Oct. 1, 2017
The Operational National Guard: A Unique and Capable Component of the Joint Force
Since the attacks on 9/11, we have seen a confluence of factors shaping our security environment that presents challenges much different from the past. Globalization, the rise of near-peer powers and regional actors, sociological changes, and extreme weather are some of the most significant factors that make our security environment dynamic and complex, both at home and abroad, with the pace of change accelerating.
From the Chairman: Allies and Partners Are Our Strategic Center of Gravity
While U.S. global leadership is the product of much more than our military capabilities, the competitive military advantage we possess is vital to our national power and the role we play on the world stage.
All of us would like direct feedback on how we are performing our missions. We hope that someone would reach out to let us know our hard work is meaningful and respected. Usually, however, we continue our work without direct encouragement, hoping it will have the impact we want to achieve.
An Interview with Joseph L. Lengyel
I have never seen a more capable organization that does those kinds of things in our business model. As for the warfighting priority, I have watched the Guard mature from a good, solid, and competent contributor to one now that is able to deploy anywhere in the world immediately with our Active component joint force partners. We can play any role that we are asked to play; we have the capacity as a Guard Force contributor to do that.
Sept. 27, 2017
Joint Doctrine Update
Joint Doctrine Update.
June 21, 2017
Learning to Fish in Murky Waters: The Missing Link in Capacity-Building
Building partner capacity has been recently recognized as a key mission set of the U.S. Armed Forces. It has received a great deal of verbal and written attention from military leaders and policymakers due to its centrality to ongoing operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. The recent political and strategic direction has emphasized military, diplomatic, and civil coordination with other nations worldwide.1 A full explanation of U.S. diplomatic, development, and military approaches to capacity-building, and the evolution of the military’s current role and conceptualization of these operations, would undoubtedly be relevant and useful, but remains beyond the scope of this article. Instead, we examine one critical component of this broad mission set: the building of institutional capacity in host-nation ministries. Then we offer a scientifically and historically sound methodology for military advisors working at the ministerial level. By improving how we plan and execute our train, advise, and assist missions, and rethinking the role of the military advisor, we can more effectively enable our partners around the world.
The Trouble with Mission Command: Flexive Command and the Future of Command and Control
The U.S. military is having the wrong conversation about command. The current emphasis on “mission command” as an end in itself misses a crucial point about the nature of command—namely, that situational understanding is the rarest of all command characteristics. Mission command begins with a bias to decentralized decisionmaking, and then fails to equip officers with tools for understanding how to determine where control should reside. Mission command is presented as a premise of effective command—“Given that I am decentralizing control as much as possible (that is, exercising mission command), how should I command?”—when it is in fact just one of many possible answers to the question of control, and not always the right one. This conceptual failure exposes the military to significant risk as the context of war undergoes one of history’s great revolutions with the entry of lethal, fully autonomous systems. We need a command philosophy that acknowledges the historical constraints of warfare but also leaves room to exploit the emerging capabilities of modern technology. The right question to ask is: “Given the tactical, operational, and strategic context, how should I command?”
Autonomous Weapons Systems Safety
Available technology and unforeseen world events will make it increasingly difficult to apply the law of armed conflict and international law relating to the use of force via autonomous weapons systems in a consistent manner that adheres to U.S. policy. Many nations, including the United States, will place limits on the use of lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS) to avoid the risk of collateral damage and to comply with international humanitarian law. However, potential adversaries might not be bound by these constraints.
Joint Publication 3-0, Joint Operations
The Joint Staff Director, Joint Force Development Directorate (J7), signed a revised Joint Publication (JP) 3-0, Joint Operations, on January 17, 2017. This JP 3-0 is the latest in a series that began with a January 1990 “test publication” titled Doctrine for Unified and Joint Operations.1 General Colin Powell approved the first official version of JP 3-0 in 1993 based, in part, on agreements reached among the Joint Chiefs of Staff on a number of debated aspects of joint operations.2 In a measure to increase access to and understanding of joint doctrine, General John Shalikashvili, Powell’s successor,3 issued the 1995 JP 3-0 in a hard-copy, purple-covered format as part of a Joint Doctrine Professional Library Desk Set.4 The Chairman also made the joint doctrine library available on the Internet. Since then, the joint doctrine development community has revised JP 3-0 in 2001, 2006, and 2011. There also was a Change 1 in 2008 to ensure continuity with JP 1, Doctrine for the Armed Forces of the United States, and a Change 2 in 2010 to incorporate text on cyberspace and cyberspace operations.