “destruction-based targeting” and “target-based operations”—one “remarkably different from the traditional military approaches of destruction and attrition.”2 At the same time, many commentators have emphasized that it is not new at all: “Throughout history, capable commanders and planners have tried to plan and execute effects-based campaigns.”3 EBO has been condemned outright as an “unachievable, narrowly focused . . . panacea”; as “trendy ‘new speak’ ”; “a fad term”; and “an ill-conceived idea.”4 Some have warned of EBO’s “empty promise” and of “icebergs ahead.”5 A former commander of US Joint Forces Command (JFCOM) has told us that EBO is “not ready to go forward yet” a year after the Joint Staff’s former vice-director of operations called Operation Iraqi Freedom “an effects-based campaign.”6
Sadly, there are as many opinions about what EBO actually is as there are people who have written on the subject. One finds at least a dozen EBO definitions floating around—all of them somewhat insightful but many of them contradictory. The profusion of EBO definitions, claims, advocates, and foes may put one in mind of George Bernard Shaw’s comment on economists: “If all [of them] were laid end to end, they would not reach a conclusion.”7 We talk effects, we teach effects, we claim to “do” effects, but we’ve come to no definitive conclusions concerning what effects and effects-based mean.
Does EBO really exist, or is it just another empty buzzword? If it does exist, can we define it meaningfully? Does it add value to discussions of strategy and the conduct of operations? Are there meaningful principles for EBO?
This article seeks to address these questions and introduce some definitional clarity. Believing that the answer to all of the questions is an emphatic yes, this author provides a synthesis of the varied effects-based approaches that have emerged in the last two decades, distills from them a set of principles broadly applicable to any effects-based approach, and discusses current definitions and their underlying logic.
Much EBO literature correctly points out that effects-based thinking is not new. It coalesced gradually from a number of influences—a fact that helps explain the variation in EBO’s definitions over time. Some influences are as old as warfare itself. Others owe a debt to recent scientific thinking and technologies. On the one hand, when Sun Tzu wrote that “to fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting,” he was articulating an insight that we would consider effects-based today.8 On the other hand, modern war fighters have technologies that enable collaborative information sharing and the imposition of very precise effects across vast distances; they also benefit from theory that enables better anticipation of some complex system behaviors. Had they lived today, Sun Tzu and a host of history’s other brilliant commanders probably would have grasped the implications of such innovations and turned them to similar uses. Great commanders have always known the importance of understanding causal relationships in warfare—ways of relating ultimate desired ends to tactical actions—and of anticipating possible countermoves by enemies and others in a conflict. Military operations today, however—even relatively small ones—can become too complex to rely upon genius for considering factors outside the traditional military understanding of cause and effect that may prove crucial for achieving objectives.
Influences that specifically helped create EBO include the “traditional American way of war”: attrition and annihilation of the enemy’s fielded military forces, as well as what some call the “input-based approach” to air operations, which focuses on making targeting decisions based on available resources and ways of attacking particular targets.9 Attrition/annihilation and input-based decision making still form the bedrock of tactical war fighting. Nonetheless, the cost involved in warfare based purely on these methods has become politically and socially problematical for the United States. From an Airman’s point of view, the input-based approach can also prove ineffective in achieving national political goals that drive conflict because it provides no guidance as to why targets are struck or how striking them relates to achievement of objectives. The United States relied on both the “American way” and input-based targeting in Vietnam, losing in part because the military’s ways and means of fighting the war never matched the political ends for which our forces fought. In the wake of defeat, the military went back to “Clausewitz 101” and once again (as in World War II and before) emphasized the need to link the objectives at all levels of war—from the national political level down to tactical tasks—in a logical, causal chain. This outcome-based or strategy-to-task approach became the de facto basis of planning doctrine for the US military.
As technology and scientific theory advanced in the 1970s and 1980s, many people began to recognize that these advances enabled some nearly exponential increases in the precision of military weapons—and in understanding how we could use this precision to affect complex systems in sophisticated ways. At the same time, political and social pressures to keep the costs of military operations low—especially in terms of lives (often both enemy and friendly)—did not diminish. Some very imaginative weaponry emerged that enabled extremely localized and/or temporary damage and disruption, along with tactics and operational art to employ them (e.g., parallel attack, which strikes a wide array of target systems in a short period of time in order to produce maximum shock and dislocation across one or more systems). This method and others equally new (such as force multiplication through stealth, tools for analyzing collateral damage, and many more) gave military commanders a range of options for effects they had never enjoyed before. It also lessened the causal “distance” between tactical actions and strategic outcomes. That is, it increased the likelihood that one could use military force in some cases to achieve strategic-level outcomes more directly than attrition and input-based targeting have traditionally allowed.
