Centre of Gravity (COG) in the Military as a Political Reality
In military studies, Centre of Gravity (COG) is the power centre, or collection of all pivotal points of power around which war operations revolve. Victory and defeat are measured in terms of its dismantlement and subjugation. This could happen through loss of three powers –
- Power to control, subjugate, lure, and influence
- Power for offensive attacks, initiatives, and manoeuvres
- Defensive and resistive power
If we consider war as a form of practice of politics – in a violent manner, then politics too could be considered an extension of gains and losses of war.
Let us understand relation of this fundamental to the concept of Centre of Gravity and formulate this relation. Based on the same, we could differentiate between defeat and victory. Also, we need to identify any Centre of Gravity around which war operations revolve on – if it works to the advantage of enemy or self.
Rapprochements and configurations that shape contemporary world order are based on power relations (Rapport de force) which in turn forms the balance of political power. These two, together, were used to formulate science of administering colonies. This science is taught only in military and security colleges of four countries, viz. United States, Britain, Russia, and France. Teaching this is considered almost a red line for defeated countries like Germany, Turkey and Italy – they know of it only to the extent of what could be read from disassembling the developments they themselves were subjected to. As for the other despoiled states and subjugated peoples, they are nothing more than fields of experimentation and areas for partitioning, as spheres subject to the dominant powers.
Nationalistic ideas, as the most dangerous tool for creation of states, – from sixteenth century CE onwards, following the decline of religious and imperial conceptions- were used as prime movers for those forces and platforms to launch and construct contemporary world order. This means that all international and national political processes, or in other words – contemporary world order, is founded on the philosophy of victor and vanquished or that of gainer and booty. There is no exception to this rule.
This relationship is implicitly enshrined in the charter of United Nations in what is known as principles of the international order. “International legitimacy” is a war-related terminology (both conceptually and formally) or is an historical right or privilege. There are many other terminologies that most academics chew at, without realising that those are war-related terms linked with defeat of entities. Defeated states were engineered to act as tools for administration of colonies. There is an example quoted from Britain saying : “We have put together Italy, and now we need construct Italians”. Today’s Italy, for instance, does not resemble Italy before World War 2, while geographically it remained the same. It was fundamentally engineered and subjugated with such a military pattern and philosophy and by creating a false identity compatible with the defeat that befell Rome and its Catholic authority represented by the Apostolic Council of Vatican. Vatican itself was engineered, so as to recognise the Anglo-Saxon Protestants as the dominant political authority.
Every state defeated or exploited by the enemy was done thus – creating a subordinate administrative system therein acting as their tactical centre of gravity and vanguard for their armies to undertake the subjugation of any social organisation inclining towards liberty. They would strip those systems of all essential tools of power, to the extent that it would not be propelled by its own movement. This is in contrast to the basic nature of the Muslim community, with its mission and inherent capability for civilisational resurrection analogous to a centre of gravity, being completely independent from the enemy. One of the most important and serious civilisational roles adopted by Muslim community during its liberational efforts has been the total dismantling of hegemonic centres of enemy from its very roots. Thus, it poses an existential threat in their perspective, and it deals with it with total brutality mixed with chronic fear and terror.
As such, operations for subjugation of Muslim community happens to be persistent. Whenever Muslim community moves towards creating its own independent Centres of Gravity, hegemonic systems activates all instruments of state power for dismantling it, whatever may be the machinery used and costs for doing so. It could be in the form of coups, internal wars, assassinations, militias, mercenaries, security companies, etc. It could also be in the form of Trojan horses that they would label as “Muslim” which would serve as vehicles of tyrants and, in turn, fulfil role of invaders.
All of these will be done with the martial and financial resources of Muslim community itself. The cost of this is less compared to a direct war undertaken by hegemonic centres, since, a direct war would activate Muslim community at large and in turn create a number of Centres of Gravity of resistance. This is a nightmare that undermines their dominance.
As such, we should situate Centre of gravity of occupation not in their armies, but in the armies of our states. Their political Centre of Gravity lies not in the various bodies of United Nations, but in the legislative bodies of our states. Their economic Centre of Gravity lies not in their corporations but in the bodies handling sources of natural resources and wealth of our states. Centre of Gravity of the enemy lies in our lands, not in theirs.
Therefore, it is inconceivable to regard individuals and groups of resistance as threats to them, as long as it revolves around their Centre of Gravity, laying eggs in their basket, and financing their soft and hard instruments of power. Creating independent Centres of gravity, springing from core of Muslim community is inevitable for this process. As for defining our Centre of Gravity, we need refer to those divine words – “Whoever disregard defying entities and believes in Allah has held fast to the firmest hold, unbreakable” (Qur’an 2:256)
Here “firmest hold” denotes Centre of Gravity, articulated about so far. It determines whether one belongs to revolution or some new form of slavery to the enemy.
For realising this, all instruments of power of Muslim community ought to be liberated. Greatest sin of those who embrace modern states is their popular mobilisation till they head them meekly to massacre or captivity, in a world that is run by the language of brutal power. They are unable to genuinely fight for their people or to allow people to seek their own ways of liberty and sovereignty. Nothing is more dangerous for Muslim community than the chains of modern state which has established its hegemony upon them.
After delineation of Centre of Gravity of enemy, these questions are expected – How come? What is supposed of us to do? ..with whom? Answers to such destinal questions could be had with time and opportunity, though certainly not within the framework of hegemonic systems and its tools that at their very onset dismantled centres of our power. For instance, on a railway track with a train heading towards one at full speed, the first relevant decision for the person would be to move off the tracks and pull off those with him. Following this, one could explore a way in a wider space. Returning to the track would bring with it the same threats. Neutralising this threat is possible if one dismantles this track. Further, if one builds own track and learns to protect it, this would represent the generation of liberation that is being addressed through these lines.
Translated by: Thafasal Ijyas