Two people tugging on a rope from opposite ends

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.

Joseph Strange and Richard Iron
2h
Map laid out on a table with people working around it

Managing Assumptions in Planning and Execution

Jeffery Marshall
2h
Illuminated human brain

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.

Dale Eikmeier
2h
Open book with spectacles on top

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.

Joe Strange
2h
Fantasy battle scene

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.

Modern War Institute
1h
Melting ice

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."

David Titley
8m
Line of lightbulbs

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.

Aaron Jackson
2 h
Line of lightbulbs

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.

Elena Mazourenko and Mark Jobst
2h
Military personnel walking in single file, silhouette

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.

Trent Scott
2h
A person pondering over a map

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.

Jan Rueschhoff and Jonathan Dunne
2h
Cracked lightbulb

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.

Jan Koudelka
20m

Balancing Empire and War: Britain and France in the Early 20th Century

This paper argues that while Britain and France did face some constraints in their need to balance imperial commitments with European war preparations in the 19th and 20th centuries, their respective imperial possessions provided some essential benefits in their attempts to ready themselves for a continental war.

Jason Wright
30m