OOTW ANALYSIS ATTRIBUTES
The attributes that affect the design of OOTW analysis tools
are fully defined here. Attributes that differentiate one type of
operation (category) from another are
labeled as definitive attributes. Other attributes differentiate
among the situations within a category. Mission, Enemy, Troops,
Terrain/Weather and Time Available (METT-T) analysis is used as a
framework for grouping the attributes. However, the term
"enemy" also refers to natural factors such as erupting
volcanos, when appropriate. "Troops" also refers to
non-military and friendly non-U.S. personnel. The definition of
terrain/weather is extended to cover the general environment,
including the geopolitical situation.
The rationale for engaging in OOTWs is often complex. The
rationale may be humanitarian, political, economic, or military;
however, it is usually a mixture.
- Mission, objectives, and MOEs Definition: What is
the mission; what are the objectives; and what are the
measures of effectiveness. Definition of end states
should be included in the mission statement. Measures of
effectiveness are likely to be political, medical,
humanitarian, social, etc., but should include military
criteria, as appropriate. The stated mission should
define which OOTW category (or categories) apply to the
operation and the desired end-state and transition
criteria should be traceable to the mission statement. Definitive
- Political vs Economic vs Ideological vs Symbolic
Interest Definition: Is the rationale primarily
political, economic, ideological, or symbolic. Return to status
quo ante in host country will tend to be a minimum
objective. Restoration of infrastructure and commerce,
establishment of democratic processes and restoration of
indigenous law enforcement and judiciary system are
"MISSION:" ASSISTANCE REQUIREMENTS
Many OOTWs involve military assistance to civilians. The
various types of assistance generate several sets of possible
- Assistance required Definition: Types of
assistance required may include medical, security,
engineering support/infrastructure, civil affairs,
transportation for NGO/PVOs, PSYOPs, MP, and
communications. Definitive attribute: HA/DR and nation
assistance operations require assistance to be delivered,
NEO and military contingency operations do not. Peace
operations, counterdrug, counterterrorism, and
counterinsurgency operations may also require assistance.
Various attributes define constraints on military options.
- ROE Definition: This attribute refers to the type
and restrictiveness of the rules of engagement imposed on
U.S. military forces. ROEs impact the level of visibility
of U.S. actions ("footprint"). Minimizing
civilian casualties and collateral damage are usually top
priority. ROEs must take adequate account of personal
security of American and allied forces. Urban/rural
differences are likely to be important. The ROEs strongly
impact force structure, choice of weapons, and target
identification criteria. Restrictive (vs permissive)
rules of engagement are a fundamental training priority,
and potential morale problem. Definitive attribute:
near combat (peace enforcement) and combat (some military
contingency operations) OOTWs will generally have less
- Legal Definition: This attribute refers to the
type and restrictiveness of the legal constraints imposed
on U.S. military forces. Legal constraints impact the
level of visibility of U.S. actions
("footprint"). Legal issues are a fundamental
training priority. Treatment of detained combatants,
identification and apprehension of war criminals, etc.,
likely to be important issues in conflict termination.
American and allied forcesū relationship to local laws
and law enforcement agencies needs to be precisely
defined. Definitive attribute: DR- domestic operations
fall under U.S. legal restrictions, whereas different
restrictions may apply to combat operations or to
- Degree of risk Definition: Risk involves both the
likelihood of undesirable events and the magnitude of
their undesirability. The amount of risk to U.S.
interests (including personnel safety) varies by
operation type. Risk includes the risk involved in
performing the mission and the risk that results from not
performing the mission.
- Use of force Definition: The likelihood of the use
of force against U.S. forces varies by type of
operations, as does the likelihood that U.S. forces will
use force. The authorized type of force may be lethal
force, nonlethal force, or none. Definitive attribute.
- Level of intensity Definition: The level of
intensity (general war, sporadic sniper attacks, etc.)
and the risk of escalation (increase in intensity level),
e.g., in response to casualties, driven either by public
and official opinion or by military judgment, are
components of this attribute.
- Scope of conflict Definition: The scope of
conflict ranges from local to regional conflict.
- Casualties Definition: Expected casualty level and
the type personnel expected to be involved (e.g,
military, non-military support, or civilian, also U.S.,
coalition, host nation, or adversary). The casualty
driver may be disease or natural disaster, as well as
- Potential $ cost - direct Definition: Estimated
direct costs for the operation.
- Potential $ cost - indirect Definition: Estimated
indirect costs of the operation, including opportunity
costs, reconstitution/retraining, etc. Some indirect
costs are difficult to convert to dollar costs,
particularly opportunity costs; however, such a
conversion provides the most practical method of
comparing dissimilar situations.
In the OOTW context, the enemy may be human and may be some
natural force (such as a volcano, a hurricane, or a disease
epidemic) or it may be a combination.
- Human enemy exists Definition: In some types of
operations, U.S. forces must contend with a human enemy,
whereas this is not the case for other operations. Definitive
attribute: CI, CD, CT, some peace operations, and
military contingency operations have human enemies,
whereas the others generally do not.
- Consent Definition: Consent refers to the major
parties of a conflict and whether they consent to third
party mediation, peacekeeping, etc. (full, none, or
partial also strategic consent vs tactical consent). Definitive
attribute: peacekeeping vs peace enforcement.
- Impartiality Definition: Impartiality refers to
whether a third party acting in a mediating,
peacekeeping, etc., role behaves with impartiality
towards the various sides of the conflict.
- Information/intelligence availability Definition:
The level and quality of information or intelligence
"TROOPS:" FORCE STRUCTURE
Force structure is an expected attribute in any military
operation. In OOTWs, the complexities that are possible generate
several force-structure-related attributes.
- Command/coordination structure Definition: Who is
in charge. What are the command arrangements. CMOC is
critical consideration in nation assistance. Political
liaison with host country (via ambassador and country
team) critical in counterinsurgency. Peace operations are
usually under UN or an international command, such as
NATO. Domestic disaster relief operations are headed by
FEMA. International disaster relief and humanitarian
assistance operations are usually headed by some
international organization, the host nation, or the U.S.
Ambassador. Counterdrug operations and counterterrorism
operations in the United States are headed by law
enforcement organizations. Counter-terrorism operations
in foreign countries may be headed by the U.S. military,
the U.S. Ambassador, or the host nation.
Counterinsurgency, foreign counterdrug and nation
assistance operations are usually headed by the U.S.
Ambassador and the Country Team. Military contingency
operations are usually headed by the U.S. military. Definitive
- Force mix Definition: Force mix needed for the
operation (combat by type, CS, CSS and supporting vs
supported and active duty vs reserves). More warriors on
the Counterinsurgency side, typically heavily weighted
toward Special Operations Forces (SOF) at the outset.
Large-scale pacification in low-threat environment tends
toward light infantry. Trainers, civil affairs, engineers
are required to recreate infrastructure in Nation
Assistance. Contractor support for forces is likely to be
large, especially in a low-threat environment. Military
combat forces are standard in military contingency
operations. Definitive attribute.
- Integrated planning Definition: Type of planning
(coalition, joint services, multi-agency, or all plus
- Need for CMOC Definition: Whether CMOC is needed.
- Need for HAST Definition: Whether Humanitarian
Assistance Survey Team (HAST) is needed.
- C3I Definition: C3I personnel and equipment
- Security Definition: Type and level of security
needs of the operation. For example, different threats
requiring security protection are pilferage, hostile
attack and information theft.
- Uses of liaison Definition: Numbers and types of
liaisons needed (language skills, knowledge of culture,
- Logistics/resupply Definition: Logistics/resupply
needs. The needs may be solely for the military forces or
may include support to NGO/PVOs or the indigenous
- Military capabilities of opposing sides
Definition: What are the military capabilities of the
opposing sides (depending on the operation): small,
medium, or large.
- Military technology Definition: What kinds of
military technologies are involved: capital-intensive,
personnel-intensive, or in-between. For example,
extremely mountainous terrain might preclude tanks and
other heavy weapons, shifting the military technologies
toward the personnel intensive.
- Force size / force ratio / preponderance of force
Definition: How beneficial force ratio (between the U.S.
side and either the opposition or the parties involved in
conflict, depending on the operation) will be achieved
(armament, personnel numbers, better organization, moral
"TROOPS:" NON-U.S., NON-MILITARY
The breadth of the coalition and the interactions with
non-U.S. and non-military organizations create several important
attributes that impact OOTWs.
