World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Center of gravity (military)

Article Id: WHEBN0004262465
Reproduction Date:

Title: Center of gravity (military)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Carl von Clausewitz, Effects-based operations, Military strategy, FARC, Operation Barbarossa
Collection: Military Strategy
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Center of gravity (military)

The center of gravity (CoG) is a concept developed by Carl Von Clausewitz, a Prussian military theorist, in his work On War.[1]


  • United States Department of Defense 1
  • United States Army 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4

United States Department of Defense

The definition of a CoG is "the source of power that provides moral or physical strength, freedom of action, or will to act."[2] Thus, the center of gravity is usually seen as the "source of strength".

United States Army

The United States Army tends to look for a single center of gravity, normally in the principal capability that stands in the way of the accomplishment of its own mission. In short, the army considers a "friendly" CoG as that element—a characteristic, capability, or locality—that enables one's own or allied forces to accomplish their objectives. Conversely, an opponent's CoG is that element that prevents friendly forces from accomplishing their objectives.

For example, according to US Army Counterinsurgency Field Manual 3-24, the center of gravity in a counterinsurgency is the protection of the population that hosts it.[3]


  1. ^ General Carl Von Clausewitz (2009). On War: The Complete Edition. Wildside Press LLC. pp. 144, 151, 253, 331–4, 413–4, 430–1, 437, 444,.  
  2. ^ DoD Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms. Joint Publication 1-02. 2008. 
  3. ^ US Army Counterinsurgency Field Manual 3-24, p. 3-13 (page 69 of the PDF) FAS Intelligence Resource Program.
  • Echevarria, Antulio J., II (2003). Clausewitz's Center of Gravity: It's Not What We Thought. Naval War College Press. 

External links

  • From Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College: Clausewitz's Center of Gravity: Changing Our Warfighting Doctrine--Again!
  • Reining in” the Center of Gravity Concept
  • The Relevance of Carl Von Clausewitz in Operation Iraqi Freedom
  • JP 1-02, US DoD Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.