Accession Number:

ADA558177

Title:

Behind the Mosaic: Insurgent Centers of Gravity and Counterinsurgency

Descriptive Note:

Monograph

Corporate Author:

ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2011-12-01

Pagination or Media Count:

72.0

Abstract:

Given ongoing conflicts and the likelihood of executing counterinsurgency in the future, it is vital to conduct effective campaign planning for counterinsurgency. Effective campaign planning is essential for rapid and effective operational and tactical adaptation. Center of gravity analysis is a tool that can be used to support these activities. This monograph validates the hypothesis that there are multiple centers of gravity in counterinsurgency that vary by the insurgents purpose, location, approach, and phase. Leaders and planners need to place centers of gravity in their proper context. Countering an insurgency requires understanding the operational environment, which is referred to here as a mosaic. Fighting an insurgency or multiple insurgencies is fighting a mosaic war, and centers of gravity determine the nature of tactical areas of operation. Center of gravity analysis can help planners avoid historical planning problems, such as focusing solely on the insurgents or solely on protecting the population. The population is not a center of gravity. Rather, the support of the population is often a critical requirement and a critical vulnerability. Support of the population should be a strategic, operational, and tactical objective for both insurgents and counterinsurgents. There must be a balance of enemy-centric and population-centric activities that suits the current environment. The monograph includes case studies of the Tet Offensive during the Vietnam War and the surge during the Iraqi War.

Subject Categories:

  • Sociology and Law
  • Humanities and History
  • Unconventional Warfare

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE