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Whither EBO? Prospects for a Network Enabled Synergy

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Conference paper

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Our world is a complex place, a myriad of ever-changing, interdependent variables whose course we can never entirely predict. The strength and challenge of an effects-based approach to operations is that it squarely addresses this complexity by concentrating on the most complex aspects of this world man, his institutions, and his actions. Indeed, the entire effects-based approach can be characterized by four things a focus on the human dimension of competition and conflict the consideration of a full spectrum of actions whether in peace, crisis, or hostilities a multi-faceted whole of nation concept of power and the recognition of the complex interconnected nature of the actors and actions involved. The human dimension arises both from the fact that, no matter what form effects-based operations may take, they are ultimately about shaping human perceptions and behavior, and from the fact that the planning and execution of such operations depend heavily on human beings to make the complex estimates and decisions involved. Similarly, consideration of an entire spectrum of actions rather than of target destruction encompasses linkages of actions across a peace-crisis-hostilities spectrum. Because the focus is on what observers perceive rather than on what is done and because any action is therefore but one part of an observed whole, all operations are necessarily whole of nation or whole of coalition. Finally, any effects-based approach must proceed from recognition that all actions and the reactions they provoke are inextricably linked in a system of ever-changing and adapting human systems whose complexity fundamentally shapes both the nature problem and the task of assessing, planning, and executing any operation.

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  • Psychology
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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