Another major influence—the revolution in information and communication technology—initially made top-down control easier, which hampered military operations as much as it enhanced them (witness the disastrous presidential intervention in target selection during the Vietnam War). But the “info-comm” system-of-systems then evolved in an unanticipated direction: a widely distributed, highly interconnected network of systems emerged, capable of handling high-volume, interactive information exchange between thousands or even millions of system nodes nearly instantaneously across global distances. In some respects, this development increased the threat of what the Air Force rightly disparages as centralized execution, but it also enabled much greater awareness of the operating environment, extensive collaboration among military disciplines, pinpointing and accessing expert information when needed, much faster cycles of decision making, and the potential for true integration of military effort within the battlespace.10
In summary, during the 1990s and the first years of this decade, no new theory of warfare materialized, but military thinkers came to realize that a synthesis of many insightful concepts and techniques could offer something permanently useful to war fighters at all levels and from all disciplines. To be useful, this effects-based approach to operations (in many ways a better way of expressing what EBO really is, but this article uses the two interchangeably for simplicity’s sake) should broaden military professionals’ understanding of cause and effect beyond destruction, attrition, and annihilation alone as causal mechanisms in battle; beyond the tactical results of battle alone in assessing and anticipating the flow of operations; beyond their specific military disciplines alone when seeking ways to achieve objectives; beyond the military instrument of power alone when building strategies; and beyond warfare alone as a basis for achieving national security objectives with military power.
From these broad objectives and from EBO’s various threads of influence, it should be possible to assemble a systematic set of principles that can do for effects-based thinking what the Prussian general staff’s system did to systematize Napoléon’s innovations in command-and-staff functions over a century ago.
The effects-based approach is a comprehensive way of
thinking about operations—a thought process.
It is a way of regarding the employment of the military instrument of national power. It is not a new theory of war or a particular strategy such as parallel operations or the indirect approach under a new name (although EBO may certainly suggest and encompass such methods). Neither is it a checklist or a new planning or assessment tool. It provides an overarching intellectual framework—embodied in the principles distilled here—for enhancing the employment of military capabilities. The principles should apply equally well to the tactical battlefield and to the president’s strategic deliberations. They should also apply to humanitarian-relief and stability operations (at least) just as much as they do to major combat—to the full range of military operations, from peace to war and back to peace. They should not prescribe a particular strategy or type of mission but should encourage consideration of the widest possible array of options and facilitate unity of effort and integration of capabilities in order to achieve the best strategy possible in light of the ultimate end state.
EBO cuts across all dimensions, disciplines,
and levels of war.
This approach must seek to integrate all the instruments of power—political/diplomatic, informational, economic, and even cultural—to the maximum extent possible, emphasizing the important considerations in these realms, even when employing them lies well beyond a given echelon’s scope of responsibility. For example, the response of an infantry squad under fire from a holy site or cultural monument might have profound effects upon the ultimate political and cultural end state. This is cross-dimensional thinking. Cross-discipline thinking involves considering that one’s own set of skills and tools may not offer all—or the best—options in the given circumstances. Other functional specialties, components, military services, agencies, or nations may have the tool for the job that can best impose the desired effect. Cross-discipline thinking also involves realizing that there is probably more than one way to achieve a desired effect—whatever best supports the end state is best for the operation. Cross-level thinking helps break down the boundaries among the strategic, operational, and tactical arenas, realizing, for instance, that very small tactical actions can have immense strategic effects in certain circumstances—for good or ill.
EBO should focus upon the end state and the objectives.
To achieve the operation’s desired end state, one should craft all actions so as to produce effects that attain the objectives and minimize unwanted effects that may hinder their attainment. The end state is a set of conditions that one must achieve to resolve the situation or conflict on satisfactory terms as defined by appropriate authorities. Only one end state encompasses conditions for all actors (adversary, friendly, and neutral) and all types of systems (political, military, economic, social, informational, and infrastructural) within the operational environment. Because military commanders must deliver or help deliver certain end-state conditions, they choose clear, decisive, and attainable objectives for their forces. They or their subordinates (at all levels) then determine the effects they must create to achieve the objectives. EBO should also logically tie every action taken to objectives at all levels of war and consider conditions imposed by higher levels of command, even when planning tactical-level actions. In this respect, the effects-based approach is really an elaboration of the strategy-to-task methodology that has guided US strategy for years.
EBO seeks a seamless melding of planning, execution,
and assessment into an adaptive whole.
Planning encompasses all the means through which one develops strategy. Sound, effects-based principles may have the greatest impact through planning since the latter sets the stage for all other actions. Nonetheless, some services maintain that EBO applies solely to the planning realm—that it is “not an operation” but just a means of improving planning methodologies.11 This is a mistaken notion, especially since it ignores assessment.
Execution encompasses the ongoing operational battle rhythm (in Air Force terms, the air tasking cycle) as well as all the individual unit actions that comprise the execution of air and space operations.12 Execution that is not effects-based can negate sound planning, often because it focuses too narrowly on one or another aspect of the battle rhythm—such as production of the air tasking order. It can devolve into blindly servicing a list of targets, with little or no strategy and little or no anticipation of enemy actions.
Assessment encompasses all efforts to evaluate effects and gauge progress toward accomplishment of objectives. It feeds future planning and lends itself to adapting operations as events unfold. Since effects and objectives should always be measurable, planning for them should always include measures and indicators for evaluating progress. Assessment should be anticipatory—predictive, in a sense—and effects oriented. Rather than relying primarily on the empirical results of tactical actions, it should consider the behavior of systems in a larger context. Not only should it help determine whether one is doing things right, but also it should help decide if one is doing the right thing. Assessment feeds ongoing planning and future execution.
Treating these three aspects of operations as an integral whole rather than as separate disciplines or problems to be solved helps place appropriate emphasis on assessment and properly subordinate the “execution” battle rhythm to the operation’s overall plan or strategy. These, in turn, encourage a continuous evaluation of strategy—constantly asking and answering the question “Are we doing the right thing(s)?”—which facilitates adaptation to changes in the operational environment. In other words, planning, execution, and assessment should form an adaptive whole.
EBO deals with creating effects—not with platforms,
weapons, or methods.
An effects-based approach starts with desired outcomes—the end state, objectives, and subordinate desired effects—and then determines the resources needed to achieve them. It does not start with particular capabilities or resources and then decide what one can accomplish with them. This approach also assigns missions or tasks according to mission-type orders, leaving decisions concerning the most appropriate mix of weapons and platforms to the lowest appropriate levels in the field. It is not principally concerned with technology, but new platforms, weapons, and/or methods can enable new types of effects. These do not become truly useful to the war fighter, however, until they join with appropriate employment doctrine and strategy. The tank by itself did not yield blitzkrieg.
EBO should consider all possible types of effects.
Warfare has traditionally focused on direct, physical effects and certain better-understood indirect effects such as causing failure of enemy units through attrition. Although these still have a significant place in warfare, an effects-based approach must consider the full array of outcomes in order to give decision makers a wider range of options and provide them with a realistic estimation of unintended consequences. Each type of effect can play a valuable role in the right circumstances, and thinking through the full range will encourage a flexible, versatile approach to war fighting. One finds many types of effects and different techniques for analyzing and assessing them. A list of categories and types lies beyond the scope of this article, but many have profound practical and doctrinal implications that commanders and planners must consider as they develop strategy.13 One type, however, can have overweening importance and thus merits consideration in the principles themselves:
EBO should always consider the “law of unintended
One will always encounter unintended effects, both good and bad, and those that extend beyond objective accomplishment. Improving awareness can help anticipate many outcomes and mitigate the impact of unintended negative effects, but this can never become a perfect science in a world of complex systems. Planners should think through the most obvious types of damage that unintended effects might cause (such as political and perception management problems associated with collateral civilian damage) and employ consequence-management techniques when possible.
EBO should seek to achieve objectives most
effectively—and then most efficiently.
