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Definition In military operations, the term “Effect” refers to the specific outcome or result that is intended to be achieved from a certain tactic or strategy. It is the impact or change brought about by conducting an operation or action. This impact can be physical or psychological and either directly or indirectly influences the enemy’s […]


In military operations, the term “Effect” refers to the specific outcome or result that is intended to be achieved from a certain tactic or strategy. It is the impact or change brought about by conducting an operation or action. This impact can be physical or psychological and either directly or indirectly influences the enemy’s capabilities.

Key Takeaways

  1. The term “Effect” in military operations often refers to the final desired outcome of an operation or strategy. It is what the military operation seeks to achieve in the long run, be it a change in the adversary’s behavior, the destruction of their forces, or gaining control of a specific territory.
  2. In military operations, “Effect” is not just about the physical impact. It also involves psychological, political, economic, and social effects. This perspective helps military planners align their strategic, operational and tactical actions towards achieving holistic effects.
  3. “Effect” based operations focus on the central idea of effects rather than purely on destroying the enemy and their capabilities. It promotes the application of military power in a more precise, efficient and ethically sound way.


The term “Effect” in military operations is critical as it describes the specific physical or behavioral state that military action intends to induce in a system or actor in order to achieve objectives.

It’s an integral part of operational planning and strategy, helping to formulate actions that lead to desired outcomes, whether strategic, operational, or tactical.

Understanding and estimating the potential effects of various courses of action allows military leaders to choose the most effective methods for achieving their goals, optimizing resources, and minimizing unnecessary risks.

Effectiveness in this context is also associated with the sensible use of force and adherence to laws and principles of war.

The concept of “Effect” serves as a linkage between actions and objectives, contributing significantly to the success of military operations.


In military operations, the term “Effect” is used to determine and assess the result or consequence of particular actions or strategies implemented during a mission or operation. Its purpose is to quantify or evaluate the impact of military actions, whether they be offensive, defensive, or oriented towards information gathering.

Not only does it consider physical destruction or harm, but the term effect also takes into account psychological, political, civic, and moral implications of military activities. It helps in strategic planning by predicting potential outcomes and tailoring operations so that they achieve specific desired effects.

Effect is utilized for decision-making purposes, acting as a key component in attaining mission success and ensuring sustainable military operations. Strategically, the use of “Effect” allows for dynamic, adaptable, and flexible planning across all levels – from infrastructure disruption to key personnel effect.

The idea is to optimize activities and resources to create effects that lead to achieving a predetermined objective. Therefore, by concentrating on the ‘Effect’ of the actions, military operations can maximize impact, minimize unintended consequences, and link actions seamlessly to strategic end-states.

Examples of Effect

Operation Neptune/ D-Day Invasion: One of the most famous military operations from World War II, D-Day, is an example of an “effect” in military operations. The effect of this operation was significant—it led to a decisive victory for the Allies by establishing a western front in Europe. With the resulting decrease in Nazi Germany’s ability to reinforce the Eastern Front against the Soviet Union, the overall balance of power significantly shifted in favor of the Allies.

The Drone Strike Killing of Qasem Soleimani: In January 2020, an American drone strike in Baghdad killed Qasem Soleimani, a major general in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. The intended “effect” of this operation was to disrupt potential plans by Soleimani to attack US personnel and facilities in the Middle East. However, his death also led to a significant escalation in tensions between the US and Iran, causing fears of a potential war.

Operation Raahat: A lesser-known operation, but a clear example of an intended effect, was Operation Raahat in 2015 by the Indian Armed Forces. The operation was deployed to evacuate Indian citizens and other foreign nationals from Yemen during the military intervention by Saudi Arabia and its allies in

The effect of the operation was successful with about 4,640 Indian citizens along with 960 foreign nationals of 41 different countries being evacuated during the operation.

FAQ Section for Military Operations: Effect

What is the meaning of ‘Effect’ in a military operation context?

In a military operation, the term ‘Effect’ generally refers to the outcome or consequence that is intended to be achieved through particular actions or operations. It is a critical aspect of strategy and planning in military activities.

What is the role of ‘Effect’ in successful military operations?

The ‘Effect’ in military operations is crucial as it refers to the impact or the result of different activities carried out during these operations. An understanding of the desired effect helps in planning and executing the operation efficiently and achieving the desired tactical, operational, and strategic objectives.

How does one measure the ‘Effect’ of a military operation?

‘Effect’ in a military operation can be measured in a variety of ways, depending on the objectives of the operation. It can be quantified in physical terms, like territory gained, resources captured, or enemy forces neutralized. In other cases, the effect could be evaluated in subjective terms such as a decrease in enemy morale or the attainment of political goals.

How can military personnel maximize the ‘Effect’ of their operations?

Military personnel can maximize the ‘Effect’ of their operations by careful strategic planning, efficient execution of plans, effective communication, prompt decision making, and incorporating lessons learned from prior operations. The specifics would depend on the unique circumstances and objectives of each operation.

What are the potential risks if the ‘Effect’ of a military operation is not considered?

If the ‘Effect’ of a military operation is not adequately considered or planned for, there is a risk that the operation may not achieve its intended objectives. This could potentially lead to unnecessary expenditure of resources, unanticipated collateral damage, or even failure of the operation.

Related Military Operation Terms

  • Compensation
  • Service Connection
  • Disability Rating
  • Pension Benefits
  • Medical Benefits

Sources for More Information

  • GlobalSecurity.org: A leading source of military, security and strategic policy information.
  • Council on Foreign Relations (CFR): An independent, nonpartisan membership organization, think tank, and publisher dedicated to being a resource for its members, government officials, business executives, journalists, educators and students, civic and religious leaders, and other interested citizens in order to help them better understand the world and the foreign policy choices facing the United States and other countries.
  • RAND Corporation: A research organization that develops solutions to public policy challenges to help make communities throughout the world safer and more secure, healthier and more prosperous.
  • U.S. Naval Institute (USNI): A private, self-supporting, not-for-profit professional society that publishes a range of content on naval and military subjects.

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