Virtual Non-State Actors as Clausewitzian Centers of Gravity: An Examination for Sensemaking, Elaboration and Discussion

ABSTRACT

Against traditional interpretations of Clausewitzian centers of gravity, we examine the characteristics and behaviors of Non-State Actors (NSAs) operating in virtual space. Possessing disparate aims; ‘virtual NSAs’ (VNSAs) increasingly affect the geopolitical battle-space from diplomacy to kinetic warfare. This paper examines the ways in which VNSAs create spheres of influence, manipulate publics, and form a hardened constraints-set for strategic and operational planning. What are some functional categories that may be applied to the creation of taxonomy when examining VNSAs? This paper examines the qualities of VNSAs themselves so that Center of Gravity (COG) analysis, when relevant, is accurately applied.


AUTHORS

The University of the District of Columbia,
Washington, D.C., USA

Larisa Breton is a Strategic Communication practitioner and theoretician with U.S. Special Operations Command, U.S. Central Command, U.S. Army Research Institute, NATO, and has other program experience. Her work on Wikileaks was published by The Small Wars Journal and her analysis on soft programming was published by Mountainrunner.us. Ms Breton has designed and presented curricula as a Guest Lecturer at the JFK School for Special Operations. She is adjunct faculty at the University of the District of Columbia in Washington, D.C.

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Keywords

C

C2
C2S
CDX
CIA
CIP
CPS

D

DNS
DoD
DoS

I

IA
ICS

S

SOA

X

XRY

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