Effects-Based Operations: A New Way of Thinking and Fighting   [open pdf - 309KB]

This paper analyzes Effects-Based Operations as the most effective way to frame future joint operations in a complex, uncertain environment. This new complex and uncertain environment is characterized by adversaries who have increasingly more access to weapons of Mass Destruction/Effects and whose actions will likely be very unpredictable, and could directly threaten the American homeland. Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld stated that, such new, unexpected and dangerous adversaries must be dissuaded, deterred, and defeated without undue cost to American interests abroad or attacks on the U.S. homeland. The Joint Forces Command has adopted and continues to evolve the concept of EBO within a Joint warfighting construct to answer in part to both challenges. JFCOM has greatly advanced the concept of EBO through inclusion into joint doctrine and the integration in future force experimentation and exercises. The new evolved and broadened concept of EBO as defined in Joint Publication 3-0, Doctrine for Joint Operations best represents a theory that should help select and integrate the various elements of power to attain national security objectives. This new definition has helped the integration of EBO within the Joint community and has helped analysis by reducing the ambiguity of EBO associated with its evolutionary differences in definitions and methodologies. This paper determined that EBO shows great promise as a broad organizing approach to future warfare but has significant obstacles to overcome to be successfully integrated into a new Joint warfighting construct. EBO has been unfairly scrutinized due service centric views and rivalries.

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