In Book VIII ("War Plans"), Clausewitz discusses the relevance of centers of gravity to war planning.
Alexander the Great, Gustavus Adolphus and Charles XII of Sweden, and Frederick the Great each had their centers of gravity in their respective armies.
(7) Eikmeier references that the use of the word primary is attributed to Joe Strange, Centers of Gravity and Critical Vulnerabilities: Building the Clausewitzian Foundation So That We Can All Speak the Same Language, Perspectives on Warfighting, no.
(22) Eikmeier argued that leaders in World War II were not centers of gravity but were critical requirements as leaders for their respective nations and enablers for the actual centers of gravity.
Many of the principles of war directly apply in determining the importance of centers of gravity. (9) For example, the commander should direct the operation toward a clearly defined goal (which emphasizes the principle of objective).
For years, commanders and their staffs have struggled to correctly identify centers of gravity. If an enemy has multiple forces that are strong and formidable, how does a planner determine which one is the center of gravity?
The requirement to frame the problem and write a problem statement early in design raises a question concerning how the problem relates to one or more centers of gravity. Both [COG and problem] are important to developing the operational approach, but the caution to planners is that jumping to COG analysis too early in design [specifically understanding the environmental step] can constrain creative thinking about the problem.
Any discussion of enemy and friendly centers of gravity prior to defining the problem and the start of developing an operational approach is illogical and negates the utility of operational design.
For instance, the mission analysis, as the title implies, should not include determination of the friendly and enemy's (or "adversary") centers of gravity. Proponents highlight the need to use language that clearly distinguishes effects from objectives and tasks.
They have essentially adopted the systems approach of Colonel John Warden, USAF (Ret.), and his "five-ring model." Like Warden, EBO proponents, with their PMESII construct, believe that there are multiple centers of gravity in any system.
Strange links centers of gravity
to critical vulnerabilities in a way that war planners can put into practice.
To understand centers of gravity
, one must be grounded in the original context of On War.