Center for Army Lessons Learned - Thesaurus
CALL title banner

lethal action

Definition/Scope: (FM 3-0) Offensive and defensive operations place a premium on employing the lethal effects of combat power against the enemy. In these operations, speed, surprise, and shock are vital considerations. Speed is swiftness of action. It allows a force to act before the enemy is ready or before the situation deteriorates further. Speed requires being able to adjust operations quickly to dynamic conditions. It increases opportunities to exploit momentary tactical advantages and expand them to retain and exploit the initiative. Surprise is achieved by acting at a time, acting in a place, or using methods to which the enemy cannot effectively react or does not expect. Speed contributes to surprise. So does executing operations simultaneously and in depth. Exploiting advantages gained through security, military deception, and aggressive intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) operations contributes to surprise. Shock results from applying overwhelming violence. Combat power applied with enough speed and magnitude to overwhelm the enemy produces it. Shock slows and disrupts enemy operations. It is usually transient, but while it lasts, shock may paralyze the enemy's ability to fight. Sometimes the psychological effects of threatening to use overwhelming violence can also produce shock. Shock is often greater when generated with asymmetric means.

Used For:

Movement and Maneuver WFF

Broader Terms:

Full spectrum operations
joint operation
Major Combat Operation
major operation
operational theme

Narrower Terms:

Urban Operation

Related Terms:

Irregular Warfare
nonlethal action

CALL Homepage >> Thesaurus Last Updated: Sept 17, 2008