Accession Number:

ADA464446

Title:

Regional Combatant Commanders and the Center of Gravity of Radical Islamic Terrorism

Descriptive Note:

Research paper

Corporate Author:

NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2005-02-14

Pagination or Media Count:

19.0

Abstract:

The thesis of this paper is that religion is the center of gravity for radical Islamic terrorists, and that is precisely where a Combatant Commander should focus his attention to accomplish his theater objectives in the Global War on Terrorism GWOT. The author begins with a brief history of Islam and selected sects, shedding insight as to the origin of the radical Islamic terrorist ideology. He then identifies the relationship between Islam and terrorism, focusing on the concept of jihad. When a commander identifies the wrong Center of Gravity of the enemy, it can have grave consequences in warfare. The author defines Center of Gravity and its importance for the Combatant Commander. Critical strengths, weaknesses, and vulnerabilities are three very important factors that can help identify the enemys Center of Gravity. The author demonstrates the fallacy of jihad as it pertains to terrorism as well as suicide bombers. In the GWOT, the strategic Center of Gravity lies in the hearts and minds of uncommitted Muslims. Ultimately, the Combatant Commander must make the most of his information warfare and psychological operations personnel if he is to have the greatest impact on the enemys Center of Gravity.

Subject Categories:

  • Sociology and Law
  • Unconventional Warfare

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE