Joint Force Quarterly 78

Joint Force Quarterly 78

(3rd Quarter, July 2015)

An Interview with Martin E. Dempsey

  • 21st-Century SOF
  • American Land Power in Korea

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Executive Summary

By William T. Eliason

Every so often we find ourselves in a place where we can take time to assess where we are, where we have been, and where we think we are going—and check it against where we think we should be ending up. This edition of JFQ offers two interviews that are assessments of events past, present, and future. Both are of stories not yet complete: one, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq; the other, the production of the F-35 fighter aircraft.

Islamic Radicalization in Kenya

By William R. Patterson

An attack carried out by the al-Qaeda affiliated terrorist group al-Shabaab on the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya in September 2013 drew renewed attention to the extremist threat facing that country. This attack was only the latest in a string of terrorist incidents stretching back to the late 1990s. It should serve as a stark reminder to the U.S. that terrorism remains a significant threat to its national interests in Kenya and in the Horn of Africa more generally.

The Arctic Domain: A Narrow Niche for Joint Special Operations Forces

By Kevin D. Stringer

Global climate change has catapulted the Arctic into the center of geopolitics, as melting Arctic ice transforms the region from one of primarily scientific interest into a maelstrom of competing commercial, national security and environmental concerns.

Rapid Regeneration of Irregular Warfare Capacity

By Stephen Watts, J. Michael Polich, and Derek Eaton

There is widespread agreement among the public and in the foreign and defense communities that the United States should avoid “another Iraq” or “another Afghanistan”—that is, another large-scale, long-term, and highly costly stability operation. President Obama’s reluctance to put “boots on the ground” in Iraq is but the most recent example of this reaction against the high costs and questionable outcomes of the conflicts in those two countries.

JPME Today

Quo Vadis? The Education of Senior Military Officers

By Charles D. Allen

This article considers approaches to teaching senior military officers at the U.S. Army War College (USAWC). It reviews the results of several studies and surveys from the employers of our graduates and from recent graduates themselves on how best to them prepare for future assignments in the volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous strategic environment.

Vertical and Horizontal Respect: A Two-Dimensional Framework for Ethical Decisionmaking

By George H. Baker, Jr. and Jason E. Wallis

Everyone wants to be a good person; at least that tends to be a fundamental assumption about most of the people we work with in the Department of Defense (DOD). Yet the newspapers are frequently filled with articles about officers, enlisted members, and civilians falling from grace. Why do so many people make bad choices?

Waffles or Pancakes? Operational- versus Tactical-Level Wargaming

By Dale C. Eikmeier

Many planners agree that operational level ‘war gaming’ using the Joint Operation Planning Process (JOPP) is different from tactical level war gaming using the Military Decision Making Process (MDMP) or the Marine Corps Decision Process (MCDP). But they struggle with understanding the differences because service and joint doctrine only describe their processes and do not compare or point out differences between the processes.


An Interview with Christopher C. Bogdan

By William T. Eliason

On May 12, 2015, Dr. William T. Eliason, Editor in Chief of Joint Force Quarterly, interviewed Lieutenant General Christopher C. Bogdan, USAF, Program Executive Officer for the F-35 Lightning II Program, at Bogdan’s office in Arlington, Virginia.

Turnaround: The Untold Story of the Human Terrain System

By Clifton Green

The U.S. Army’s Human Terrain System (HTS), a program that embedded social scientists with deployed units, endured a rough start as it began deploying teams to Iraq and Afghanistan in 2007. These early experiences had a lasting impact on the program. Although critics have written extensively about HTS struggles with internal mismanagement, most accounts simply cataloged problems, yielded little insight into the organization’s progress over time, and ultimately gave the impression that HTS was never able to make needed corrections.

On Military Professionalism and Civilian Control

By Carnes Lord

Recently, the subject of military “professionalism” has gripped the attention of top echelons of the Department of Defense (DOD) to a degree that is perhaps unprecedented. Most notably, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) General Martin E. Dempsey has directed each of the Services to review and rearticulate its understanding of the profession of arms in the context of its particular missions, traditions, and practices.


Detangling the Web: A Screenshot of U.S. Government Cyber Activity

By G. Alexander Crowther and Shaheen Ghori

Blackouts. School testing. Electrical grids. Insurance. These all have one major thing in common: they have all been targets for cyber attacks in a period of two weeks during March 2015. The United States faces thousands of cyber assaults every day. States, state-sponsored organizations, other groups and individuals all combine to incessantly probe, spy on, and attack public and private organizations as well as denizens of the United States. These ongoing problems require a U.S. Government response, so it adopted a bureaucratic approach that has resulted in a complex system that is constantly evolving as new problems are recognized. This article provides a comprehensive look at how the United States has organized to address these challenges. Although U.S. Government efforts seem sizable, private use of the Internet dwarfs government usage.

One Size Does Not Fit All: The Multifaceted Nature of Cyber Statecraft

By Andrea Little Limbago

To better evaluate the strategic implications of cyber as a domain in which to achieve national security objectives—from antiaccess/area denial to governance, democratization, and economic growth—policymakers need a rigorous, multifaceted framework that examines cyber statecraft not only as a military tool, but also as a more holistic form of statecraft. Such a framework is long overdue to help make sense of the great technological disruption that continues to shape the international political system. While the military component is essential, cyber statecraft is often viewed only through this coercive lens, when in fact it is much broader.

