Oct. 1, 2017
Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides's Trap?
Harvard sage Graham Allison has chosen to focus his considerable foreign policy expertise on the preeminent question of our age: how can we avoid a future war between its two most powerful nations? This book is a historically driven analysis of a topic he previously discussed in a prominent 2015 Atlantic article on the “Thucydides Trap.” In the classic work on the Peloponnesian War, Thucydides described the case of a disastrous conflict between a rising Athens and an established Sparta that brought Greek preeminence to a close. As a new U.S. administration grapples with a similar relationship, Allison provides key insights on the nature of the current problem while offering clues on how it can be successfully managed. He asserts a U.S.-China war is not inevitable, but conflict will continue to intensify as rising Chinese strength causes great concern for the United States and its allies.
G.S. Isserson and the War of the Future: Key Writings of a Soviet Military Theorist
On December 8, 1594, William Louis of Nassau, one of the commanders of the Dutch army, sent a letter to his cousin, Maurice of Nassau, in which he suggested a new way to deploy musketeers on the battlefield that significantly increased their rate of fire. He argued that six rotating ranks of musketeers could produce a continuous hail of fire, keeping the enemy at bay. This “volley” technique (known as the “European Countermarch” today) soon became the standard way of force deployment in European armies. It was part of the emerging military revolution that changed not only the ways to conduct wars but also the geopolitical balance in Europe and the general course of history.1 In 1532, 62 years before this pivotal work of the Counts of Nassau, another work of military significance was published—The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli. While this book did not deal with military deployment per se, its significance as one of the fundamental works on political-military relations has been widely acknowledged through the centuries.
How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything: Tales from the Pentagon
The reader of How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything: Tales from the Pentagon will cheer, groan, and have core beliefs reinforced and challenged—everything a good book should do. Rosa Brooks argues that warfare is changing, the military is taking on way too much, and U.S. national security is in peril as a result. The book is especially timely given calls for increased military spending while simultaneously drastically cutting State Department and foreign aid funding.
Winners of the 2017 Essay Competition
NDU Press Congratulates the Winners of the 2017 Essay Competitions.
The Risk of Delay: The Need for a New Authorization for Use of Military Force
In September 2014, President Barack Obama announced a four-part plan to systematically destroy the so-called Islamic State (IS), a plan that included sustained military operations in Iraq, into Syria, and “wherever [the terrorists] are.” While President Obama welcomed congressional support for the effort in order to show the world that America was united in confronting this new danger, he claimed the executive branch had the authority to unilaterally approve such use of military force against IS. The President’s justification rested on two congressional resolutions passed into law over a dozen years earlier: the 2001 and 2002 Authorizations for Use of Military Force (AUMFs). Despite specifically authorizing the use of military force against those responsible for the 9/11 attacks and the terrorist threat posed in Iraq, respectively, the 2001 and 2002 AUMFs have remained the primary basis for our nation’s counterterrorism efforts abroad for over 15 years. Yet during this period, the world has witnessed the collapse of Saddam Hussein’s regime, death of Osama bin Laden, proliferation of new terrorist groups across the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Africa, and the international expansion of IS.
Butter Bar to Four Star: Deficiencies in Leader Development
This article carefully unpacks the ideas that rigid cultural norms, faulty officer management practices, and significant flaws in professional military education (PME) generate damaging gaps in the development of commissioned Army officers in the Active component.
Robotic Swarms in Offensive Maneuver
For many years, military scientists have contemplated the advent of swarming tactics as an evolution within maneuver warfare, and futurists have contemplated the execution of the tactics by cooperative teams of semi-autonomous drones.1 These projections expound on strengths demonstrated by hive-minded organisms such as bees or ants, which work cooperatively to defeat larger invaders through non-hierarchal communications. Other swarm theorists reference the deadly effectiveness of the ephemeral, loose formations of horse archers of the Asian steppe against less flexible foes.2 Whatever the source of inspiration, few authors move beyond the abstract employment of robotic swarms. To fully explore swarm utility in fire and maneuver, swarms should be inserted into the tactical concepts of today—chiefly, the five forms of offensive maneuver recognized under Army doctrine.
The U.S. Government’s Approach to Food Security: Focus on Campaign Activities
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr., stresses the importance of effective cooperation with nonmilitary organizations to promote a common operational framework and allocate critical information and resources. Per his direction, the joint force continues to inquire about and examine the nuances between organizational workforce cultures and methodologies. One area where military and nonmilitary workforce approaches differ is security. This article focuses on an aspect of security known in international circles and endorsed by the United Nations (UN) as human security.1 Threats to human security can be categorized in seven dimensions, one of which is food security.2 Complementing an initial installment on health security also published in Joint Force Quarterly, this article addresses the U.S. Government’s approach to food security with a focus on combatant command campaign activities.
Joint Publication 5-0, Joint Planning
The Joint Staff Director, Strategic Plans and Policy Directorate (J5), approved a new Joint Publication (JP) 5-0, Joint Planning. The publication, signed by the Director, Joint Force Development (J7), will be the fifth iteration of joint doctrine on planning since 1995.
To the Editor
I enjoyed your Executive Summary in the recent issue of JFQ that described the beginnings of JFQ. I congratulate everyone who has worked on the magazine since its birth. I am proud of what they have accomplished.