Understanding Centers of Gravity and Critical Vulnerabilities. Part 1: What Clausewitz (Really) Meant by Center of Gravity.
- Strange, Joe, Richard Iron
- Maxwell AFB, AL: Air War College. http://www.au…
The United States has over the last 16 years demonstrated amazing proficiency in winning military campaigns, but failure in securing “a better peace” as Basil Liddell Hart advocated. There is a need for an interagency analysis model, owned by the National Security Council (NSC), that can determine how the different instruments of power (IOP) can contribute to the achievement of the national strategic objectives, including which combination of IOPs is most efficient, but it must also bridge the strategic level of war to the operational and tactical levels. Therefore, this paper proposes an analysis model based on Dr. Joseph L. Strange’s center of gravity (COG) model, Robert Pape’s concept of coercion, and effects-based operations (EBO). The model could create unity of effort in utilization of all national and international IOPs and in securing the necessary linkage among the three levels of war to affect the adversary’s will and his strategy. First, until there is a Goldwater-Nichols Act II that establishes a more permanent strategic-level interagency staff or committee structure under the NSC that can be custodian of the proposed analysis model, the Joint Staff should be the custodian of the proposed model. The Joint Staff will be responsible for updating the Joint Operation Planning and Execution System (JOPES) and the joint operation planning process (JOPP) using the model. Second, the concept of COGs combined with Pape’s concept of coercion provide useful focus points for attacking the adversary’s strategy. Third, Strange’s COG analysis model shows how to affect the adversary’s COGs most efficiently. Fourth, merger of COG analysis and EBO can ensure the linkage among the three levels of war. 01-Frontmatter.indd 5 8/5/09 3:21:32 PM 01-Frontmatter.indd 6 8/5/09 3:21:32 PM