Effects-Based Operations (EBO) is a United States military concept which emerged after the 1991 Gulf War for the planning and conduct of operations combining military and non-military methods to achieve a particular effect. The doctrine was developed in light of the emergence of new threats in irregular or small-scale fourth generation warfare, and a shift towards Operations Other Than War (OOTW), as opposed to formally-declared wars and major force-on-force third generation warfare doctrines of the Cold War.
Most recently, Joint Forces Command, the caretaker of US Military Joint Warfighting doctrine, issued memorandum and a guidance documents from the commander, Marine General James Mattis, on Effects Based Operations. In these documents dated 14 August, 2008 Mattis says, "Effective immediately, USJFCOM will no longer use, sponsor or export the terms and concepts related to EBO...in our training, doctrine development and support of JPME (Joint Professional Military Education)." Mattis went on to say, "...we must recognize that the term "effects-based" is fundamentally flawed, has far too many interpretations and is at odds with the very nature of war to the point it expands confusion and inflates a sense of predictability far beyond that which it can be expected to deliver." See Defense Daily piece in references below.