In the military of the United States, strikes and raids are a group of military operations that, alongside quite a number of others, come under the formal umbrella of military operations other than war (MOOTW). Ex-military authors Bonn and Baker describe them as "nothing more than the conduct of conventional combat missions on an individual or small-scale basis", and what they mean, specifically, depends on which particular branch of the military is using them. However, they do have formal, general, definitions in the United States Department of Defense's Joint Publication 1-02:
For the United States Air Force, strikes and raids are the least common types of MOOTW, there only having been eight of them in the period from 1947 to 1997, including Operation Just Cause, Operation Urgent Fury, and Operation El Dorado Canyon. For the United States Marine Corps, the latter was also a raid, and Operation Praying Mantis was a strike.
Johnson, Mueller, and Taft contrast strikes and raids, using Operations Urgent Fury, Eldorado Canyon, and Just Cause as case studies. Strikes, they say, are "extreme" military responses to political problems, usually ones "caused by a failed diplomatic strategy". They are employed when other forms of coercion have failed. Raids are punishments aimed at an adversary, and may form parts of an overall coercive strategy. Strikes, when successful, embody elements of swift decisionmaking (both political and military), overwhelming force (and a large disparity between the opposing military forces), and surprise; and employ whatever forces are the most capable of rapid operation. Raids are about "sending a message" and employ whatever forces have the lowest risks or requirements for force protection, which generally (but not always) excludes employing ground forces.