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A military operation is the coordinated
military action War is an intense armed conflict between State (polity), states, governments, Society, societies, or paramilitary groups such as Mercenary, mercenaries, Insurgency, insurgents, and militias. It is generally characterized by extreme violence ...
s of a
state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, Un ...
, or a
non-state actorNon-state actors include organizations and individuals that are not affiliated with, directed by, or funded through the government. The interests, structure, and influence of NSAs vary widely. For example, among NSAs are corporations, media organi ...
, in response to a developing situation. These actions are designed as a
military plan A military operation plan (also called a war plan before World War II) is a formal plan for military, military armed forces, their military organizations and units to conduct operations, as drawn up by commanders within the combat operations process ...
to resolve the situation in the state or actor's favor. Operations may be of a
combat Combat (French language, French for ''fight'') is a purposeful violence, violent conflict meant to physically harm or kill the opposition. Combat may be armed (using weapons) or unarmed (Hand-to-hand combat, not using weapons). Combat is sometim ...

combat
or non-combat nature and may be referred to by a
code name A code name, call sign or cryptonym is a code word In communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation with") is "an apparent answer to the painful divisions between self and other, private a ...
for the purpose of
national security National security or national defence is the security and Defence (military), defence of a sovereign state, nation state, including its Citizenship, citizens, economy, and institutions, which is regarded as a duty of government. Originally c ...
. Military operations are often known for their more generally accepted common usage names than their actual
operational objectiveIn business, operational objectives (also known as tactical objectives) are short-term goals whose achievement brings an organization closer to its long-term goals. It is slightly different from strategic objectives, which are longer term goals of a ...
s.


Types of military operations

Military operations can be classified by the scale and scope of force employment, and their impact on the wider conflict. The scope of military operations can be: *
Theater Theatre or theater is a collaborative form of performing art The performing arts are arts such as music, dance, and drama which are performed for an audience. It is different from visual arts The visual arts are art forms such as pain ...
: this describes an operation over a large, often continental,
area of operationIn U.S. armed forces parlance, an area of operations (AO) is an operational area defined by the force commander for land, air, and naval forces conduct of combat and non-combat activities. Areas of operations do not typically encompass the entire ...
and represents a strategic national commitment to the conflict, such as
Operation Barbarossa Operation Barbarossa (german: link=no, Unternehmen Barbarossa), also known as the German invasion of the Soviet Union, was the code name A code name, call sign or cryptonym is a code word In communication Communication (from Latin ''c ...

Operation Barbarossa
, with general
goals A goal is an objective that a person or a system plans or intends to achieve. Goal may also refer to: Sport * Goal (sport), a method of scoring in many sports, or the physical structure or area where scoring occurs ** Goals, the Football_pitch#Go ...
that encompass areas of consideration outside the military, such as the
economic An economy (; ) is an area of the production Production may be: Economics and business * Production (economics) * Production, the act of manufacturing goods * Production, in the outline of industrial organization, the act of making products ...

economic
and
political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relations between individuals, such as the distribution of res ...

political
impact. *
Campaign Campaign or The Campaign may refer to: Types of campaigns * Campaign, in agriculture, the period during which sugar beets are harvested and processed *Advertising campaign, a series of advertisement messages that share a single idea and theme *Blit ...
: this describes either a subset of the theatre of operation, or a more limited geographic and operational strategic commitment, such as the
Battle of Britain The Battle of Britain (german: die Luftschlacht um England, "the Air Battle for England") was a military campaign A military campaign is large-scale long-duration significant military strategy Military strategy is a set of ideas implemented ...

Battle of Britain
, and need not represent total national commitment to a conflict, or have broader goals outside the military impact. *
Battle A battle is an occurrence of combat in warfare between opposing military units of any number or size. A war usually consists of multiple battles. In general, a battle is a military engagement that is well defined in duration, area, and force ...

Battle
: this describes a subset of a campaign that will have specific military goals and geographic objectives, as well as clearly defined use of forces, such as the
Battle of Gallipoli The Gallipoli campaign, or ). was a military campaign in the First World War that took place on the Gallipoli peninsula (Gelibolu in modern Turkey), from 17 February 1915 to 9 January 1916. The Allies of World War I, Entente powers, United K ...

