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Targeting in Multi-Domain Operations: A Proposal to Update the U.S. Army’s Targeting Process for the Modern Operating Environment

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Targeting in Multi-Domain Operations: A Proposal to Update the U.S. Army’s Targeting Process for the Modern Operating Environment

Timothy P. Lewin

Abstract

New realities derived from Multi-Domain Operations require a different way of thinking about the targeting process. The U.S. Army’s current targeting methodology (decide, detect, deliver, assess) is insufficient to address these realities in an increasingly complex environment. The methodology does not address a proper way to integrate within the Military Decision-Making Process nor provide a method to disrupt an enemy organization across the five domains in a contested or denied theater. A new process adopting Dr. Joseph Strange’s center of gravity approach will provide a way to defeat enemy combat power and provide freedom of action across and throughout the domains. The U.S. Army should adopt Dr. Strange’s center of gravity method and adjust doctrine to update the targeting methodology in the Military Decision-Making Process.

Introduction

The Russians strode straight to their strategic objective. Intense preparation was conducted to ensure an efficient victory in Crimea. For several months, they manufactured a thick fog of war with cyber-attacks against the Ukrainian government, military, and populace. The Russian forces exploited success in the cyber domain by rendering the Ukrainian military unable to effectively maneuver. The Ukrainians didn’t even know they were in a major conflict. Effects achieved by a relatively smaller force enabled operational success because they exploited success across domains, froze their enemy’s decision cycle and blurred the lines between conflict and peace.[i]

In the fall of 1940, there was no distortion between war and peace. The German Army just executed the Blitzkrieg in Western Poland and was now going to implement the same tactics against the British and French allied forces to the west. Though the Germans were outnumbered and operating in enemy territory, they opted to avoid the main French defenses and envelop most French forces from the south. French General Maurice Gamelin assumed the Germans would follow the Schlieffen Plan of 1914 but was sorely mistaken. Instead, the Germans used speed, surprise and deception to render the French fortifications irrelevant. Those fortifications were central to the French defense. The ability of the French to stage an operational defense was not directly defeated, but indirectly rendered irrelevant.[ii]

These examples show how forces can achieve their operational objectives using relatively less combat power and cunning use of effects across multiple domains. Though one might perceive that these were simple successes, instead a deeper process was at play that represents a commander’s ability to identify, affect, and disintegrate an enemy’s combat power. This is the true heart of targeting.

Is There a Problem?

The current U.S. Army targeting methodology and process lacks relevance and is inadequate for multi-domain operations at the operational level. The current U.S. Army Targeting Methodology is decide, detect, deliver, assess (D3A).[iii] For the past several years, after-action-reviews from the combat training centers illustrate symptoms of an ineffective targeting process. There are numerous examples of these symptoms in brigade combat teams across the operating force. A brigade combat team’s staff conducting a decisive action rotation in 2016 failed to integrate the targeting process into the Military Decision-Making Process (MDMP). The consequence was an opponent able to outmaneuver and dominate friendly forces despite the delivery of massed effects against the enemy.[iv] Similarly, operational units are delivering large quantities of fires assets at the wrong time or against the wrong enemy formation.[v][vi] These examples show that technology and massed fires alone do not equate to operational success. However, before the counterinsurgency conflicts over the past 20 years, proper targeting resulted in successful battlefield effects. In Operation Desert Storm, field artillery played a pivotal role in suppression of enemy air defense, counterfire, and close support to maneuver forces.[vii] The joint force must return to the roots of effects-based targeting focused on enemy centers of gravity (COG) and combat power to win tomorrow’s potential conflict.

With today’s operational environment only getting more complex across multiple domains, the necessity for simple, clear, and effective integration and delivery of fires against the right enemy, at the right place, with the right observer, at the right time, with the right delivery asset, with the right purpose is more important today than ever before.

This solution requires a shared understanding of what a center of gravity is, how one derives a COG, and a method to integrate within the operations process (plan, prepare, execute, assess).[viii] This article proposes an updated targeting process. This innovation will integrate the commander’s intent, targeting, and the Military Decision-Making Process to generate a leaner, smarter method. Updating the process will cause multiple unsolvable dilemmas for the enemy rather than imposing them on friendly forces.

