A Dual-Edged Sword: Operational Risk and "Efficiency"-Based Operations (EBO)
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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In spite of experience that shows post-conflict stability operations are inevitable, the U.S. military places more emphasis on winning the fighting and less on the decisive post-combat phase. This has resulted in increased risk to the mission and the force. The U.S. has trained and equipped its military to defeat its enemies decisively on the battlefield and has done this so successfully that its enemies are changing the nature of that battlefield. Aware of the U.S. militarys conventional overmatch, potential adversaries are likely to challenge the U.S. unconventionally or possibly after the cessation of combat operations to secure their political aims. This increases risk to the Joint Task force JTF and the accomplishment of strategic objectives. Effects-based operations EBO both can help and hinder the JTFs mitigation of operational risk during transition from combat to post combat operations. Effects-based thinking and operations have demonstrated their potential analytically, in joint warfighting experiments, and in combat. The obstacles that the U.S. military must overcome to realize the potential of EBO in the mitigation of operational risk during post combat operations are surmountable. These challenges are a mindset and corresponding doctrinal emphasis on combat operations at the expense of post combat operations, over-reliance on the efficiency of new warfighting concepts without full recognition of the limitations in their effectiveness, a targeting mentality that does not focus adequately on man and his behavior, and the inadequacy of assessment processes to support the pace of operational execution. The U.S. military should take several initiatives to enhance the JTFs ability to mitigate risk during transition from combat to post combat operations using EBO.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics