Addressing the Fog of COG: Perspectives on the Center of Gravity in U.S. Military Doctrine - Clausewitz Theory, U.S. Warfare from Revolutionary War through the War on Terror Progressive Management

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Published: April 7th 2014

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Addressing the Fog of COG: Perspectives on the Center of Gravity in U.S. Military Doctrine - Clausewitz Theory, U.S. Warfare from Revolutionary War through the War on Terror  by  Progressive Management

Addressing the Fog of COG: Perspectives on the Center of Gravity in U.S. Military Doctrine - Clausewitz Theory, U.S. Warfare from Revolutionary War through the War on Terror by Progressive Management
April 7th 2014 | ebook | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, talking book, mp3, ZIP | | ISBN: | 3.30 Mb

This book examines multiple insurgent areas of operation and the dynamic and varied nature of multiple insurgent operational centers of gravity, recognizing and accounting for the notion that insurgency can form a complex, shifting mosaic. MoreMoreThis book examines multiple insurgent areas of operation and the dynamic and varied nature of multiple insurgent operational centers of gravity, recognizing and accounting for the notion that insurgency can form a complex, shifting mosaic.

More specifically, many insurgencies conduct different types and combinations of operations at the local or tactical levels. For example, in one area an insurgency can be weak and consequently conducting small-scale operations, where forces of the same insurgency in an adjacent area can be strong and conducting larger-scale operations. From a macro or theater perspective, these variations form a mosaic not of small colored tiles, but of areas of varying insurgent efforts. This contextual understanding of the mosaic nature of most insurgencies and their multiple operational centers of gravity facilitates equally nuanced and tailored efforts to effectively counter insurgency.

Similarly, conducting effective counterinsurgency depends on recognizing when there are multiple insurgencies operating in the same area.The first section is a review of key literature on centers of gravity, insurgency, centers of gravity in counterinsurgency, and the independent variables used in the case studies. The second section of the manuscript consists of two case studies. The conclusion is the final section of the manuscript and provides a summary of insights into centers of gravity in counterinsurgency.Carl von Clausewitzs discussion on a center of gravity appears relatively late in On War.

Clausewitz stated that: [O]ne must keep the dominant characteristics of both belligerents in mind. Out of these characteristics a certain center of gravity develops, the hub of all power and movement, on which everything depends. Based on this statement, each belligerent has a center of gravity, and a center of gravity must be determined in relative opposition.

In other words, each sides center of gravity emerges depending on its political aims in opposition to the oppositions political aims. Thus, Clausewitz explicitly supports the notion that multiple centers of gravity vary by time, space, and purpose.While Clausewitzs key statement on a center of gravity defines a single center of gravity, he allowed for multiple centers of gravity.

He stated that it was a goal or ideal to analyze back to the fewest number or, preferably, to one center of gravity. Clausewitz outlined two aspects important when attempting to isolate a single center of gravity. The first was to examine the distribution of political power. For example, an alliance may have only one center of gravity if the members of that alliance only loosely share political interests. The second analytical aspect was the situation in the theater of war.

[T]he effect that events in a given theater will have elsewhere can only be judged in each particular case. Only then can it be seen how far the enemys various centers of gravity can be reduced to one. Clausewitz added, that when an enemys resistance cannot be reduced to a single center of gravity...two almost wholly separate wars have to be fought simultaneously.



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