Loss of Strength Gradient
The Loss of Strength Gradient (LSG) was devised by Kenneth Boulding in 1962. He argued that the amount of a nation’s military power that could be brought to bear in any part of the world depended on geographic distance. The Loss of Strength Gradient demonstrated, in graphical form, that the further away the target of aggression the less strength that could be made available. It also showed how this loss of strength could be ameliorated by the use of forward positions.
Boulding went on to support the idea of a decline in the Loss of Strength Gradient. He used two lines of attack. One of these was that transport was becoming easier. Another was that combatants had achieved sufficient capacity to defeat the opponent through strategic air and missile power. Boulding said that there had been a “military revolution” in the 20th century, the significance of which was “a very substantial diminution in the cost of transportation of organized violence of all kinds, especially of organized armed forces” and “an enormous increase in the range of the deadly projectile.”

There is support for the continued importance of the Loss of Strength Gradient such that where it is reduced in significance it is of only temporary nature. Transport is said not to be becoming permanently easier while air power is said not to be permanently replacing need for forward deployed ground forces.

See also

  • Strategic depth
    Strategic depth
    Strategic depth is a term in military literature that broadly refers to the distances between the front lines or battle sectors and the combatants’ industrial core areas, capital cities, heartlands, and other key centers of population or military production...

  • Defence in depth
    Defence in depth
    Defence in depth is a military strategy; it seeks to delay rather than prevent the advance of an attacker, buying time and causing additional casualties by yielding space...

  • Culminating point
    Culminating point
    The culminating point in military strategy is the point at which a military force no longer is able to perform its operations.On the offensive, the culminating point marks the time when the attacking force can no longer continue its advance, because of supply problems, the opposing force, or the...

  • Military power projection
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