- Level of host nation support/infrastructure
Definition: Can the host nation provide support and is
its physical infrastructure sufficient to support the
operation (high, moderate, low). Definitive attribute:
complex humanitarian emergencies (i.e., those requiring
HA operations) are defined by the lack of support or
- Involvement of other nations Definition: Are other
nations besides the United States (and the host nation)
involved (many, few). Definitive attribute: domestic
DR operations do not involve other nations.
- Degree of UN involvement Definition: Is the UN
involved and in what capacity (high, moderate, low). Definitive
attribute: peace operations are generally undertaken only
with some UN involvement, whereas many military
contingency operations have no UN involvement.
- Degree of U.S. agency involvement Definition: Are
other U.S. agencies involved and in what capacities
(many, few and high, medium, low).
- Scale of NGO/PVO involvement Definition: Are NGOs
involved and in what capacities. Tends to be critical in
nation- assistance, esp. in defining the end state, which
is normally a hand-off to UN/NGO/local authorities. Local
are NGOs/PVOs especially important in reestablishing a
legitimate, functional regime. Large-scale presence of
NGOs/ PVOs can compound security problem, depending on
threat environment (none, few, many, very many).
- Extent of coalition Definition: What is the extent
of coalition forces (unilateral [e.g., U.S. only strike],
- Host government stability Definition: How stable
is the host government.
"TERRAIN/WEATHER" (ENVIRONMENT): LOCATION
Several location-based attributes are important to OOTWs.
- Location Definition: What is the location of the
area of operations? What CINC is responsible? Is it in
the Western Hemisphere? Is it close to U.S. overseas
presence? The emphasis is on the political supportability
of the operation.
- Distance from United States Definition: Is the
operation in the United States. If not, how far away from
the United States is it. The emphasis is on the physical
supportability of the operation.
- Environment/terrain Definition: What is the
geographical and meteorological environment and does the
environment involve the use of sea, land, air, space,
- Size of operating area/demographics Definition:
What is the size of the area of operations and what are
its demographics? What is the status of the
infrastructure, e.g., road network, airfields, and ports?
"TERRAIN/WEATHER" (ENVIRONMENT): GEOPOLITICS
OOTWs are inextricably embedded in geopolitics. The
terrain/weather component of the METT-T analysis is expanded to
consist of the total environment of the operation.
- Geo-political environment Definition: Is the
geopolitical environment supportive or not (hostile
toward U.S. involvement, neutral, supportive, involved).
How stable is the coalition (if any).
- Cultural Dissimilarities/ethnic conflict/religious
conflict Definition: Is the area of operations
destabilized by cultural dissimilarities, ethnic or
religious conflict, or linguistic and social differences.
- Interests of Other Nations Definition: Are non-
participating nations interested in the operation? Are
any of them U.S. allies? Do they have conflicting
- Great Power involvement Definition: Are any of the
Great Powers (defined politically, economically and
militarily) involved and are their strategic interests
involved? Is the strategic interest of the United States
- Political sphere Definition: What is the political
sphere of interest, e.g., NATO or the Former Soviet
- Media attention Definition: Level and kind of
media attention (high, medium, low and favorable,
- U.S. public support Definition: Level of U.S.
public support for the operation (high, medium, low). Is
the support in the government from the Executive Branch
or the Legislative Branch or both?
Time is an important attribute for any operation. In the
context of OOTWs, it is useful to subdivide time into several
- Time Definition: Time elements of the operation,
such as deployment time and rotation times.
- Planning/Reaction Time Definition: The amount of
planning and reaction time available prior to initiating
- Duration Definition: The expected duration of the
operations and the time to return to full combat
effectiveness after the operation. Definitive
attribute: military contingency operations and NEOs have
a very short duration and DR operations generally have
fairly short durations, whereas other operations can have
- OPTEMPO/PERSTEMPO Definition: The expected
operational tempo (OPTEMPO, rate of equipment usage) and
rate of personnel usage (PERSTEMPO) of the operation.
High-tempo, low-intensity operations are characteristic
of counterinsurgencies. Larger-scale infrastructure
restoration and civilian-military activity do not have
such high tempo. Force rotation is necessary in
protracted operations and puts pressure on training,
morale and continuity of civilian-military relations.
Employment of high-skill reserve components in Nation
Assistance is an important bottleneck.
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