7Striking in Network-centric Conditions

While the conduct of military operations is certainly affected by networks, these networks only demonstrate the full power of their resources through precision strikes – another key component of the RMA/Transformation. Together, they produce military effects but doing so requires the use of intermediary targeting processes: the “what” to strike. While it is relatively simple tactically speaking – we strike what we see – it is, however, considerably less simple when fighting over great distances and, a fortiori, when the engagements are expeditionary. This is where we find the theme of the search to fluidify solid spaces, with all the hazards and limitations of such a logic that we discussed previously. However, it should be noted that this process of fluidification has already been – at least conceptually – at work since the 19th Century, when the art of strategy came of age and the question of the strategic anatomy of the enemy appeared. This led to the issue of the center of gravity raised by Clausewitz becoming central to strategic thought. Representing the “hub of power”, the center of gravity is the source of the enemy force – so it can be identified as a critical vulnerability, especially because it is a force. Generally, eliminating it would lead to certain defeat, the enemy having lost all strength.

It is not a coincidence that the center of gravity appears at the heart of reflections on air strategy by Warden and Deptula [FAD ...

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