Interdiction is an action to divert, disrupt, delay, or destroy the enemy's surface military potential before it can be used effectively against friendly forces.
2-68. JFCs and multinational force commanders normally establish AOs for their subordinates. Within their AOs, land and naval force commanders are normally supported commanders and synchronize maneuver, fires, and interdiction. These commanders designate target priories and the effects and timing of fires. However, all missions must contribute to accomplishing joint force objectives.
2-69. Synchronizing operations in land or naval AOs with wider joint operations is particularly important. To facilitate synchronization, JFCs establish priorities for execution of operations throughout the theater or JOA, including within the land and naval force commanders' AOs. Commanders assigned theater-wide functions by the JFC coordinate with the land and naval force commanders when their operations, to include attacking targets, occur within a land or naval AO (see JP 3-09).
2-70. Army force commanders recognize the enormous potential of synchronizing maneuver with interdiction. They visualize the links between operations within the land AO and joint operations occurring outside it. They identify interdiction targets outside the land AO that can help create conditions for their decisive operations. They advocate combinations of maneuver and interdiction inside and outside the land AO that impose dilemmas on the enemy. Army commanders understand the theater-wide flexibility and reach of unified air operations. When required, they support joint interdiction outside land AOs with Army assets.
2-71. Integrating joint fires requires the development and full understanding of and strict adherence to common maneuver control measures and FSCMs. To ensure timely and effective fires, JFCs develop control measures and FSCMs early and emphasize them continuously. Land and amphibious force commanders may establish a fire support coordination line (FSCL) within their AO to facilitate current and future operations, and to protect the force (see JP 3-09). The FSCL is an FSCM that is established and adjusted by land and amphibious force commanders within their boundaries in consultation with superior, subordinate, supporting, and affected commanders. FSCLs facilitate the expeditious attack of surface targets of opportunity beyond the coordinating measure. An FSCL applies to all fires of air-, land-, and sea-based weapons systems using any type of ammunition. Coordination of attacks beyond the FSCL is especially important to commanders of air, land, and special operations forces.
2-72. Forces attacking targets beyond an FSCL must inform all affected commanders in enough time to allow necessary action to avoid fratricide, both in the air and on the ground. In exceptional circumstances, the inability to conduct this coordination does not preclude attacking targets beyond the FSCL. However, failure to coordinate increases the risk of fratricide and may waste limited resources. Short of an FSCL, the appropriate land or amphibious force commander controls all air-to-ground and surface-to-surface attack operations. For example, air strikes short of the FSCL—both close air support and air interdiction—must be under positive or procedural control (for example, by forward air controllers or tactical air control parties) to ensure proper clearance of fires. This control is exercised through the operations staff or with designated procedures.
2-73. The FSCL is not a boundary. The establishing commander synchronizes operations on either side of the FSCL out to the limits of the land AO. The establishment of an FSCL does not create a "free-fire area" beyond the FSCL. When targets are attacked beyond an FSCL, the attacks must not produce adverse effects forward, on, or to the rear of the line. Attacks beyond the FSCL must be consistent with the establishing commander's priorities, timing, and desired effects. They are deconflicted with the supported headquarters whenever possible.
Air and Missile Defense
2-74. The area air defense commander (AADC) establishes rules of engagement and assigns air defense missions for operational-level air and missile defense assets. Army force commanders communicate their requirements through the JFC to the JFACC and AADC when developing air and missile defense plans. When the JFC apportions ARFOR assets, including operational-level assets, to the air component for counterair missions, they are generally placed in direct support to the air component. Normally, Army corps retain control of organic air defense units. The JFC may designate the joint or multinational air component commander as the AADC.
Teamwork and Trust
2-75. In unified action, commanders rely upon rapport, respect, knowledge of partners, team building, and patience. Commanders build teamwork and trust in a joint or multinational force in many ways. They and their staffs should establish a direct, personal relationship with their counterparts. Commanders must establish and maintain a climate of mutual respect. They should know their partners as well as they know their adversary. Team building is essential. It can be accomplished through training, exercises, and assigning missions that fit organizational capabilities. Building teamwork and trust takes time and requires the patience all participants. The result is enhanced mutual confidence and unity of effort.
Doctrine, Organization, and Training
2-76. National and service military doctrines vary. Some doctrines emphasize the offense, others the defense. US Army doctrine stresses rapid, agile operations based on exercising disciplined initiative within the commander's intent. When determining the units best suited for particular missions, commanders must be sensitive to doctrinal differences and their consequences. In dealing with joint and multinational forces, commanders must remember that doctrine and organization are closely linked. Removing part of a service's or nation's force structure may make it unbalanced and make it fight in a way not supported by its doctrine and training. Adjusting a component's force structure, if authorized, must be done with extreme caution. Commanders also need to understand the training level of participating forces. All armies do not have the same training resources. A battalion-sized unit from one country may have different capabilities than one from a different country. Commanders must understand that not all organizations are the same.
