Joint Force Quarterly 76

Joint Force Quarterly 76

(1st Quarter, January 2015)

Joint Force Interdependence

  • Strength Through Diversity
  • Nonlethal Weapons

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Executive Summary

By William T. Eliason

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Navy Perspective on Joint Force Interdependence

By Jonathan Greenert

Looking ahead to the Department of Defense’s (DOD’s) fiscal prospects and security challenges in the second half of this decade and beyond, the Services and their partners will have to find ever more ingenious ways to come together. It is time for us to think and act in a more ecumenical way as we build programs and capabilities. We should build stronger ties, streamline intelligently, innovate, and wisely use funds at our disposal. We need a broader conversation about how to capitalize on each Service’s strengths and “domain knowledge” to better integrate capabilities. Moving in this direction is not only about savings or cost avoidance; it is about better warfighting.

Bringing Space Crisis Stability Down to Earth

By James P. Finch

Tensions in the South and East China seas have been elevated during the last year. Territorial disputes in these areas flare periodically, but historically the brinkmanship has largely been confined to encounters at sea, with maritime law enforcement vessels confronting fishing fleets as traditional naval forces lurk just over the horizon. Given that the objects of these political disputes are islands, shoals, and the vast resources around and beneath them, it is only natural that the armed instruments of power brought to bear would operate in close proximity to the territory in question.

JPME Today

Debunking Technical Competency as the Sole Source of Innovation

By Burton H. Catledge

Academic and governmental organizations have sounded the alarm that the United States is rapidly losing technical competence, and this decline places the Nation at risk. A 1983 National Science Foundation (NSF) report stated, “If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well view it as an act of war.” In 1999, Congress chartered the U.S. Commission on National Security/21st Century (also known as the Hart-Rudman Commission) to provide the most comprehensive Government-sponsored review of U.S. national security in 50 years. The report highlighted a lack of U.S. technical competence as a national security threat second only to the threat of weapons of mass destruction in the hands of terrorists. This article attempts to answer the question: “Does improving technical competency enhance innovation?”

Should Military Officers Study Policy Analysis?

By Nikolas K. Gvosdev

Recently, during a symposium with security studies faculty members from civilian institutions, the question arose as to how those of us who teach in the country’s professional military institutions approach the study and use of policy analysis in our classrooms. There was a certain degree of incredulity that places such as the Naval War College (and its sister institutions) would encourage their students—people bound by oath to faithfully execute the orders of the commander in chief—to probe and analyze decisions taken by the current and past Presidents as part of their academic experience. Indeed, many question whether military officers need to engage in the dissection and discussion of national security decisionmaking since, echoing Alfred Tennyson’s famous exhortation in his classic poem “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” “Theirs not to reason why/Theirs but to do and die.” Others take the view that, for military officers, ignorance may be bliss, following the advice popularly ascribed to the German chancellor Otto von Bismarck: “The less the people know about how sausages and laws are made, the better they sleep in the night.”

Assessing Causality in a Complex Security Environment

By Andrew L. Stigler

In May 2014, I was moderating a Naval War College seminar on the topic of U.S. policy in the Middle East. The discussion involved President George W. Bush’s statement that a democratic Iraq would serve as a “beacon of democracy” in the Middle East, leading nations and peoples in that region to reappraise their systems of government and, perhaps, initiate democracy movements of their own. A student raised his hand.

Next Steps for Transforming Education at National Defense University

By Christopher J. Lamb and Brittany Porro

National Defense University (NDU) is implementing major reforms in the graduate-level programs it provides senior military officers and other national security professionals. If all goes as planned, the result will be a transformation in the way the university educates senior national security leaders.1 This article does not review the status of current change initiatives. Instead, it looks beyond the changes under way for the 2014–2015 academic year and identifies future steps senior leaders might consider in order to maintain momentum for the transformation of joint professional military education.


A Strong Force Is a Diverse Fighting Force

By Larry O. Spencer

A strong fighting force is a diverse fighting force. Said another way, diversity equals combat power. Therefore, we should strive to have diversity, both up and down the ranks, because it makes us better. In addition to the benefits of diverse views and opinions, it is important for the top echelon of military leadership to reflect the diversity of the Nation—not to achieve numbers for the sake of achieving numbers, but because young enlisted members and officers need to see a way to top leadership positions if they have the drive and talent to get there.

