Legitimacy as the center of gravity in Hybrid warfare: Notes from the Colombian Battlefield

Author: Carlos Ospina Ovalle

Abstract: These notes from the fields summarise a presentation on the topic of legitimacy, understood as the center of gravity (CoG), in hybrid warfare. In his work On War, Clausewitz defined the CoG as “the source of power that provides moral or physical strength, freedom of action, or will to act.”  The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia
(FARC) used the Vietnamese variant of Mao’s doctrine called ‘’interlocking war’’. In this variant, the three phases of war run simultaneously. We challenged the traditional understanding of the CoG used by the US in Vietnam and adopted the same type of CoG as the insurgency. We developed several ideas and techniques around the concept of CoG. In my view this specific way of understanding the CoG was a key to our success in the Colombian war.

* Note: this paper is part of the Special Issue of Journal of Military and Strategic Studies, titled ‘Reflexive Military Practitioners: Design Thinking and Beyond’. The full issue can be accessed at: http://jmss.org/jmss/index.php/jmss/issue/view/76

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Carlos Ospina Ovalle_Legitimacy as the center of gravity in Hybrid warfare_2017

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