Center for Army Lessons Learned - Thesaurus
CALL title banner

Defensive operation

Definition/Scope: NOTE: FM 3-0 has been superceded by ADP 3-0.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
decisive action
Full spectrum operations
joint operation

Narrower Terms:

area defense
forward defense
Humanitarian Assistance
humanitarian assistance coordination center
in-depth defense
nonlethal action
Unified Land Operations

Related Terms:

Chemical oxygen iodine laser
Civil support operation
defensive techniques
mobile defense
Offensive operation
spoiling attack
Stability operation
YAL-1 Airborne Laser

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