Definition/Scope: NOTE: FM 3-0 has been superceded by ADP 3-0. (FM 3-0) Defensive operations are combat operations conducted to defeat an enemy attack, gain time, economize forces, and develop conditions favorable for offensive or stability operations. The defense alone normally cannot achieve a decision. However, it can create conditions for a counteroffensive operation that lets Army forces regain the initiative. Defensive operations can also establish a shield behind which stability operations can progress. Defensive operations counter enemy offensive operations. They defeat attacks, destroying as much of the attacking enemy as possible. They also preserve control over land, resources, and populations. Defensive operations retain terrain, guard populations, and protect critical capabilities against enemy attacks. They can be used to gain time and economize forces so offensive tasks can be executed elsewhere.
Broader Terms:combat operation
Narrower Terms:area defense