Effects-Based Operations (EBO)

A Grand Challenge for the Analytical Community

by Paul K. Davis

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Effects-based operations (EBO) are defined for this monograph as operations conceived and planned in a systems framework that considers the full range of direct, indirect, and cascading effects — effects that may, with different degrees of probability, be achieved by the application of military, diplomatic, psychological, and economic instruments. The monograph suggests principles for sharpening discussions of EBO, for increasing the rigor of those discussions, and for building the key ideas of EBO into analysis for defense planning, experimentation, and operations planning. It then illustrates the principles with explicit models. Finally, it sketches a possible research program to enrich the base for studying and practicing EBO.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction

  • Chapter Two

    Definitions, Dimensions, and Distinctions

  • Chapter Three

    Challenges in Addressing EBO

  • Chapter Four

    Suggested Principles for Analysis in the Context of EBO

  • Chapter Five

    Examples of How EBO Can Be Represented Analytically

  • Chapter Six

    Conclusions

The research described in this report was sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) and by the United States Air Force. The research was conducted in RAND’s National Security Research Division, a federally funded research and development center supported by the OSD, the Joint Staff, the unified commands, and the defense agencies and in National Security Research Division, a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the United States Air Force.

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