Revisioning Strategic Communication through Rhetoric and Discourse Analysis

By William M. Marcellino

Strategic communication is an important but contested issue, visible in continuing criticisms over the last 5 years. One critique is that the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) definition of the term strategic communication is vague and idiosyncratic in relation to the definitions of other agencies. In turn, this argument runs, the lack of conceptual clarity and of shared, precise terminology hurts the implementation and further development of strategic communication. Additional concerns have been raised about the lack of both domestic interagency and foreign partner coordination and cooperation and the absence of credible expertise in strategic communication. Still, criticisms point to high-visibility failures in strategic communication—for example, the 2001 “Shared Values” campaign and the 2012 U.S. Presidential response to the “Innocence of Muslims” video—as evidence of both strategic communication conceptual flaws and implementation failures.

A Theater-Level Perspective on Cyber

By J. Marcus Hicks

Most U.S. military cyber professionals will tell you that “defense is the main effort” and that providing secure and reliable communication is job one. In practice, however, most cyber discussions focus on sophisticated computer hackers conducting exploitation (espionage) or attack (sabotage) operations. The reasons for this seeming contradiction include cyber espionage intrusions, industrial-scale intellectual property theft, and denial-of-service attacks that cost millions of dollars and naturally capture headlines and the imagination. Likewise, the potential for cyber attacks to disrupt infrastructure with kineticlike consequences provides fodder for books and articles that bridge reality and science fiction, empowering armchair theorists to contemplate a new and different type of war and warrior.


Refocusing the U.S. Strategic Security Perspective

By Linnea Y. Duvall and Evan O. Renfro

Since the early days of Cold War rivalry between the United States and Soviet Union, policymakers have recognized that low-intensity conflict and limited wars often occur in spite of deterrence—that is, using the threat of military force or coercion to change an adversary’s behavior. Because of this shortcoming and risk of escalation, the United States has applied deterrence haphazardly in its relationship with China. Yet U.S. policymakers have failed to identify an alternative approach for chronic disputes that are not readily shaped by military posturing. This deficiency is overlooked at the expense of muddling through commonplace confrontations with China over fishing rights, maritime borders, and cyberspace rather than establishing consistent mechanisms to reduce tension and prevent escalation. Some analysts, such as Richard K. Betts, see only two stark choices to address this dilemma: “accept China’s full claims as a superpower when it becomes one or draw clear redlines before a crisis comes.” However, we do not need to limit our options to deterrence or acceptance. Rather, we should complement deterrence with a more flexible, strategic framework focused on conflict management.

Nonlethal Weapons: A Technological Gap or Misdefined Requirements?

By Ofer Fridman

The internal and international conflicts that have taken place in the last few decades have significantly raised the issue of interacting with with civilian populations, a problem that has been worsened by urbanization. In the last few decades of the 20th century, a universal respect for human life became a crucial variable within the international community in general and Western societies in particular. In this new political reality, the military seeks new technologies that have “greater precision, shorter duration, less lethality, and reduced collateral damage . . . [as these technologies] may provide more effective power than their larger and more destructive, but also more inexact and crude, predecessors.” Nonlethal weapons (NLW) would seem to be the perfect answer for this military quest; however, observers point out that, to date, “few non-lethal weapons incorporating new technologies have actually been deployed on a large scale” and that “operational use of available non-lethal weapons by the military has been limited.” Despite the reasonable demand for the employment of less lethal military technologies on the battlefield, then, it seems that such technologies are still far from becoming a reality.

Challenges to Improving Combat Casualty Survival on the Battlefield

By Robert L. Mabry

The United States has achieved unprecedented survival rates (as high as 98 percent) for casualties arriving alive to a combat hospital.1 Official briefings, informal communications, and even television documentaries such as “CNN Presents Combat Hospital” highlight the remarkable surgical care taking place overseas. Military physicians, medics, corpsmen, and other providers of battlefield medical care are rightly proud of this achievement. Commanders and their troops can be confident that once a wounded Servicemember reaches the combat hospital, his or her care will be the best in the world.