EBO must always accomplish the mission but should seek to provide as wide a range of options as possible. Thorough evaluation of possible effects should lead to courses of action that achieve objectives in ways that best support the desired end state—but should do so with the least expenditure of lives, treasure, time, opportunities, or other resources. Of course, the chosen effects must first be effective. Sometimes this will require strategies based on attrition or annihilation, but one should select these only after careful deliberation has determined that they are the best (or only) choices.
EBO recognizes that war is a clash of complex,
War is a contest of wills, a collision of living forces that creatively adapt to stimuli in ways scientists today describe in terms of chaos, emergence, and complexity theories. For centuries, scientists and philosophers strove to explain the cosmos in reductionist terms—by dividing what they observed into component elements and explaining the relationships among them with relatively simple rules of cause and effect. Today, scientists realize that even in simple systems, cause and effect are often intangible, indirect, and hard to trace. This fact has important implications that the US approach to war fighting has not always taken into account:
1. Planning should always consider how the enemy will respond to planned actions. Any systematic approach to operations—especially warfare—must recognize the fact that all living systems adapt to changes in their environments. An effects-based approach should include processes to account for an adversary’s likely courses of action and responses. For the same reason, the nexus of planning, execution, and assessment must form an adaptive whole. Put another way, the iterative and cyclical relationship among these three components should form an inseparable whole precisely in order to facilitate adaptation to changes in adversary behavior and the environment.
2. Warfare is complex and nonlinear. Things that one often assumes to be true about the physical world in planning models and the like actually are not true, including ideas such as proportionality, additivity, and replicability.14 According to the principle of proportionality, small inputs lead to small outputs and large inputs to large outputs. In the real world, however, small inputs often lead to disproportionately large outputs. This insight has remained the key to good military practice for millennia: all great commanders have sought ways to achieve the greatest effect with the greatest efficiency. Although the concept of additivity denotes that the whole equals the sum of the parts, that does not apply to living systems, which are always greater than the sum of their components—just as the joint force working as an integrated whole is more effective than its parts if they worked independently. The behavior of complex systems often depends more on the linkages among system components than on the components themselves. Finally, the notion of replicability holds that the same inputs always yield the same outputs, but intuition alone refutes this assertion. Imperceptible changes in initial conditions always make exact replication of results impossible in the real world. As Helmuth von Moltke (the elder) observed, “No plan survives first contact with the enemy.” Systems that behave according to these three assumptions are linear; thus, cause and effect are relatively easy to understand. Complex systems in the real world, however, almost always behave in a nonlinear manner.15
3. Cause and effect often resist tracing. The planning of military operations frequently assumes that the causal links among actions, effects, and objectives are demonstrable, direct, and deductively traceable (from assumptions established during planning). Many causal linkages in the real world, however, remain indirect, intangible, and only inductively discernable (through observation of real phenomena). In many cases, effects will accumulate to achieve an objective, but progress will not become evident until one either fully or nearly achieves the objective. In other cases, the causal mechanisms will not become readily apparent. Planners and commanders must be aware of this, seeking better ways to anticipate changes and counseling those further up the chain of command to have patience with respect to results. That is, they must allow changes invisible outside the target systems to “percolate” through them and produce desired system behaviors.
EBO focuses primarily upon behavior, not just
Traditional warfare made destruction of the enemy’s military forces the leading aim. Doing so can certainly accomplish objectives and still remain a vital part of strategy, but an effects-based approach emphasizes alternatives—that the ultimate aim in war is not to overthrow the enemy’s power but to compel him to do one’s will. Sometimes one can accomplish the latter only by an overthrow, but most of the time other choices exist. Careful examination of all types of effects will suggest them. Another aspect of this principle is that “the moral is to the physical as three is to one.”16 That is, we can often achieve objectives more effectively and efficiently by maximizing the psychological impact of our operations upon an adversary—not just on the battlefield but on enemy leaders and other critical groups as well. We can carefully tailor messages to populations in the operating environment, encouraging cooperation or other desired behavior from them. Finally, affecting the behavior of friendly and neutral actors within the operational environment can often prove as important as affecting the adversary’s behavior. When we prohibit strikes on cultural or religious landmarks during operations, for instance, friendly and neutral actors in the operational environment figure just as prominently in our intended target audience as does the adversary.
