The Center of Gravity, Systemically Understood
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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How does the U.S. military understand and apply the concept of center of gravity in the contexts of theory, doctrine, and planning for the conduct of operations In particular, does the center of gravity serve as an effective tool when applied in accordance with current military doctrine and other nondoctrinal methodologies, and how does its use help reveal causal relationships and account for the emergent properties of complex systems Academicians and military practitioners have debated the meaning and usefulness of the concept of center of gravity since Clausewitz introduced it in the early 19th century. To understand and apply the joint doctrine for operational design as described in Joint Publication 5-0, Joint Operations Planning, the military must come to a consensus on the meaning, uses, and applicability of center of gravity. So far, this consensus has not formed, and as time passes it appears even more elusive. With the U.S. Army currently undertaking a major reworking of its operational doctrine, an opportunity exists to clarify the concept and its practical application. Otherwise, the term could end up trapped in the same conceptual quagmire that led to the death of Effects Based Operations EBO as a joint doctrinal concept.
- Humanities and History
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics