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Critical asset

Definition A critical asset in military operations refers to any resource, system, or facility that is essential to the success of the mission or the overall function of a military force. If compromised, the loss or failure of these assets could significantly degrade or impede the operational capabilities. Critical assets can include data systems, supply […]


A critical asset in military operations refers to any resource, system, or facility that is essential to the success of the mission or the overall function of a military force. If compromised, the loss or failure of these assets could significantly degrade or impede the operational capabilities. Critical assets can include data systems, supply lines, strategically significant locations, or key personnel.

Key Takeaways

  1. ‘Critical asset’ refers to a resource, system, or facility that is vital for the success of military operations. It’s a significant element in warfare, and the destruction or deprivation of such an asset can greatly impact operational capabilities.
  2. The term is not restricted to tangible assets like weaponry, equipment, or infrastructure. It also covers intangible assets like communication systems, intelligence networks, and strategic alliances. The importance depends on its role in the achievement of a mission’s objectives.
  3. Identifying and protecting ‘critical assets’ is an essential part of military strategy. It involves consistent risk management and security measures to ensure they remain functional and intact throughout operations.


The term “Critical Asset” in military operations is crucial as it refers to resources, areas, or systems whose destruction or incapacitation would significantly impact the success and functionality of the military operation or mission.

These can include communication systems, logistics infrastructure, military installations, or even tactical information.

The protection of these critical assets is paramount as they are target potentials for enemy forces.

Their loss could bring serious consequences like operational failure, loss of lives, and strategic disadvantages.

Therefore, understanding what constitutes a critical asset and prioritizing their protection is an integral part of mission planning and execution in military operations.


Critical assets in military operations refer to a specific selection of resources deemed necessary for the successful execution of a mission or the overall function of the military in general. These critical assets, which could range from physical structures, like command and control centers, to non-physical assets, such as communication networks or even trained personnel, serve pivotal roles in the structure and effectiveness of a military force.

Without these assets, the force would face significant challenges in its capacity to operate effectively. The purpose of identifying and protecting these critical assets is to ensure the military’s operational readiness and to maintain a strategic advantage in any given situation.

Protecting these assets is not confined to physical protection but also extends to safeguarding critical information and maintaining the operational proficiency of personnel. Hence, these critical assets, given their importance, become prime targets for enemy forces as their damage or destruction can drastically impact a military’s operational effectiveness.

Prioritizing the identification, protection, and management of these assets is therefore a fundamental aspect of any military strategy.

Examples of Critical asset

Nuclear Weapons: In the context of military operations, nuclear weapons are considered a critical asset. They play a significant role in national defense, and their security, maintenance, and control are of utmost importance. The loss or compromise of these weapons could result in severe consequences at a national or international level.

Communication Systems: Advanced and secure communication systems are another critical asset in military operations. They allow for the free flow of vital information, enabling quick decision-making processes. If these systems are compromised, it can severely impact the ability to coordinate and execute operations.

Military Bases: Military bases, especially those located in strategic positions globally or those housing significant personnel, equipment, and technologies, can be considered critical assets. These bases support the logistics, deployment, and operational capabilities of military forces. Without them, it would be challenging to conduct or support ongoing military operations.

FAQs on Critical Assets in Military Operations

What is a Critical Asset in Military Operations?

In military operations, a critical asset refers to any resource, system, or structure which is essential for the success of the mission. It could be a piece of equipment, facility, personnel, or information that, if compromised, would significantly impact the military operation’s effectiveness.

How are Critical Assets identified in Military Operations?

Tactical planning in military operations usually involves identifying critical assets. This process entails the evaluation of all potential resources against their value or impact on the mission. It typically involves conducting a risk assessment to find out which assets must be prioritized for protection due to their criticality.

What are examples of Critical Assets in Military Operations?

Examples of critical assets in military operations could be command and control systems, logistics support, surveillance and reconnaissance systems, key personnel, or even vital structures like bridges or airfields.

What measures are taken to protect Critical Assets in Military Operations?

In order to safeguard critical assets, military units deploy various protective measures ranging from physical security to digital security measures. These may include stationing guards, installing alarms, intrusion detection systems, building fortifications, implementing access controls, as well as cybersecurity measures like firewalls, encryption, and secure communication protocols.

How does the loss of a Critical Asset affect a Military Operation?

The loss of a critical asset in a military operation can have severe consequences, possibly causing the mission to fail. For instance, if an essential communication system is compromised, it could lead to miscommunication or lack of communication among the troops, significantly lowering their effectiveness on the battlefield.

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Sources for More Information

  • Department of Defense: The official website of the U.S. Department of Defense, which contains a glossary of military terms, including “critical asset.”
  • Military Factory: An online encyclopedia dedicated to providing detailed military information, it may also contain the information about the term.
  • Joint Chiefs of Staff: The principal military advisory body to the U.S. president and secretary of defense. They may provide information about “critical asset” in the context of military strategy and operations.
  • U.S. Army Combined Arms Center: This institution leads in the development and integration of the Army’s operational doctrine, and includes a library that could provide further information about this military term.

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