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A defensive task is a task conducted to defeat an enemy attack, gain time, economize forces, and develop conditions favorable for offensive or stability tasks. (Refer to ADRP 3-90 for more information.) Normally, the defense alone cannot achieve a decision.
However, it can set conditions for a counteroffensive or counterattack that enables Army forces to regain the initiative. Other reasons for conducting defensive tasks include, retain decisive terrain or deny a vital area to the enemy, attrition or fix the enemy as a prelude to the offense, counter surprise action by the enemy, or to increase the enemy’s vulnerability by forcing the enemy commander to concentrate subordinate forces.
This chapter covers basics of the defense, common defensive planning considerations, forms of the defense engagement area development, and transitions.