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Center Of Gravity

Definition/Scope: (FM 3-0) The source of power that provides moral or physical strength, freedom of action, or will to act. The center of gravity is a vital analytical tool for designing campaigns and major operations. It provides a focal point for them, identifying sources of strength and weakness at the strategic and operational levels of war. Centers of gravity are not relevant at the tactical level; the tactical equivalent is the objective. At the strategic level, the center of gravity may be vulnerable to an operational-level approach; at the operational level, the center of gravity may be vulnerable to tactical actions. The enemy may shift a center of gravity to protect and sustain a source of power. Similarly, changes in the operational environment may cause centers of gravity to shift. Therefore, analysis of friendly and enemy centers of gravity begins during planning and continues throughout a campaign or major operation.



Broader Terms:

Defeat Mechanism
operational approach
operational art
stability mechanism
strategic level of war

Narrower Terms:

enemy centers of gravity
Lines Of Operation

Related Terms:

Center Of Gravity
decisive point
direct approach
end state
indirect approach
lines of effort
Lines Of Operation
operational approach
operational reach
Warrior Ethos

CALL Homepage >> Thesaurus Last Updated: Sept 17, 2008