In recent military operations such as Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), US commanders have adopted F3EAD, an operational methodology created in the 1980s for US Special Operation Forces (SOF) supporting Host Nation forces in Latin America.  F3EAD stands for Find, Fix, Finish, Exploit, Analyze and Disseminate. The first two phases rely on intelligence capabilities to find and locate high value targets or individuals, in order to proceed with a "kill or capture" operation (Finish phase). In the exploitation phase, US forces conduct on-site collection of intelligence material, before analyzing it and making it available to commanders, and to the broader Intelligence Community (IC). F3EAD is a key component of the doctrine known as Attack the Network, a strategy designed to neutralize unconventional threats such as criminal organizations, terrorist groups and insurgencies.
High Value Individuals (HVI) are the focal point of most F3EAD missions and are defined in official doctrine as “person(s) of interest (friendly, adversary, or enemy) who must be identified, surveilled, tracked and influenced through the use of information or fires”.  A High Value Individual may become a target for a kill or capture operation after an evaluation by intelligence officers, and then placed on a target list approved by the commander. Targets on the list are ranked by priority, based on a method called CARVER to assess the final impact that the removal of each target would have on the adverse network. “CARVER assigns weighted values for a target’s criticality to his insurgent cell, accessibility for capture, recognizability for positive identification after capture, vulnerability to capture, positive effect on the environment if captured, and the lack of recuperability within the insurgent network if captured.” . As intelligence officers reported in official litterature, the target selection process, even though based on common standards, differs among targeting teams both in the priority given to certain targets and in the choice of lethal action over capture.