Operation Iraqi Freedom introduced the phrase of "Shock and Awe "" into the general lexicon of US officers and the press alike. As a term it is an undefined and as an effect poorly understood, especially within the realm of asymmetric warfare. This thesis examines the effect of shock at both the tactical and operational level as well as within the realms of the symmetrical and asymmetrical battle and defines the tactical term of shock. It investigates the imposition of shock from a distance in line with the United States Armed Forces 19 expeditionary mindset and force projection capability. It utilizes several empirical studies and mathematical representation to describe shock and awe and attempts to represent a synthesis of medical and military studies through a graphic medium. The thesis shows that operational shock can be achieved, albeit it inefficiently, in a symmetrical environment through the cumulative effect of tactical shock whereas the traditional methods of imposing operational shock appear to fail in the asymmetrical case. Systems theory explains why the effect of shock is transient in nature at all levels. Resistance to shock at both the tactical and operational level is examined.