Inadequacies in the Current Targeting Process

The current U.S. Army targeting process is misaligned with existing challenges and needs to be adjusted to address near-peer adversaries. According to Army Techniques Publication 3-60 and Joint Publication 3-60, the targeting process selects and prioritizes targets within the operational environment while matching the appropriate response to them.[ix] While this process discusses what targeting does, it does not adequately discuss the necessary purpose of targeting in today’s environment.

The purpose of targeting ought to be the deconstruction of the enemy’s combat power by determining the tasks and systems that make that organization effective and introducing an effect to render that organization unable to accomplish their objectives. However, the current methodology practiced in the past two decades presents the current targeting process as slow and unable to keep up with an ever-changing, complex environment.[x] Targeting needs a purpose that connects friendly force’s actions with the deconstruction of the enemy’s organization. Small-level targeting practiced and specified in doctrine works when the enemy organization is small and is individual-focused. However, future conflict against a near-peer adversary in multi-domain operations, enemy organizations will be complex that harness broad capabilities and decentralized functions across each domain.[xi] The targeting process must evolve with this new environment rather than stagnate with the old.

A near-peer adversary will attempt to bring more combat power to the operation than friendly forces. In a near-peer environment, the enemy will try to either limit friendly combat power or maximize their combat power in relation to friendly forces. As to the former, the enemy will try and deny access to the operational theater.[xii] This means that the enemy will try and create the largest possible gap between friendly forces combat potential and combat power. Combat potential is the possible amount of combat power a belligerent could bring to the theater, based on equipment, personnel, and doctrine.[xiii] Whereas, combat power is the amount of force that a belligerent brings into a theater to accomplish a specific objective.[xiv] The U.S. Army defines combat power as the tasks and systems unified in common purpose to achieve an objective.[xv] Simply put, when given an objective, combat power is the means in which to achieve conditions that represent the end-state. Combat power is a solution to a problem. The enemy is a system, and that system can be disintegrated in such a way that renders it incapable of achieving options.[xvi] Therefore, an operational commander can present multiple unsolvable dilemmas to the enemy by decreasing his combat power and take away his ability to solve problems. Hence, the goal of targeting ought to be to diminish the enemy’s combat power as a system. A new targeting methodology with that purpose will play a more effective role in preventing the enemy from achieving positions of advantage over friendly forces.

Near-peer adversaries are exceptionally vulnerable to center of gravity approaches because their combat power is irrelevant without mission command. This presents operational commanders an opportunity because if combat power is a function of mission command, then disrupting their ability to exercise discipline initiative can be exploited.[xvii] For example, Russia, a near-peer competitor, displays two of these attributes. They revolve their ground forces around the Brigade Tactical Group. This organization provides its commander many of the war-fighting functions necessary to overwhelm combat power against an adversary. It can be augmented with multiple combined-arms forces to facilitate multiple missions. However, Russian doctrine, or “ustav” is a mandate.[xviii] It is much more of a science than an art. Therefore, their combat power can be exploited if one disrupts their ability to command and control their centralized combat power. This presents friendly forces with an opportunity to exploit an enemy vulnerability. Effectively targeting this vulnerability with a new process can diminish an adversary’s ability to maximize combat power.

The targeting process is also insufficient because the MDMP does not prescribe a targeting process as a sub-step. In U.S. Army Doctrine, as specified in Field Manual 6-0, there are four systematic, continuous processes. They are intelligence preparation of the battlefield, risk management, information collection (IC), and targeting.[xix] IPB, risk management and IC are all separate, specified sub-steps in the MDMP. However, targeting is not a sub-step. This is inadequate in a process that is designed to solve problems against a threat, especially a near-peer threat in a multi-domain operating environment. Targeting must be specified as its own sub-step in MDMP because it will provide planners the necessary framework to describe a common process to deconstruct an enemy’s organization and diminish their combat power. It will also amplify and integrate the other systematic and continuous processes. Simply putting targeting as a sub-step in MDMP will unify joint planners to establish a common language as well as nest this methodology within the Joint Operations Planning Process.

A Targeting Process for the Future

In considering a targeting process that is relevant, it is important to understand how to deconstruct a COG using Dr. Joseph Strange’s method. Using a centers of gravity analysis is a starting point to this procedure because it provides an operational approach from the enemy to the objective. However, there are many different perspectives on centers of gravity. As written in Joint Forces Quarterly by Steven D. Kornatz, “several of these dialogues present detailed contrarian views to the validity of Carl von Clausewitz’s much analyzed theory of COG” the source of these views come from three factors, “[an] overreliance on Clausewitz’s COG theory, differing doctrinal definitions of COG-related terms, and varying joint and Service doctrinal COG methodologies.”[xx] Therefore, for this procedure to function, a unified, commonly understood definition of what a COG is, and how it is derived is essential. So why is Dr. Strange’s approach the best?

Colonel (USA, Retired) Dale Eikmeier presents a justification to use Dr. Strange’s 1996 definition to prevent the confusing and impractical methods referred to by Kornatz. In this definition, language, primarily nouns and verbs, are very important. Also, essential and common to all definitions of a COG is using ends, ways, and means.[xxi] Dr. Strange defines a center of gravity as, “the primary sources of moral and physical strength, power, and resistance.”[xxii] However, one must first identify the adversaries end-state in which to derive further aspects. Essential to an enemy's COG is a critical capability, the action necessary for the COG to achieve its’ end-state. The critical requirement is the physical means that accomplishes the critical capability. Of those critical requirements are critical vulnerabilities, those requirements that are susceptible to interdiction, neutralization or disruption. Left there, this analysis only provides an identification of each element and an appropriate method to begin dissecting an adversary’s combat power. To integrate with a targeting process, one needs to integrate it with other methodologies. A starting point is the relationship between IPB and targeting.

Effective intelligence preparation of the battlefield is essential to accomplish Dr. Strange’s COG analysis. Figure 1 displays the ends, ways, and means approach to Dr. Strange’s methodology to the appropriate steps of IPB. Key to this approach is completing IPB before the COG analysis is started. In the figure, the first step is to identify the objectives of the enemy. This is determined through step four of IPB.[xxiii] This is the key point justifying why one must complete IPB before you begin the COG analysis because you must have the final output of IPB as an input to step one of a COG analyses. Once identified, the enemy’s end-state as described as an objective or purpose can be studied to determine the enemy’s ways in which they will accomplish that end-state. This is where the critical capability is identified by using the enemy’s concept of operations found in step four of IPB. Within the enemy’s concept of operations (CONOP), one will find how the enemy designates action and enabling tasks to their subordinate units as well as that concept assigned to the respective operational environment. This product is called the threat template.[xxiv] It possesses all a targeting group needs to identify and link the critical capability to the enemy’s end-state within the defined operational environment. Finally, the means in which the enemy will accomplish the ways is identified using the enemy’s order-of-battle and resource allotment. The COG is identified by determining the subordinate organization, key platform, or tangible entity that directly accomplishes the critical capability found in the order-of-battle. This is the enemy’s COG.

1

Figure 1. Dr. Strange's Approach to Determine a Center of Gravity

Because the enemy’s center of gravity is a function of the combat power that accomplishes the critical capability, one can extract the critical requirements necessary to facilitate that capability. Since an order-of-battle consists of the enemy’s task organization with equipment and personnel listed, this identification is relatively trivial.[xxv] One just needs to determine the equipment or unit that decisively nests into the COG. Of those critical requirements and the resources available to the respective unit, one can then determine which requirements are vulnerable to friendly effects. This ends the process of Dr. Strange’s COG analysis in concurrence with today’s doctrinal method to IPB. However, this only gets the targeting team halfway to success because it only passively determines the enemy’s COG. Therefore, a method in which to determine actionable, deliverable effects needs to be formulated.

The proposed targeting process continues by determining how you will identify and locate each of the components of the enemy system (Figure 2). Just like IPB, there is a sub-step of MDMP that addresses this issue. MDMP step 2, sub-step 9 is “develop the initial information collection [IC] plan.”[xxvi] Here, the targeting team uses the enemy COG analysis they just conducted and identifies indicators that represent each aspect of that organization. The IC plan will also seek to identify each element of the COG analysis, including the critical vulnerabilities. This prioritizes and incentivizes IC. Because the enemy formation will be large in scale, assets must be utilized to locate the enemy’s COG rather than just their arbitrary disposition. If the commander decides upon the direct approach, then they are looking specifically for the COG. Because that critical requirement might be large, it might require many resources. On the contrary, collection could be used to find the critical vulnerability. This might require fewer resources but might be indistinguishable and not relate to the COG. In either approach, IC should be focused on identifying the COG or the critical vulnerability it relies on. This will make information collection leaner, more efficient, and integrated with the targeting process.

Once the operational staff determines the center of gravity components and a method in which to identify them, the targeting team must determine the desired effect that renders the COG incapable of conducting their critical capability. What is necessary is to use the least costly resource to deliver the minimum effect that causes the COG to become useless. This will be conducted in MDMP step three, course of action development. The targeting team determines this relationship and tasks an asset available to execute the effect. If resources are available, the staff can then implement redundant delivery assets. However, the staff must also constrain the use of assets with their intended effects. This is where target selection standards can apply. Target selection standards are the screening criteria determining whether or not to engage a target.[xxvii] This will enable the commander and staff to both inform the subordinate elements which assets are available for a mission as well as deny the improper use of their assets. This concept ensures that the most efficient method will be used to achieve the necessary effect. This makes the process much leaner, which is essential to render a COG ineffective. Determining effects based on the possessed assets enable a commander to achieve their desired outcome.

2

Figure 2. Proposed Targeting Process and the Integration with MDMP

To adequately assess whether the targeting process is effective, one must use the COG analysis. The process ends at the beginning with the COG analysis. Once the enemy’s course of action is verified, and the COG either directly or indirectly affected, the targeting officer then refers to the critical capability. Is the enemy still capable of conducting his critical capability with the combat power he now has at his disposal? If that is in the affirmative, the process repeats itself. If not, then the process worked, and the enemy is no longer able to accomplish their objective. This effectively ends or restarts the targeting process. Now the process is much better integrated with the MDMP.

Other Points of View

Some would argue the current process is enough for Multi-Domain Operations. The targeting methodology as noted in ATP 3-60 is sufficient because it provides commanders with flexibility to function within multiple, complex operational environments. It also must continue to be unspecific and broad because if a process is regimented, it will create an overly constrained approach to a technique that must be flexible. D3A provides a framework that can fit the MDMP as the commander sees fit and will keep up with the enemy’s decision making cycle. Mistakes and lessons learned from the past one hundred years of targeting are enough to dictate today’s targeting methodology. Critics would also argue that the proposed targeting process is just D3A restated and expanded; a command and staff can merely use the new procedure within the construct of the old method.

However, because the environment is changing, an updated procedure is necessary. The changing environment and the emergence of new domains warrants a new system. Tomorrow’s operational environment will be more complex, uncertain, volatile, and fast. This new reality invalidates yesterday’s assumptions because operations will not advance themselves at a reasonable pace. Tomorrow’s fight will be cognitive in nature against multiple belligerents bringing combat power against one another. This combat power might present itself in a “peaceful” manner because it will be in contest before hostilities arise. This combat power might present itself in the cyber domain with no tangible force behind it. Because of these possibilities, the cognitive framework of Dr. Strange’s approach to COG analysis coupled with a new targeting methodology will limit the combat power of the enemy, or potential enemy, and will extend across the domains.