EBO recognizes that comprehensive knowledge of all
actors and the operational environment is important to
success, but comes at a price.
Attaining comprehensive knowledge entails taking a view of the adversary that goes well beyond his order of battle and the disposition of his forces. In today’s battlespace, gauging changes in the behavior of various actors, anticipating their actions, and finding both the critical and vulnerable portions of an adversary’s system require very robust intelligence collection and analysis. They also demand that we learn how various actors think and how they perceive the conflict. Further, we must take a systems-based view of the adversary—that is, we must view him and other actors as complex, adaptive systems-of-systems, analyzing them as whole entities and learning how they interact with systems around them, rather than just examining their component parts in reductionist fashion. Intelligence and analysis at the unit and even the component level will probably not be sufficient to glean the degree of understanding required. We require intelligence federation and “reach-back” to national-level intelligence agencies and assets that can offer in-depth analysis.17 Finally, obtaining comprehensive knowledge usually carries a very high information flow and analysis cost, requiring well-thought-out assessment measures and concepts of operations arising from intelligence analysis. Commanders today have access to a virtual flood of data; indeed, they often find it difficult to derive useful information from such an overwhelming amount of material. This situation creates one of the significant drawbacks of the info-comm revolution that has helped make EBO possible in so many other ways. The volume of information itself has become a form of friction, precipitating confusion, lengthening decision times, and diminishing predictive awareness. One can partially mitigate this quandary by conducting comprehensive intelligence and assessment planning before operations begin, but the United States has yet to develop an inclusive solution to the problems created by the information revolution.
The effects-based approach is not new.
When Napoléon said, “If I always appear prepared, it is because before entering on an undertaking, I have meditated long and have foreseen what may occur,” he was intuitively applying what we are trying to put a systematic framework to today.18 Even EBO’s foes acknowledge that many of its basic insights have long been part of war well waged.
The principles laid out above, some of which, at least, one finds in nearly every discussion of EBO, should permit a concise and conceptually consistent definition. The two most widely recognized today come from the two organizations responsible for the bulk of thinking in the last several years on effects and effects-related issues: US Joint Forces Command and the US Air Force.
JFCOM’s definition has evolved significantly in a relatively short time. The following definition of EBO enjoys the greatest visibility: “operations that are planned, executed, assessed, and adapted based on a holistic understanding of the operational environment in order to influence or change system behavior or capabilities using integrated application of select instruments of power to achieve directed policy aims.” In JFCOM’s construct, an effect denotes “the physical, and/or behavioral state of a PMESII [political, military, economic, social, information, and infrastructure] system that results from a military or non-military action or set of actions.”19
The US Air Force has also wrestled with the definition over time and has influenced and been influenced by JFCOM’s thinking. Nonetheless, the Air Force has had by far the most practical experience in conducting EBO and exploring its implications over the last two decades; furthermore, it has collected the greatest amount of subject-matter expertise on effects-based thinking in that time. The consensus of the service’s experts is that JFCOM’s definition is useful but unnecessarily complicated; moreover, it carries some incorrect implications.
Must someone really have “holistic” understanding in order to change a system’s behavior?20 Attrition can still prove very effective in changing the behavior of enemy fielded forces, and one can apply it effectively with little knowledge outside of immediate force ratios—one of the reasons it has often served as the “default setting” for ground combat throughout much of history. Certainly broad systems knowledge is desirable but not necessary to “think effects.” In like manner, is an “integrated application of select instruments of power” necessary to an effects-based approach? Again, such integration is desirable and may even be necessary at the strategic level, but elements of the military instrument alone can apply many effects-based principles in force-on-force engagements, as centuries of maneuver warfare prove. Also, should EBO seek only to attain “directed policy aims”? Even JFCOM maintains that EBO applies at the operational level—the realm of strategy, not policy. Military commanders attain objectives in order to help bring about a set of end-state conditions through strategy; policy sets boundaries on strategy. The primary focus of EBO should remain on an operation’s end state and objectives—the ends of strategy.
The Air Force retains what it believes are the best aspects of JFCOM’s definitions but simplifies them and corrects the conceptual errors. Effects are simply “the full range of outcomes, events, or consequences of a particular cause. A cause can be an action, a set of actions, or another effect.” This definition both broadens and simplifies the concept to make it logical and more easily understood by a general audience. EBO denotes “operations that are planned, executed, assessed, and adapted to influence or change systems or capabilities in order to achieve desired outcomes” (emphasis added).21 This definition retains the best features of JFCOM’s description: the nexus of planning, execution, and assessment; necessity for adaptation; emphasis upon a systems perspective; and applicability to a wider range of operations than just combat. It removes confusing, unnecessary elements and establishes that EBO may help achieve a wider array of ends—not just “policy.” Barring unexpected last--minute changes, this definition will find its way into the next round of the Air Force’s capstone doctrine documents.
Fundamentally, EBO is a thought process—a set of concepts and a way of thinking. It may have great potential to enhance military operations, but it does not supplant existing processes (many of which—like the joint estimate process—are fundamentally effects-based, according to many of the principles laid out here). Tools and methodologies may eventually come along to help exploit EBO’s potential, enabled by technological changes, and some existing processes may change as we learn more. However, one can use an effects-based approach to operations regardless of the ways and means chosen to implement it. The soul of “doing effects” is and will always remain “thinking effects.”
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1. Dr. Maris “Buster” McCrabb and Joseph A. Caroli, Behavioral Modeling and Wargaming for Effects-Based Operations (Rome, NY: Air Force Research Laboratories and DMM Ventures, Inc., November 2002), 1; and Lt Col Christopher W. Bowman, Operational Assessment: The Achilles Heel of Effects-Based Operations? (Newport, RI: Naval War College, 13 May 2002), ii.
2. Col David A. Deptula, Firing for Effect: Change in the Nature of Warfare, Defense and Airpower Series (Arlington, VA: Aerospace Education Foundation, 24 August 1995), 4; Michael Senglaub, Course of Action Analysis within an Effects-Based Operational Context, Sandia Report SAND 2001-3497 (Albuquerque, NM: Sandia National Laboratories, November 2001), 7, http://infoserve.sandia.gov/cgi-bin/techlib/access-control.pl/2001/013497.pdf; and Col Gwen Linde et al., “New Perspectives on Effects-Based Operations: Annotated Briefing” (Alexandria, VA: Institute for Defense Studies, June 2001), 13.
3. Linde et al., “New Perspectives,” 12.
4. Lt Col Brett T. Williams, Effects-Based Operations: Theory, Application, and Role of Airpower (Carlisle, PA: US Army War College, 9 April 2002), 1. Please note that Colonel Williams is characterizing joint opposition to EBO and that the phrase “unachievable, narrowly focused . . . panacea” does not represent his own views on EBO. The other phrases come from Col Art Corbett, USMC, “Why Say No to EBO?” (Quantico, VA: Marine Corps Combat Development Command, 3 November 2002), passim.
5. Maj T. W. Beagle Jr., “Effects-Based Targeting: Another Empty Promise?” (thesis, School of Advanced Airpower Studies, Maxwell AFB, AL, June 2000), 1, https://research.maxwell.af.mil/papers/ay2000/saas/beagle.pdf ; and Lt Col Mark E. Steblin, “Targeting for Effect: Is There an Iceberg Ahead?” Research Report (Maxwell AFB, AL: Air War College, April 1997), 1, https://research.maxwell.af.mil/papers/ay1997/awc/97-184.pdf .
6. Gen William F. Kernan, remarks to the New York Times following the Millennium Challenge 2002 exercise, as cited in Maj David W. Pendall, “Effects-Based Operations and the Exercise of National Power,” Military Review, January–February 2004, 22; and Maj Gen Stanley McChrystal, Department of Defense (DOD) news briefing, 22 March 2003, http://www.defenselink.mil/transcripts/ 2003/t03222003_t0322osdpa.html (accessed 14 October 2005).
7. Compare, for example, Bartleby.com, http://www.bartleby.com/66/22/53422.html (accessed 26 October 2005); apparently mentioned in conversation.
8. Sun Tzu, The Art of War: The Oldest Military Treatise in the World, trans. Lionel Giles (Harrisburg, PA: Military Service Publishing Co., 1944), http://www.chinapage.com/sunzi-e.html (accessed 13 October 2005).
