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decisive point

Definition/Scope: (JP 5-0) A decisive point is a geographic place, specific key event, critical factor, or function that, when acted upon, allows a commander to gain a marked advantage over an adversary or contributes materially to achieving success (e.g., creating a desired effect, achieving an objective). This can greatly influence the outcome of an action. Decisive points can be physical in nature, such as a constricted sea lane, a hill, a town, WMD capabilities, or an air base; but they could include other elements such as command posts, critical boundaries, airspace, or communications and/or intelligence nodes. In some cases, specific key events also may be decisive points, such as attainment of air or maritime superiority, commitment of the adversary's reserve or opening a supply route during humanitarian operations. In still other cases, decisive points may have a larger systemic impact, such as a node or combination of nodes which, when acted on, can substantially affect the adversary's information, financial, economic, or social systems. OLD VERSION A point, if retained, that provides a commander with a marked advantage over his opponent. Decisive points are usually geographic in nature but could include other physical elements, such as enemy formations, command posts, and communication nodes.

Broader Terms:

Command and Control
Lines Of Operation
Military DecisionMaking Process
operational art
situational awareness
Troop Leading Procedures

Narrower Terms:

risk assessment

Related Terms:

Center Of Gravity
combat power
Commander’s Intent
course of action
direct approach
end state
indirect approach
lines of effort
Lines Of Operation
operational approach
operational reach
Warrior Ethos

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