Six phases of the “Continuum of Military Operations.”

Phase 0:  Shape the Environment. This phase involves those joint interagency and multinational activities conducted on an ongoing, routine basis to assure or solidify friendly relationships and alliances and/or deter potential adversaries.

Phase 1:  Deter the Enemy. This phase focuses on deterring specific opponents by demonstrating the capability and resolve to apply force in pursuit of U.S. interests. These actions will likely build upon Phase 0 activities and may include a show of force or initiatives that would facilitate deployment, employment, and sustainment of additional forces within the region.

Phase 2:  Seize the Initiative. Hostilities commence during this phase. Combat power is applied to delay, impede, halt, or dislodge the adversary as well as to gain access to theater infrastructure and enhance friendly freedom of action.  Concurrently, assistance is provided to relieve conditions that precipitated the crisis in order to promote stability.

Phase 3:  Dominate the Enemy. The focus during this phase is on the exploitation, pursuit, and destruction of the enemy in order to break the opponent’s will for organized resistance. Stability operations will also be conducted as needed to facilitate transition to the next phase.

Phase 4:  Stabilize the Environment. The priority during this phase will be on stability operations, the reconstitution of infrastructure, and the restoration of services. This phase concludes with the transfer of regional authority to a legitimate civil entity.

Phase 5:  Enable Civil Authority. Legitimate civil authorities are enabled in their efforts to provide essential services to the populace. These activities include required coordination activities by U.S. military forces with multinational, interagency, and non-governmental organizations while promoting a favorable attitude among the populace toward U.S. and host nation objectives.


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