Mosquitos: A Viable 21st-Century Soft Power Tool

By Mary Raum and Kathleen J. McDonald

Militaries and soft power have been interlinked since Alexander the Great began assisting the populations his armies conquered by rebuilding infrastructures and distributing food and first aid. Humane gestures by armies were considered important to winning loyalties. During the Napoleonic wars, military altruism had become customary enough to be included in soldiers’ military science studies. Napoleon viewed humanitarian assistance as a form of philanthropy that helped change civil social order among those populations his troops defeated on the European continent. Over time, measures of humanitarian aid have shifted as the sizes, types, and durations of conflicts have changed. Military roles now involve functioning as relief agents, participating as surplus disposal entities for old or outdated materials and machines, acting as international peacekeeping forces or as liberators, and delivering organized and rapid natural disaster relief. The latest addition to these scenarios is the performance of long-term humanitarian roles in peaceful settings with nations that may have a future potential value as allies.


Operation Cottage: A Cautionary Tale of Assumption and Perceptual Bias

By Del C. Kostka

In the summer of 1943, American and Canadian forces launched an amphibious assault on the north Pacific island of Kiska. Codenamed Cottage, the operation was intended to seize the last enemy stronghold on North American soil from Japanese occupiers. The assault began in the predawn hours of August 15 with a heavy coastal barrage by an armada of nearly 100 Allied warships. Intense fire support was followed by a chaotic but successful ship-to-shore movement of over 34,000 U.S. Army and Canadian combat infantrymen. For 2 long days, the invasion force slugged its way inland through thick fog and against the constant din of machinegun and artillery fire. By the time the island was declared secure, over 300 Allied soldiers lay dead or seriously wounded. Japanese casualties? There were none. The Japanese had abandoned the island almost 3 weeks prior.

Book Reviews

Book Review: The Roar of the Lion

Reviewed by Richard A. McConnell

Toye provides rich descriptions for readers to understand Churchill’s speeches through the political and informational environment existing at the time. Using research from a wide variety of sources, ranging from Gallup polls to diaries, Toye examines audience perceptions recorded immediately following speech delivery. Remarkably, some of Churchill’s most famous speeches were ill-received at the time while some of his lesser known speeches greatly influenced audiences. Toye explores an evolution of perception as contemporary audiences seemed to reinterpret over time some of Churchill’s speeches, ascribing to them mythic qualities that they did not possess when delivered. He explores this phenomenon resulting in a literary time capsule, which expertly describes this war of words over the will of a nation. Military and civilian leaders alike can learn much from this comprehensive discussion of strategic communication.

Book Review: A Scrap of Paper

Reviewed by Nicholas Rostow

This centenary of the beginning of World War I has spawned divergent reconsiderations of the war. Why should these different views and the Great War itself be of interest to readers of Joint Force Quarterly? The reasons concern everything from the nature of peace to military operations and innovation. World War I has had such a profound impact on the structure of our world that it has even made the subject of human misery an area of enduring interest. Nationally, of course, the war represents America’s entrance onto the world stage, followed by a short, costly effort to retreat, followed by the continuing leading role since 1945 or, perhaps more accurately, since December 7, 1941.

Book Review: Brothers Armed: Military Aspects of the Crisis in Ukraine

Reviewed by Michael Kofman

Brothers Armed is an edited anthology comprising several essays detailing the history of Crimea, the post-Soviet history of the Russian and Ukrainian armed forces, and a detailed account of Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March 2014. This volume is timely, especially given the dearth of existing scholarly sources on some of the subjects covered. It provides great insights into the annexation, comprehensively analyzes the historical context as well as the existing military balance, and delivers a full accounting in an objective and dispassionate manner.

Joint Doctrine

Seeing 2020: America's New Vision for Integrated Air and Missile Defense

By Geoffrey F. Weiss

On December 5, 2013, with the stroke of a pen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin E. Dempsey profoundly altered the U.S. approach to the pressing problem of air and missile defense. On that date—coincidentally, 70 years to the day after the U.S. Army Air Corps began Operation Crossbow, the Anglo-American bombing campaign against Adolf Hitler’s V-1 and V-2 missile forces and a missile defense milestone—General Dempsey signed the Joint Integrated Air and Missile Defense: Vision 2020.1 This seminal document for air and missile defense (AMD) outlines the Chairman’s guidance to the joint force and, by extension, to all the stakeholders that contribute to the air and missile defense of the U.S. homeland and its regional forces, partners, and allies. What makes the new vision both exceptionally timely and highly relevant is that it accounts for the volatility and reality of 21st-century strategic and threat environments characterized more often than not by rapid, enigmatic change.

Joint Doctrine Update

By Joint Staff

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