Using Center of Gravity Analysis to Defeat Violent Extremist Organizations
Joint Forces Staff College Norfolk United States
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Attacking a VEOs Center of Gravity COG is key to defeating it. Joe Stranges theory looks at an enemys COG through its primary abilities which merit it to exist as such. This thesis uses two significant historical case studies to demonstrate Stranges theory retroactively in the defeat of the Medellin and Cali drug cartels and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam LTTE, and then uses that analysis to develop a strategy to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria ISIS. Analysis of the case studies shows several critical vulnerabilities exist within ISIS that are ripe for exploitation using specific instruments of power. This thesis demonstrates the viability of using Stranges Center of Gravity analysis method to defeat ISIS.