The Principles of War Podcast
20 Hannibal at the gates of Rome The process for finding a Center of Gravity
CoG AnalysisPodcast

20 Hannibal at the gates of Rome – The process for finding a Center of Gravity

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Whilst everyone agrees that determining the Center of Gravity is really important, but there is not a lot of information on the actual process to do that.

We look at the inside out methodology by Rueschoff and Dunne as a way of determining the CoG.  This methodology starts with objective, then looks at the critical capabilities that allow the achievement of the objective.

We pause to look at the role that time in CoG analysis.  The CoG can change over time.

War on the Rocks had a great article on the procurement of oil in the Pacific and how a limited assessment of future critical factors can lead to issues.  Who is doing a future Critical Factor analysis?  What role does this have in planning?

We then look at the Eikmeier methodology.  This is based on Ends, Ways and Means.  The Eikmeier methodology provides a user friendly cut down version of systems theory.

  1. Identify the desired endstate.
  2. ID the ways that it can be achieved. (CCs)
  3. List the means required to enable the CC.
  4. Select the entity that can achieve the means that can achieve the endstate.  This is the CoG.
  5. Select critical items from the means on the list.
  6. ID the critical requirements that are vulnerable.

We look at an example of Madonna deciding to be elected as President of the US.  With that Endstate, we look at the ways she could achieve this and the means that she would need to be POTUS.

We look at the validity test to ensure that you have the right entity as being the CoG.

We look at the CoG example for Hannibal at Cannae.  Have a listen to Dan Carlin’s Punic Nightmare to get a great idea of what the fighting was like at Cannae.

We look at the Roman Army that faces Cannae and how he can defeat it.  We look at how Hannibal structured his battle to attack the critical vulnerabilities of the Roman Army.

Hannibal was begged to march on Rome, but he only sent a delegation to Rome to discuss surrender.  One hundred and fifty thousand males had died fighting Hannibal over 3 crippling losses.

What happened after Cannae?

How did the Roman moral Center of Gravity impact Hannibal?  Hannibal has destroyed 3 operational level centers of gravity, yet he did not destroy the Roman moral centre of gravity.







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