Accession Number : ADA314342

Title :   Seeking Order in the Confusion of Bosnia: Does Center of Gravity Apply?

Descriptive Note : Monograph,

Corporate Author : ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MIL ITARY STUDIES

Personal Author(s) : Lau, Jeffrey D.

PDF Url : ADA314342

Report Date : APR 1996

Pagination or Media Count : 54

Abstract : This monograph discusses the applicability of theoretical concepts of center of gravity and decisive point as interpreted in current US Army and Joint doctrine to peacekeeping operations. Center of gravity and decisive points are critical tools for the operational planner in the development of campaign plans. It is important to identify whether they can be applied effectively to operations-other-than-war environments facing US planners in the future. The monograph first analyzes the operational environment in Bosnia- Herzegovina using planning considerations outlined in the 1993 edition of FM 100-5, Operations. Difficulties in applying the concept of center of gravity are discussed. A peacekeeping environment with multiple factions limits the applicability of the conventional warfare interpretation of center of gravity found in FM 100-5. An alternative interpretation is sought. Various interpretations of center of gravity are surveyed to identify which, if any, can be applied in an environment such as Bosnia. The interpretations include mass of the enemy any, enemy strengths, enemy weaknesses, and critical vulnerabilities. These are found to be limited in scope to specific situations. Using the writings of Lawrence Izzo, the monograph explores the linkage of center of gravity to aims and capabilities. An interpretation of center of gravity is proposed that defines it according to friendly objectives and enemy capabilities. The enemy capability or characteristic posing the biggest obstacle to successful accomplishment of the friendly aim is designated the center of gravity and becomes the focus of the campaign plan. Success will result from neutralization of this threat. Decisive points and their relationship to center of gravity are also discussed. Decisive points provide operational planners with opportunities for indirect attack on the center of gravity.

Descriptors :   *CENTER OF GRAVITY, *MILITARY ASSISTANCE, *MILITARY DOCTRINE, *THEORY, *ARMY OPERATIONS, *BOSNIA HERZEGOVINA, *PEACEKEEPING, THREATS, VULNERABILITY, NEUTRALIZATION, MILITARY CAPABILITIES, JOINT MILITARY ACTIVITIES, STRENGTH(GENERAL), ENEMY, ARMY PLANNING, LIMITED WARFARE.

Subject Categories : Sociology and Law
      Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE