"At the operational and strategic levels, military planners use the concepts of centers of gravity and decisive points to assist them in determining the best ways for accomplishing assigned tasks. By identifying the enemy's center of gravity, the planner determines the enemy assets that must be defeated to gain victory. On the other hand, by identifying the friendly center of gravity, the planner has determined the friendly assets that must be protected to retain freedom of action to attack the enemy's center of gravity. Since it may not be possible to directly attack enemy centers of gravity, friendly forces attack formations, positions, or support structures that lead directly to the center of gravity. These are referred to as decisive points....This monograph discusses the military theory of centers of gravity and its relationship to assigned tasks and decisive points. United States' joint and individual service doctrines and historical examples frame the discussion of theory. This monograph seeks to clarify the relationship among assigned tasks, centers of gravity, and decisive points to assist commanders and planners in determining how to best accomplish assigned tasks."
Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC): http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/