Planning For and Applying Military Force: An Examination of Terms

  • March 01, 2006
  • LTG Paul K Van Riper

The author briefly examines current and in some cases still evolving definitions in joint doctrine--especially as regards strategy, center of gravity, decisive point, and commander's intent. He discusses the heritage of those concepts and terms, most of which derived from the writings of Clausewitz and Sun Tzu, and finds that current joint planning definitions and concepts tend to confuse more than they inform.