Battle of Gallipoli
, which operationally was a
combined arms Combined Arms is an approach to war War is an intense armed conflict between states, government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a State (polity), state. In the cas ...
operation originally known as the "Dardanelles landings" as part of the Dardanelles Campaign, where about 480,000
Allied An alliance is a relationship among people, groups, or sovereign state, states that have joined together for mutual benefit or to achieve some common purpose, whether or not explicit agreement has been worked out among them. Members of an alli ...
troops took part. *
Engagement An engagement or betrothal is the period of time between a marriage proposal and the marriage itself (which is typically but not always commenced with a wedding). During this period, a couple is said to be ''fiancés'' (from wikt:fiancé#French ...
: this describes a
tactical combat Military tactics encompasses the art of organizing and employing fighting forces on or near the battlefield. They involve the application of four battlefield functions which are closely related – kinetic or firepower, Mobility (military), mobili ...
event or contest for a specific area or objective by actions of distinct units. For example, the
Battle of Kursk The Battle of Kursk was a Second World War World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved —including all of the great powers—forming two opposing s: th ...
, also known from its German designation as Operation Citadel, included many separate engagements, several of which were combined into the
Battle of Prokhorovka The Battle of Prokhorovka was fought on 12 July 1943 near Prokhorovka, Belgorod Oblast, Prokhorovka, southeast of Kursk in the Soviet Union, during the Second World War. Taking place on the Eastern Front (World War II), Eastern Front, the engage ...
. The Battle of Kursk, in addition to describing the initial German
offensive Offensive may refer to: * Offensive, the former name of the Dutch political party Socialist Alternative (Netherlands), Socialist Alternative * Offensive (military), an attack * Offensive language ** Fighting words or insulting language, words that ...
operation, also included two Soviet
counter-offensive A counter-offensive is a large-scale military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically officially authorized and maintained by a sovereig ...
operations:
Operation Kutuzov Operation Kutuzov was the first of the two counteroffensives launched by the Red Army The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army,) frequently shortened to Red Army, was the army and air force of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic ...
and
Operation Polkovodets Rumyantsev Operation or Operations may refer to: Arts, entertainment and media * ''Operation'' (game), a battery-operated board game that challenges dexterity * Operation (music) upright=1.5, Set 3-1 has three possible rotations/inversions, the normal ...
. *
Strike Strike may refer to: People *Strike (surname)Strike is a surname. Notable people with the surname include: *Alice Strike (1896–2004), last surviving female Canadian military World War I veteran *Anne Wafula Strike (born 1969), British wheelcha ...
: this describes a single
attack Attack may refer to: Warfare and combat * Offensive (military) * Charge (warfare) * Attack (fencing) * Strike (attack) * Attack (computing) * Attack aircraft Books and publishing * The Attack (novel), ''The Attack'' (novel), a book * ''Attack No. ...
, upon a specified
target TARGET2 (Trans-European Automated Real-time Gross Settlement Express Transfer System) is the real-time gross settlementReal-time gross settlement (RTGS) systems are specialist funds transfer systems where the transfer of money Image:National ...
. This often forms part of a broader engagement. Strikes have an explicit goal, such as rendering facilities such as
airport An airport is an aerodrome An aerodrome (Commonwealth English The use of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval En ...

airport
s inoperable,
assassinating
assassinating
enemy leaders, or limiting the delivery of supplies to enemy troops.


Definition


Operational level of war

The
operational level of war In the field of military theory, the operational level of war (also called operational art, as derived from russian: оперативное искусство, or operational warfare) represents the level of command that connects the details of ...
occupies roughly the middle ground between the campaign's strategic focus and the
tactics Tactic(s) or Tactical may refer to: * Tactic (method), a conceptual action implemented as one or more specific tasks ** Military tactics, the disposition and maneuver of units on a particular sea or battlefield ** Chess tactics ** Political tactic ...
of an engagement. It describes "a distinct intermediate level of war between
military strategy Military strategy is a set of ideas implemented by military organization Military organization or military organisation is the structuring of the s of a so as to offer such as a may require. In some countries forces are included in a nati ...
, governing war in general, and tactics, involving individual battles". For example, during
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
, the concept applied to use of Soviet Tank Armies.Armstrong, ''Red Army Tank Commanders'', p.13.


See also

*
Civil-military operations Civil-military operations or CMO are activities of a military force to minimize civil interference on and maximize civil support for military operation A military operation is the coordinated military action War is an intense armed conflic ...
*
Effects-Based Operations Effects-based operations (EBO) is a United States Armed Forces, United States military concept that emerged during the Gulf War, Persian Gulf War for the planning and conduct of operations combining military and non-military methods to achieve a par ...
(EBO) * List of military operations ** List of coalition military operations of the Iraq War **
List of World War II military operations This is a list of known World War II era codenames for military operations, and missions commonly associated with World War II. this is not a comprehensive list, but most major operations that Axis and Allied combatants engaged in are included, ...
*
Military operation plan A military operation plan (also called a war plan before World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a World war, global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved World War II by country ...
*
Military operations other than war Military operations other than war (MOOTW) focus on deterring war, resolving conflict, promoting peace, and supporting civil authorities in response to domestic crises. The phrase and acronym were coined by the United States military during the 199 ...
(MOOTW) *
Offensive (military) An offensive is a military operation A military operation is the coordinated military action War is an intense armed conflict between State (polity), states, governments, Society, societies, or paramilitary groups such as Mercenary, me ...
*
Operational View Electronic Commerce Concept of Operations. Operational View (OV) is one of the View model, basic views defined in the enterprise architecture (EA) of the Department of Defense Architecture Framework V1.5 (DoDAF) and is related with concept of opera ...
(OV)


Notes


References

* Armstrong, Richard N. ''Red Army Tank Commanders: The Armored Guards''. Atglen, Penn.:
Schiffer Military History Schiffer Publishing Ltd. (also known as Schiffer Military History) is a family-owned publishing, publisher of nonfiction books founded in 1974. Based in Atglen, Pennsylvania, its coverage includes antiques, architecture and design, arts and craft ...
, 1994. . * Glantz, David M. ''Soviet Military Operational Art: In Pursuit of Deep Battle''. London: Frank Cass, 1991. , {{ISBN, 0-7146-4077-8.