Center of Gravity: The Critical Link in Strategic Planning for Low Intensity Conflict
ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
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The end of the Cold War ushered in a new world order where sudden and unexpected threats vital to U.S. National Interests can erupt at anytime in a Low Intensity scenario. With the accompanying drawdown of military forces, the decision to use the military element of national power to counter these threats becomes critical. Limited military capabilities and a growing hesitation to employ them will require that our national leaders link strategic goals to operational maneuver. In Low Intensity Conflict planning, this link can be found in the application of operational art and the concept of center of gravity. This study examines the applicability of the concept of center of gravity in Low Intensity Conflict planning. It defines both Low Intensity Conflict and center of gravity and identifies the link between them. It then looks at the doctrinal centers of gravity, as espoused in current doctrine, and determines their application in Low Intensity Conflict. It is not intended to serve as a source listing for centers of gravity in Low Intensity Conflicts, but rather as an indepth look into Low Intensity Conflict to identify those vital characteristic that if attacked will cause a rapid, cascading and deteriorating effect in cohesion, will and morale of the enemy.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics