18 January 2013

Commentary on Operational Design and the Center of Gravity

When (and how) do you define the conflict's center of gravity? And once you do, then what? A new article from NDU poses that question an offers some thoughts. An excerpt:

The problem is not the enemy COG. The problem merely defines the adversary or enemy system. (Note, in this context, the terms adversary or enemy do not imply hostility, only that they are obstacles to obtaining the goals. They are “the problem.”) This adversary system contains a center of gravity that must be identified by studying the system. This is where some argue that design’s problem statement actually replaces the COG. This is an incorrect understanding. The defined problem is not the center of gravity. Rather, it determines what the adversary system is and sets up a systems analysis based on the adversary’s goals, capabilities, and requirements that contribute to the COG identification and analysis process of that system. Planners using a systems perspective analyze the adversary system that is causing the problem to determine the enemy center of gravity. More simply, design’s problem identification defines for commanders and planners the system in which to look for an enemy center of gravity. Once the adversary or enemy center of gravity is identified, the next logical step is determining how to solve the problem.

By: Brant

1 comment:

S O said...

I'd like to point out that the "center of gravity" mentioned is the critical vulnerability of the enemy, not the original "Schwerpunkt" concept which was about his concentration of forces for the temporarily most important action.