Centers of Gravity in OOTW: A Useful Tool or Just a Black Hole?
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MIL ITARY STUDIES
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Current U.S. military doctrine identifies the center of gravity COG as one of the key elements in theater and operational design planning. Since Karl von Clausewitz formalized the COG concept in On War, military planners have used it as a focal point.This monograph examines the evolution of the COG concept and its utility in contemporary Operations Other Than War OOTW planning. COG theory, sources and instruments of national power, and their relationship to OOTW, lay the foundation for defining the COGs relationship to national power. Three OOTW historical case studies follow Lebanon, 1958 Dominican Republic, 1965 and Haiti, 1994 They provide lessons on successful application of the centers of gravity. Matrices are developed to visually relate the centers, sources, and instruments of national power. The monograph concludes that while the centers of gravity are not an OOTW panacea, they are a useful planning tool. Understanding this concept enables planners to examine the levels of war associated with the instruments of national power, and develop options for a successful campaign. In particular, by developing a COG matrix, planners can focus national resources to attack the opponents COG, while protecting their own COG and anticipating the resulting operational branches and sequels.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics