Definition/Scope: (FM 3-0) Isolate means to deny an enemy or adversary access to capabilities that enable the exercise of coercion, influence, potential advantage, and freedom of action. Isolation limits the enemy's ability to conduct operations effectively by marginalizing one or more of these capabilities. It exposes the enemy to continued degradation through the massed effects of the other defeat mechanisms. There are two types of isolation: Physical isolation, which is difficult to achieve, but easier to assess. An isolated enemy loses freedom of movement and access to support. Psychological isolation, which, while difficult to assess, is a vital enabler of disintegration. The most important indicators include the breakdown of enemy morale and the alienation of a population from the enemy. Isolation alone rarely defeats an enemy. However, it complements and reinforces other defeat mechanisms' effects. Offensive operations often focus on destroying personnel and equipment. They may use maneuver to dislocate forces. However, these effects multiply when combined with isolating the enemy from sources of physical and moral support. FM 3-0 (Old version) A tactical task given to a unit to seal off (both physically and psychologically) an enemy from his sources of support, to deny an enemy freedom of movement, and prevent an enemy unit from having contact with other enemy forces. An enemy must not be allowed sanctuary within his present position.
Broader Terms:Defeat Mechanism
Related Terms:Defeat Mechanism