Understanding the Indications and Warning Efforts of U.S. Ballistic Missile Defense

By Thomas K. Hensley, Lloyd P. Caviness, Stephanie Vaughn, and Christopher Morton

The critical mission of defending the U.S. homeland—homeland defense—requires a fully integrated capability to identify, categorize, and fuse strategic and tactical indications and warnings (I&W) by U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM), North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM), and U.S. Pacific Command (USPACOM). Today’s fiscally constrained environment may encourage decisionmakers to eliminate perceived I&W “redundancies” and create an I&W stovepipe for weapons release authorities (WRAs). In a mission area where time is of the essence and failure would result in grave damage to national security, such an arrangement would create an unacceptable risk to homeland defense.

Spinning the Top: American Land Power and the Ground Campaigns of a Korean Crisis

By John Johnson and Bradley T. Gericke

Gashed from the yellow earth and scarred by lacerating wire bound to steel posts, the moment Korea’s Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) comes into view, you cannot avoid the impression that you are witness to a crime. In a way, you are. The DMZ is an ominous wound from an unfinished conflict dividing the Korean Peninsula and serving as a boundary between incarceration and freedom. It carves its way between Korea’s sharp-sloped green hills only 20 short miles from the megacity of Seoul and its surrounding environs with its 25 million people who, after decades of economic development, are enjoying increasingly prosperous lives. The DMZ both signifies suffering already endured and foreshadows violence yet to come. It represents a status quo inter-bellum, which cannot endure. It is like no other place in the world. And the complex strategic and operational challenge that it poses to America’s joint force is likewise daunting.

Making Soup with Stones: JMTC Partnership and the NATO Connected Forces Initiative

By John G. Norris and James K. Dunivan

First published in Europe in 1947 by Marcia Brown after World War II, many children have grown up reading a classic story titled “Stone Soup.” Most of us are probably familiar with this tale, based on French folklore, of three hungry and tired soldiers approaching a village where the peasants hid their meager rations of food upon learning of their approach. In a wily and enterprising solution, the soldiers begin boiling a large pot of water in the town square as they profess to make soup from three small stones. The people of the village, impressed by this notion, begin contributing bits and pieces of meat and vegetables to create a meal for everyone, thus highlighting the power and importance of cooperation and what small contributions by all can produce for the greater good.


The Limits of Airpower or the Limits of Strategy: The Air Wars in Vietnam and Their Legacies

By Mark Clodfelter

For most of the world’s population, America’s air wars in Vietnam are now ancient history. The first U.S. bombing raids against North Vietnam, conducted in response to attacks by North Vietnamese patrol boats on the destroyer USS Maddox in the Tonkin Gulf, occurred a half-century ago this August. Seven months later, America began its longest sustained “strategic bombing” campaign, Operation Rolling Thunder, against the North. That effort, and the Linebacker campaigns that followed, dropped a million tons of bombs on North Vietnam. Three million more tons fell on Laos and Cambodia—supposedly “neutral” countries in the conflict. Four million tons fell on South Vietnam—America’s ally in the war against communist aggression. When the last raid by B-52s over Cambodia on August 15, 1973, culminated American bombing in Southeast Asia, the United States had dropped more than 8 million tons of bombs in 9 years. Less than 2 years later, Cambodia, Laos, and South Vietnam were communist countries.

Book Reviews

Harlem's Rattlers and the Great War

Reviewed by Alan L. Gropman

In 1903, W.E.B. Du Bois, the eminent American sociologist, scholar, and leader, wrote that “the problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color-line.” Recent events in Ferguson, Missouri; Staten Island, New York; Cleveland, Ohio; and North Charleston, South Carolina should make us realize that, despite America’s recent racial progress, the problem of the 21st century is still the color-line. Harlem’s Rattlers lays bare the bigotry that African-American citizens faced in the early 20th century and, more importantly, details the innumerable accomplishments by black American soldiers despite the racism propagated by the President of the United States, U.S. military, and bigoted American civilians.

Book Review: The Modern Mercenary

Reviewed by T.X. Hammes

At their peak, contractors comprised more than 50 percent of U.S. personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan. Furthermore, despite complaints about contractor performance, the Pentagon has stated that contractors will make up half of any future U.S. force deployments. Why? Because they work. This reality requires defense professionals to seek a deeper understanding of what contractors do and the implications for future conflict—making Sean McFate’s The Modern Mercenary a very timely book. In it, he not only carefully examines contractors, but also describes the changing international environment in which they will operate.

Book Review: Meeting China Halfway

Reviewed by Christopher Nelson

China is on the minds of many today. In fact, an informal term has been coined for the group of scholars and defense officials who spend most of their waking hours thinking, talking, and writing about China. They are so-called China Watchers. In no other foreign policy realm is a similar term used with such frequency. This alone should give everyone pause. Watching for what, exactly?

Joint Doctrine

Three Approaches to Center of Gravity Analysis: The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant

By Daniel J. Smith, Kelley Jeter, and Odin Westgaard

Since the establishment of the center of gravity (COG) concept as a fundamental planning factor in joint military doctrine, its proper identification has been considered crucial in successful attainment of desired objectives. Joint Publication 5-0, Joint Operation Planning, states, “This process cannot be taken lightly, since a faulty conclusion resulting from a poor or hasty analysis can have very serious consequences, such as the inability to achieve strategic and operational objectives at an acceptable cost.”

Joint Doctrine Update

By The Joint Staff

Joint Publications (JPs) Under Revision (to be signed within 6 months)