9. Russell F. Weigley, The American Way of War: A History of United States Military Strategy and Policy (New York: Macmillan, 1973), xxii; and Maj Steven M. Rinaldi, “Beyond the Industrial Web: Economic Synergies and Targeting Methodologies” (thesis, School of Advanced Airpower Studies, Maxwell AFB, AL, April 1995), 36.
10. Compare Air Force Doctrine Document (AFDD) 1, Air Force Basic Doctrine, 17 November 2003, for a discussion of “centralized control/decentralized execution” as a tenet of air and space power.
11. Briefing, Headquarters Department of the Army, G-3, DAMO-SSP, subject: Developing an Army Doctrinal Position on “Effects-Based Approach to Campaign Planning,” Washington, DC, January 2004, slide 3.
12. For a good explanation of the tasking cycle, see Doctrine Watch 20, ATO Myths (Maxwell AFB, AL: Air Force Doctrine Center, 15 October 2003), https://www.doctrine.af.mil/Main.asp (accessed 16 October 2005).
13. However, for an extensive discussion of many common categories of effects and examples, see the forthcoming revision of AFDD 2, “Operations and Organization,” draft 6.0, 23 August 2005, https://www.doctrine.af.mil/Main.asp (accessed 16 October 2005).
14. This use of the term proportionality comes from chaos theory and should be distinguished from the principle of proportionality in the Law of Armed Conflict, which stipulates that the military utility of an act should outweigh the collateral costs (especially in terms of lives) of the endeavor. For more information, compare AFDD 2-4.5, Legal Support, 15 May 2003, https://www.doctrine.af.mil/Main.asp (accessed 16 October 2005).
15. The term linear comes from mathematics. Equations that graph as lines after one plots different data points can describe linear systems. These systems have repeatable results and are deterministic. Nonlinear or dynamical systems exhibit trends in behavior rather than repeatable outcomes and demonstrate self-organizing emergence: new forms of adaptive behavior are not planned but emerge as a result of system components’ interactions with the environment. The weather and a market economy are the classic examples. For a good general description, see “What Are Complex Adaptive Systems?” trojanmice.com, http://www.trojanmice.com/articles/complexadaptivesystems.htm (accessed 4 November 2005).
16. Attributed to Napoléon. The following is the actual quotation: “Even in war moral power is to physical as three parts out of four.” Compare Bartleby.com, http://www.bartleby.com/73/1213.html (accessed 26 October 2005).
17. Federation, in this sense, refers to the cooperation between DOD intelligence personnel and intelligence organizations outside the DOD and/or the United States.
18. As quoted in Robert Heinl, Dictionary of Military and Naval Quotations (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1966).
19. PMESII refers comprehensively to the components of any system. Both definitions come from USJFCOM, Operational Implications of Effects-Based Operations (EBO), Joint Doctrine Series no. 7 (Fort Monroe, VA: Joint Warfighting Center, 17 November 2004), 32. This definition also appears in drafts of JFCOM’s forthcoming Commander’s Handbook on EBO.
20. Never mind the “alternative medicine” and patchouli vibe that accompanies the term holistic. Some may see it and turn “holistically” against EBO.
21. AFDD 2, “Operations and Organization,” 13.
|Lt Col J. P. Hunerwadel, USAF, retired (BS, George Mason University; MS, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University), is a senior doctrine analyst in the Joint and Multinational Doctrine Directorate at Headquarters Air Force Doctrine Center, Maxwell AFB, Alabama. He previously served as an instructor and evaluator pilot in the B-52, T-38, and T-1 aircraft, with more than 4,000 flying hours and 26 combat missions during Operation Desert Storm. He also served as an instructor at the College of Aerospace Doctrine, Research and Education (CADRE) at Maxwell, where he taught campaign planning as well as operational design and helped develop planning curricula for Air Command and Staff College, Air War College, and CADRE. The principal author of Air Force Doctrine Documents 2-1.2, Strategic Attack, and 2-1.9, Targeting, the first Air Force doctrine publications to discuss effects-based operations in depth, Colonel Hunerwadel is widely recognized as one of the US military’s leading experts on the effects-based approach to operations.|
The conclusions and opinions expressed in this document are those of the author cultivated in the freedom of expression, academic environment of Air University. They do not reflect the official position of the U.S. Government, Department of Defense, the United States Air Force or the Air University
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