the joint force commander. Additionally, the Army is organized and equipped to support the joint force commander through combined arms to cover vast distances for extended periods. The Army works to integrate all available instruments to unified action partners to achieve the desired outcome.

2-33. Combined arms maneuver and wide area security are not tasks. They provide an operational context to assist a commander and staff in determining an operational approach and to combine tasks of decisive action into a coherent operation that assigns missions to subordinates. Forces execute these missions to defeat or destroy enemy forces, and seize or control areas vital to accomplishing their missions, while protecting civilians, infrastructure, and themselves. While all operations consist of simultaneous combined arms maneuver and wide area security in various proportions, most tactical tasks will be predominantly characterized by one or the other. The preponderant core competency determines the choice of defeat or stability mechanisms to describe how friendly forces accomplish the assigned mission. Generally, defeat mechanisms are appropriate for combined arms maneuver, while stability mechanisms are best suited for wide area security.

Combined Arms Maneuver

2-34. Combined arms maneuver is the application of the elements of combat power in unified action to defeat enemy ground forces; to seize, occupy, and defend land areas; and to achieve physical, temporal, and psychological advantages over the enemy to seize and exploit the initiative (ADP 3-0). Physical advantages may include control of key terrain, population centers, or critical resources and enablers. Temporal advantages enable Army forces to set the tempo and momentum of operations and decide when to fight so the enemy loses the ability to respond effectively. Psychological advantages impose fear, uncertainty, and doubt on the enemy, which serves to dissuade or disrupt the enemy’s further planning and action.

2-35. Combined arms maneuver exposes enemies to friendly combat power from unexpected directions and denies them the ability to respond effectively. Combined arms maneuver throws the enemy off balance, follows up rapidly to prevent recovery, and destroys the enemy’s will to fight. In addition, forces conducting combined arms maneuver threaten enemies indirectly, causing them to reveal their intentions and expose hidden vulnerabilities. Combined arms maneuver primarily employs defeat mechanisms against enemies and is dominated by offensive and defensive tasks.

2-36. A defeat mechanism is a method through which friendly forces accomplish their mission against enemy opposition. Army forces at all echelons use combinations of four defeat mechanisms: destroy, dislocate, disintegrate, and isolate. Applying focused combinations produces complementary and reinforcing effects not attainable with a single mechanism. Used individually, a defeat mechanism achieves results proportional to the effort expended. Used in combination, the effects are likely to be both synergistic and lasting. When commanders destroy, they apply lethal combat power on an enemy capability so that it can no longer perform any function. The enemy cannot restore it to a usable condition without being entirely rebuilt. Commanders dislocate by employing forces to obtain significant positional advantage, rendering the enemy’s dispositions less valuable, perhaps even irrelevant. Disintegrate means to disrupt the enemy’s command and control system, degrading its ability to conduct operations. This action leads to a rapid collapse of the enemy’s capabilities or will to fight. When commanders isolate, they deny an enemy or adversary access to capabilities that enable the exercise of coercion, influence, potential advantage, and freedom of action ….



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