2-77. Different equipment and technologies may result in a mixture of systems in a joint or multinational force. The modernization levels, maintenance standards, mobility, and degree of interoperability of different partners will probably vary. Commanders of a joint or multinational force may have to compensate for significant technological differences among its components. Incompatible communications, unfamiliar CSS needs, and differences in vehicle cross-country mobility can pose difficulties. Some multinational partners may use systems similar to enemy systems, making measures to preclude fratricide vital. However, one nation's capabilities may reduce another's vulnerabilities. Commanders position units and assign command and support relationships to exploit interoperability and complementary capabilities.
2-78. Political considerations are prominent in unified action. Gaining and maintaining unity of effort in multinational and interagency environments requires constant attention. Commanders remain aware of the goals and objectives of the various participants. They recognize that control of national forces and nonmilitary partners by their political leaders may affect mission accomplishment. Commanders constantly work to sustain political consensus among the leaders, nations, and organizations involved in the operation.
Goals and Objectives
2-79. States act to serve their national interests. No two partners share the same reasons for conducting a military operation. National goals can be harmonized with a common strategy, but they are seldom identical. Motivations of multinational partners may differ, but multinational objectives should be attainable, clearly defined, and supported by each member state. Successful coalitions and alliances build upon a common purpose. Emphasizing commonalties can reduce friction and maintain cohesion.
National Control of Forces
2-80. Most forces and agencies have the capability for direct and near immediate communications from the operational area to their respective political leaders. This capability can facilitate coordination of political issues. It can also allow those leaders to issue guidance directly to their deployed national forces or veto operational decisions. Likewise, Army force commanders are linked to the appropriate US agencies and political leaders.
2-81. Reaching a consensus on a goal is the most important prerequisite for successful unified action. Because consensus is frail, commanders continually nurture it. A common goal is important, so commanders expend a lot of time and effort clarifying and restating it. Commanders seek a clearly defined, decisive, and attainable end state and measures of effectiveness. Some partners may resist establishing these to the level of detail that US commanders prefer. The minimum requirement is a set of identifiable military conditions that commanders can use to direct military operations.
2-82. Understanding and dealing with cultural considerations can make the difference between success and failure in unified action. National and organizational culture, language, communication, media relations, and law enforcement all play important roles in this environment.
Cultural and Language
2-83. Each partner in unified action has a unique cultural identity. Military forces, civilian agencies, NGOs, and international organizations approach war and MOOTW from different perspectives. National and organizational values, standards of social interaction, religious beliefs, and organizational discipline all affect the perspectives of multinational partners. Partners with similar cultures and a common language face fewer obstacles to interoperability. Even seemingly minor differences, such as dietary restrictions or officer-enlisted relationships, can significantly affect military operations. Commanders may have to accommodate cultural sensitivities and overcome diverse or conflicting religious, social, or traditional requirements.
2-84. Overcoming language barriers is a significant challenge. Unified action is often multilingual. Even when partners share a common language, different terminology and jargon can hinder understanding. Whether spoken or written, all participants must understand all communications. Commanders recognize translation difficulties. Translating orders adds time to planning. Translation errors can cause mistakes or misunderstandings. Few translators have both the language and cultural expertise and the depth of doctrinal understanding necessary. Dedicated liaison and linguist teams can mitigate this problem but cannot eliminate it. Clear, concise orders and briefings are easier to translate than complicated ones. Simplicity helps achieve the mutual understanding necessary for success. Backbriefs to commanders ensure that multinational subordinates understand intent and tasks.
2-85. Differences in individual assumptions and organizational perspectives can cloud common understanding. Commanders involve representatives from each partner in defining issues in clear, unambiguous, agreed-upon terms. How something is said is particularly important in the interagency environment. To preclude misunderstandings, military planners anticipate confusion and take measures to clarify and establish common terms with clear and specific usage. To reduce duplication and increase coherence, commanders get from all participants a clear expression of their perceived role and mission as well as the resources they intend to contribute. Understanding each participant's agenda helps commanders synchronize the efforts of the each organization throughout the campaign. Common understanding also helps identify obstacles, such as conflicting multinational or interagency priorities.
2-86. Within security requirements, commanders facilitate national and international press activities. In multinational environments, media from partner states have their own standards and requirements. Commanders work with leaders of partner forces and their national press elements to develop an open, mutually beneficial environment. To avoid misunderstanding, senior multinational political and military representatives establish media ground rules that are as simple as possible. To facilitate foreign and US media relations, US forces follow the DOD Principles of Information whenever possible. Military plans anticipate the effect of media actions. The media shape public attitudes and can influence operations. Commanders recognize that gaining and maintaining public support requires clearly expressing the desired end state, objectives leading to it, and measures of effectiveness through the media. Different partners do not necessarily send the same messages; but commanders determine and coordinate methods to avoid contradictions.
2-87. Often US forces will not have the authority or capability to enforce civil laws in the operational area. Commanders seek clear law enforcement guidance from US and multinational political leadership during planning for unified action. The entire chain of command must understand status of forces agreements (SOFAs), or status of mission agreements (SOMAs), which apply to UN operations. Where civil law enforcement is present and functioning, commanders establish systems and procedures to use it. Where civil law enforcement systems and organizations are not available, commanders should deploy with appropriate US forces or use the capabilities of other partners.