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Lesson Index: [ Introduction | Lesson Objective | Overview | EBO Defined | Effects Classification | Effects-Based vs Objective-Based | Why EBO? | National Strategic EBO | Combatant Commander EBO | EBO Example—Allied Force | Summary ]

Title: Effects-Based vs Objective-Based

Action: An Action box is connected with an arrow pointing to an Objective box.

Voice: EBO is a refinement of the objective-based operations approach that is in current use. The objective-based method ties objectives directly to actions.

Action: The preceding boxes are removed and a graphic showing a derived relationship between: National Military Objectives and Campaign Objectives; Campaign Objectives and Operational Objectives; and Operational Objectives and Actions. The objectives and the individuals who engender them are shown on the screen as mentioned.

Voice: Planning for objectives-based operations begins with national military objectives and proceeds to the determination of campaign objectives by the joint force commander. The functional component commanders define operational objectives to support the campaign and develop actions to achieve those objectives.

Action: Arrows mirroring the ones pointing from one box to the next are added to show that the relationship changes from top-to-bottom to bottom-to-top in execution and assessment.

Voice: The planning is a top-down process but during execution it becomes a bottom-up review to see how well the chosen actions and lower level objectives are contributing to higher level objectives.

Action: The preceding boxes are removed and the graphic showing the relationship between actions, effects and objectives from Effects Classification is shown.

Voice: Contrast this with effects-based planning. Effects-based operations tie actions to an effect that supports attainment of the objective. This may seem subtle to some or even pedantic semantics to others but the impact on planning is significant.

Action: The action box is faded.

Voice: The emphasis shifts from the actions to the effects for it is effects that achieve objectives. Identifying desired effects and preventing negative effects is now paramount for objective accomplishment.

Action: The action box is brought back and a second order relationship stemming from the first effect is established between a new effect and the objective.

Voice: The study, or at least consideration, of effect interaction—the second- and third-order effects—is crucial. History has shown that the higher order effects related to our actions can be significant.

Action: The objective and the arrow pointing to it are highlighted.

Voice: If those higher order effects are negative, mission failure can result.

Action: A third order relationship stemming from the second effect is established between a new effect and a second objective.

Voice: On the other hand, positive higher order effects let us double and triple the benefits from our actions leading to greater efficiency in mission accomplishment.

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