Infantry Drills

A-112: Analyze Relative Combat Power

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A-112. During the first step of COA development, analyzing relative combat power, leaders compare and contrast friendly combat power with the enemy. There four goals include:

  • Identify an enemy weakness to exploit.
  • Identify friendly strengths to exploit the enemy weakness.
  • Identify enemy strengths to mitigate.
  • Identify friendly weaknesses to protect.

A-113. The purpose of this step is to compare the combat power of friendly and enemy forces. It is not merely a calculation and comparison of friendly and enemy weapons numbers or units with the aim of gaining a numerical advantage. Using the results of all previous analyses done during mission analysis, the leader compares his unit’s combat power strengths and weaknesses with those of the enemy. He seeks to calculate the time and manner in which his force (and enemy) can maximize the effects of maneuver, firepower, protection, leadership, and information in relation to the specific terrain, disposition, and composition of each force. The leader also determines how to avoid enemy strengths or advantages in combat power. In short, he strives to determine where, when, and how his unit’s combat power (the effects of maneuver, firepower, protection, leadership, and information) can overwhelm the enemy’s ability to generate combat power. An analysis of the ability to generate combat power will help the leader confirm or deny his tentative decisive point.

Next: A-114: Generate Options

Go Back To: U.S. Army FM 3-21.8: The Infantry Rifle Platoon and Squad