Major Combat Operations

  • Published
  • Center for Stratefic Deterrence Studies

The Joint Force, supported by other instruments of national and multinational power, conducts synergistic, high-tempo actions in multiple domains to shatter the coherence of the adversary's plans and dispositions and render him unable or unwilling to militarily oppose the achievement of U.S. strategic objectives. The U.S. military must be capable of defeating [adversaries with capable militaries] while minimizing the prospect for unintended escalation and considering the burdens of post-war transition and reconstruction. (Major Combat Operations Joint Operating Concept, 2006)

The U.S. military prepares its forces to defend against, respond to, and recover from the adversarial use of nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons during the execution of military campaigns. This includes the employment of offensive measures to protect the force by preventing the adversary from using these weapons, either by attacking WMD sites of interest and associated delivery systems or by intercepting the weapons while in flight, and defensive measures by minimizing the effects of these weapons on U.S. military personnel, installations, and critical infrastructure. This includes hardening defense systems to resist the degrading effects of CBRN contamination. The capabilities and vulnerabilities of coalition allies, host and partner nations, and support personnel other than military forces also need to be considered.

Below is a list of documents that provide more information on Major Combat Operations.

National Military Strategy to Combat WMD, 2014

National Strategy to Counter Biological Threats, 2009



DoD Directive 2060.02, DoD Combating WMD Policy

Major Combat Operations Joint Operating Concept, 2006

Joint Publication 3-01, Countering Air and Missile Threats

Joint Publication 3-40, Combating WMD

Joint Publication 3-41, CBRN Consequence Management



Air Force Doctrine Document 3-01, Counterair Operations

Air Force Doctrine Document 3-03, Counterland Operations

Air Force Doctrine Annex Document 3-40, Counter-CBRN

Air Force Policy Directive 10-26, Counter-CBRN Operations