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B-GL-300-001 Operational Level Doctrine for the Canadian Army (1998)

B-GL-300-001 Operational Level Doctrine for the Canadian Army (1998)


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Published by: cbtdoc2002 on Dec 20, 2008
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Although the offence is normally decisive, operational circumstances
may compel the commander to adopt the defence. Defensive operations may be
imposed through strategic direction, or the commander’s freedom to initiate
offensive action may be denied either for political reasons or because his combat
power is weak. In some cases, defensive operations alone will deliver a
favourable and decisive outcome to a campaign, depending on the desired end-
state. Once defensive operations have been initiated, the immediate purpose is
to defeat or deter a threat in order to provide the right circumstances for further


An attacker normally determines the time and location of his attack and
can mass his forces whenever he wishes. He will normally seek out operational
level centres of gravity, attempting to disrupt the tempo of current operations
and the planning and preparation of future ones.


An effective defence is therefore rarely passive, and it is desirable to
incorporate aggressive offensive action to pre-empt, dislocate or disrupt the
enemy whenever possible. This is done on the moral plane by fixing the enemy
by deception and encouraging him to make inappropriate plans, luring the
enemy into situations where one can exploit surprise, denying the enemy
information, and striking at his cohesion. On the physical plane deep operations
are conducted to fix the enemy by denying him freedom of action, and striking
in order to dislocate his potential for offensive manoeuvre, and disrupt his
ability to pass orders.


Defensive operations are not a reactive form of warfare. They aim to
create the right conditions for achievement of decisive points and offensive
action to eliminate the enemy's centre of gravity. In conducting the defence, the
aim will generally be to limit the enemy's freedom of action and to develop the
conditions for future offensive operations. Therefore, warfare contains
elements of offence and defence, with each type of operation happening
sequentially, simultaneously, or both, within an area of operations.

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