Center of Gravity: What Clausewitz Really Meant (Part 1 of 2)
Part one of a two-part article written by Professor Joseph L. Strange, Marine Corps War College and COL Richard Iron, British Army.
This paper explores what Clausewitz really meant by the term “center of gravity”. The authors propose that he intended it to be a strength, either moral or physical, and a dynamic and powerful agent in its own right. The authors also suggest that the current Joint and NATO definition of center of gravity is incorrect, implying it to be a source of strength, and that this mis-definition has been responsible for much of the confusion about the concept that exists today.
Managing Assumptions in Planning and Execution
Redefining the Center of Gravity
COL Dale C. Eikmeier, USA (Ret.), is an Assistant Professor at the U.S. Army Command and General staff College. COL Eikmeier shares his thoughts on identifying Center of Gravity. This method will provide campaign planners with an analytical tool that will fulfil doctrinal intent.
Understanding Centers of Gravity and Critical Vulnerabilities (Part 2 of 2)
Part two of a two-part article written by Professor Joseph L. Strange, Marine Corps War College and COL Richard Iron, British Army.
This paper examines the role of centers of gravity in operational design, looking at the relationship between centers of gravity and critical vulnerabilities. It suggests an analytical model that joint warfighters and planners on both sides of the Atlantic can use to assist strategic and operational-level planning. The model helps to analyze existing and potential vulnerabilities of a center of gravity, and determine which of those could be especially critical.
Dr. Phillip Karber on the Russian Way of War
Speaking to staff and cadets at the United States’ West Point Academy, Dr. Phillip Karber describes what he has learned about the Russian way of war from thirty trips he has made to Ukraine, including six months on the front lines of the war in the country's east. This lecture highlights how a re-imagined Russian military is conducting technologically advanced joint-land combat against a ‘near peer’ military – the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
How the Military Fights Climate Change
Military leaders have known for millennia that the time to prepare for a challenge is before it hits you, says scientist and retired US Navy officer David Titley. He takes us from the humanitarian catastrophe in Syria to the icy shores of Svalbard to show how the military approaches the threat of climate change, in a refreshingly practical, nonpartisan take on climate preparedness. "The ice doesn't care who's in the White House. It doesn't care which party controls your congress. It doesn't care which party controls your parliament," Titley says. "It just melts."
Center of Gravity Analysis “Down Under”
Dr. Aaron P. Jackson is a Joint Operations Planning Specialist in the Joint and Operations Analysis Division of Australia’s Defence Science and Technology Group. The article expresses his view on Center of Gravity Analysis and The Australian Defence Force’s New Approach.
A Theory-based Framework for Critical Thinking in Defence Planning and Assessment
This article was written by Dr Mazourenko and Mr Jobst from the Defence Science and Technology Organisation and it describes how military planning and assessment processes can benefit from ‘Program Theory’. It argues that a ‘theory-based framework’ will support better-informed decision making in a time-sensitive matter.
Understanding Why a Ground Combat Vehicle That Carries Nine Dismounts Is Important to the Army
The Army has examined the lessons of half a dozen significant conflicts, starting with World War II, has conducted numerous studies over the last 65 years, and has found time and again that an ability to conduct dismounted fire and maneuver is the fundamental squad-level tactic.
The Lost Operational Art: Invigorating Campaigning into the Australian Defence Force
In this study paper, LTCOL Trent Scott expresses his view that the absence of relevant operational art may result in future ADF leaders being inadequately prepared to use operational art when required.
Centers of Gravity from the “Inside Out”
LTCOL Jan Rueschhoff and LTCOL Jonathan Dunne’s paper on identifying Centre of Gravity through the “Inside Out” method. The paper aims to provide a better understanding of Critical Factors Analysis to allow staff to develop plans that are both more efficient and effective.
Age of Empires: Balancing Imperial Commitments between the First and Second World Wars
This article explores how the interwar period resulted in imperial commitments, military, strategic and political culture that severely constrained Britain and France’s ability to prepare for and fight war in Europe.