A new process is necessary because D3A does not provide a commander and staff a unified framework in which to deconstruct and engage an enemy organization. Using the current method, commanders and staff are unconstrained to use as many resources as possible to inflict effects against a target. However, in a near-peer contest in multiple domains, commanders must use as little resource as possible to achieve maximum effect against the right enemy formation to render it ineffective. By specifying in a procedure to use the most efficient means possible, it will cognitively allow commanders and staffs to blend art and science to maximize their resources against the enemy.

In conclusion, the need for a new targeting process is evident because of the new U.S. Army operating concept. Adversaries in future conflicts will be able to contest U.S. interests in a manner that challenges the joint force in new ways. Concepts that achieved success during the last twenty years will not be as effective at deterring, disrupting, or defeating threats of tomorrow. Targeting as a process and methodology will be essential in defeating an enemy. Though new challenges will present themselves, the enemy will simply be an organization trying to solve problems with combat power. In using a targeting methodology based upon Dr. Strange’s concept of center of gravity deconstruction, the U.S. Army will provide the operational-level joint force the methodology to directly or indirectly render that combat power incapable of solving those problems. This will not only provide the enemy with multiple unsolvable dilemmas but will facilitate freedom of action by operational forces and their partners. Changing the doctrine will allow a unified approach to this effort so that conflict will either be deterred or ended in such a fashion that quickly returns both sides to peaceful competition. This process will be written in blood, as the mistakes of past generations illuminate the consequences of improper targeting. Mistakes of the future can be prevented by adopting this approach.

Recommendations

Update FM 6-0 and ATP 3-60. This new targeting methodology must be properly annotated in doctrine across the range of publications. For the operational level doctrine (Army Doctrinal Reference Publications and Field Manuals) D3A must be updated to the proposed targeting process. Many of the same principles still apply but must be integrated with the U.S. Army’s new multi-domain operating concept.

At the lower operational level and tactical level (Field Manuals and Army Techniques Publications) “conduct targeting” must be added to MDMP step two as its own unique step. It should be added just after “conduct intelligence preparation of the battlefield” and remain a systematic, continuous process just like IPB, IC and risk management.

Timeline for implementation. This new process should be incorporated in the doctrine at the earliest possible convenience, which will take years to implement. It should be included in FM 3-0 and FM 6-0 at their next update and publication. However, implementation of this new targeting process should be practiced at the Combat Training Centers immediately. Only then will the process be validated through a near-peer, large-scale combat replication where it can be studied, adapted, and adopted by unit standing operating procedures.

The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s and not necessarily those of the U.S. Department of Defense or U.S. Army.

Bibliography

Asymmetric Warfare Group. Russian New Generation Warfare. Handbook No. 17-09, Version 2.1. Fort Leavenworth, KS, Center for Army Lessons Learned, 2017.

Citino, Robert, M. The Path to Blitzkrieg: Doctrine and Training in the German Army, 1920-39 Mechanicsburg, PA: Lynne Rienner Publishers, Inc., 1999.

Dastrup, Boyd, L. Artillery Strong: Modernizing the Field Artillery for the 21st Century, edited by Diane R. Walker. Fort Leavenworth, KS, Combat Studies Institute Press, 2018.

Eikmeier, Dale, C. “Centers of Gravity: Changing the way we think” Marine Corps Gazette, November 2010.

Ferguson, Jared, Troy Gillett, Elton Johnson, Michael Kurtich, Travis Shain. “Coordinated Attacks” Joint Multinational Readiness Center Quarterly Lessons Learned Newsletter 4th Quarter (FY 2017).

Gomez, Jimmy, A. “The Targeting Process: D3A and F3EAD” Small Wars Journal (2011). https://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/journal/docs-temp/816-gomez.pdf.

Horrigan, Scott, W. Decisive Action National Training Center Rotation Conducted May 2014 for 2nd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division. Stryker Brigade Combat Team Stryker Warfighter’s Forum, 8-10 July 2014.

Kornatz, Steven, D. “The Primacy of COG in Planning: Getting Back to the Basics” Joint Force Quarterly 82, 3rd Quarter (2016).

Operations Group, Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC). Initial Impression Report JRTC 16-09. Training and Doctrine Command Directed, Center for Army Lessons Learned Collection at Decisive Action Training Environment Combat Training Center Rotation, 15 August – 1 September 2016.

Sprang, Ronald, W. “Russia in Ukraine 2013-2016: The Application of New Type Warfare Maximizing the Exploitation of Cyber, IO, and Media” Small Wars Journal (2018). https://smallwarsjournal.com/index.php/jrnl/art/russia-ukraine-2013-2016-application-new-type-warfare-maximizing-exploitation-cyber-io-and

Strange, Joe. Perspectives on Warfighting: Number Four, Second Edition: Centers of Gravity & Critical Vulnerabilities: Building on the Clausewitzian Foundation So That We Can All Speak the Same Language, Quantico, VA: Marine Corps University Foundation, 1996.

U.S. Army. Commander and Staff Organization and Operations. Field Manual (FM) 6-0, Change No. 2. Washington, D.C.: Headquarters, Department of the Army, 22 April 2016.

U.S. Army. Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield/Battlespace. Army Techniques Publication (ATP) 2-01.3. Washington, D.C.: Headquarters, Department of the Army, 26 March 2015.

U.S. Army. Mission Command. Army Doctrinal Reference Publication (ADRP) 6-0, Change No. 2. Washington, D.C.: Headquarters, Department of the Army, 28 March 2014.

U.S. Army. Operations. Army Doctrinal Reference Publication (ADRP) 3-0. Washington, D.C.: Headquarters, Department of the Army, 6 October 2017.

U.S. Army. Targeting. Army Techniques Publication (ATP) 3-60. Washington, D.C.: Headquarters, Department of the Army, 7 May 2015.

U.S. Army. The U.S. Army in Multi-Domain Operations 2028. Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) Pamphlet 525-3-1. 6 December 2018.

U.S. Department of Defense. Joint Planning. Joint Publication (JP) 5-0. 16 June 2017.

U.S. Department of Defense. Joint Targeting. Joint Publication (JP) 3-60. 31 January 2013.

Vego, Milan. Joint Operational Warfare: Theory and Practice. Newport, RI, Naval War College, reprint 2009.

Warden, John, A. “The Enemy as a System” Airpower Journal, Spring (1995).

End Notes


[i] Ronald, W. Sprang. “Russia in Ukraine 2013-2016: The Application of New Type Warfare Maximizing the Exploitation of Cyber, IO, and Media” Small Wars Journal (2018), accessed 24 April 2019, https://smallwarsjournal.com/index.php/jrnl/art/russia-ukraine-2013-2016-application-new-type-warfare-maximizing-exploitation-cyber-io-and.

[ii] Robert M. Citino. The Path to Blitzkrieg: Doctrine and Training in the German Army, 1920-39 (Mechanicsburg, PA: Lynne Rienner Publishers, Inc., 1999), 250.

[iii] U.S. Army. Targeting. Army Techniques Publication (ATP) 3-60 (Washington, D.C.: Headquarters, Department of the Army, 7 May 2015), 2-1.

[iv] Operations Group, Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC). Initial Impression Report JRTC 16-09. (Training and Doctrine Command Directed, Center for Army Lessons Learned Collection at Decisive Action Training Environment Combat Training Center Rotation, 15 August – 1 September 2016), 13.

[v] Scott, W. Horrigan. Decisive Action National Training Center Rotation Conducted May 2014 for 2nd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division. (Stryker Brigade Combat Team Stryker Warfighter’s Forum, 8-10 July 2014), 5-6.

[vi] Jared Ferguson et al., “Coordinated Attacks” Joint Multinational Readiness Center Quarterly Lessons Learned Newsletter 4th Quarter (FY 2017), 5-6.

[vii] Boyd, L. Dastrup. Artillery Strong: Modernizing the Field Artillery for the 21st Century, ed. by Diane R. Walker (Fort Leavenworth, KS, Combat Studies Institute Press, 2018), 14-15.

[viii] U.S. Army. Operations. Army Doctrinal Reference Publication (ADRP) 3-0 (Washington, D.C.: Headquarters, Department of the Army, 6 October 2017), 4-1.

[ix] U.S. Department of Defense. Joint Targeting. Joint Publication (JP) 3-60 (31 January 2013), II-1.

[x] Jimmy, A. Gomez. “The Targeting Process: D3A and F3EAD” Small Wars Journal (2011), accessed 28 April 2019, https://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/journal/docs-temp/816-gomez.pdf.

[xi] U.S. Army. The U.S. Army in Multi-Domain Operations 2028 (Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) Pamphlet 525-3-1. 6 December 2018), v.

[xii] Ibid.

[xiii] Milan Vego. Joint Operational Warfare: Theory and Practice (Newport, RI, Naval War College, reprint 2009), III33.

[xiv] Ibid., III34.

[xv] U.S. Army. Mission Command. Army Doctrinal Reference Publication (ADRP) 6-0, Change No. 2 (Washington, D.C.: Headquarters, Department of the Army, 28 March 2014), 3-1.

[xvi] John, A. Warden. “The Enemy as a System” Airpower Journal (Spring 1995), 42.

[xvii] ADRP 6-0. Mission Command, 3-1-3-2.

[xviii] Asymmetric Warfare Group. Russian New Generation Warfare (Handbook No. 17-09, Version 2.1. Fort Leavenworth, KS, Center for Army Lessons Learned, 2017), 5.

[xix] U.S. Army. Commander and Staff Organization and Operations. Field Manual (FM) 6-0, Change No. 2 (Washington, D.C.: Headquarters, Department of the Army, 22 April 2016), 9-4.

[xx] Steven, D. Kornatz. “The Primacy of COG in Planning: Getting Back to the Basics” Joint Force Quarterly 82, 3rd Quarter (2016), 91-92.

[xxi] Dale, C. Eikmeier. “Centers of Gravity: Changing the way we think” Marine Corps Gazette (November 2010), 97-98.

[xxii] Joseph Strange. Perspectives on Warfighting: Number Four, Second Edition: Centers of Gravity & Critical Vulnerabilities: Building on the Clausewitzian Foundation So That We Can All Speak the Same Language, (Quantico, VA: Marine Corps University Foundation, 1996), 43.

[xxiii] FM 6-0. Commander and Staff Organization and Operations, 9-8.

[xxiv] U.S. Army. Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield/Battlespace. Army Techniques Publication (ATP) 2-01.3 (Washington, D.C.: Headquarters, Department of the Army, 26 March 2015), 6-14.

[xxv] Ibid., 5-3-5-5.

[xxvi] FM 6-0. Commander and Staff Organization and Operations, 9-10-9-11.

[xxvii] ATP 3-60. Targeting, 2-4-2-5.

Categories: targeting - US Army - multi-domain

About the Author(s)

Major Timothy P. Lewin, U.S. Army, is a Field Artillery Officer and currently serves as a resident student at the U.S. Naval War College. He has served within various brigade combat teams and institutions as a battery commander, battalion fire support officer, and small group instructor.

Comments

Vicrasta

Thu, 07/04/2019 - 2:47pm

In this case, the COL (R) Dale Eikmeier method is preferred for joint and systems of systems perspectives. The modern definition of COG uses logic to define what a COG is or is not. Logically: A (primary entity) + B (capability to achieve the objective) = COG 1. Anti-access Area Denial systems of systems are COGs and multiple levels consisting of targetable critical factors. Time is a significant variable, so dynamic targeting needs to be accelerated to exploit windows of superiority and positions of relative advantage. F2T2EA needs to be accelerated even more to Find, Target, Engage and Assess. BDA is critical to enable decision making and joint action to move the operation forward and ultimately enable land component command objectives. 

The joint operational area must be assessed as one interconnected or extended domain with strategic system and network configurations. It also must be put in the relevant component context to assess the level of military effort and servicing of targets in domains that enable the land component to reach mission objectives. 

1. COL (Retired) Dale C. Eikmeier “Let’s Fix or Kill the Center of Gravity Concept”, Joint Force Quarterly 83, 4th Quarter 2016 (1 October 2016).