Joint Force Quarterly 80

Joint Force Quarterly 80

(1st Quarter, January 2016)

Global Health Engagement

  • Inside U.S Cyber Command
  • American Wolf Packs

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Executive Summary

By William T. Eliason

As we publish this 80th issue of Joint Force Quarterly, we mark the transition of two of our biggest supporters and best commentators, the 18th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin E. Dempsey, and the Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Sergeant Major Bryan B. Battaglia, USMC. Each provided us with important insights about the joint force and should take great credit for and pride in stewarding two important and popular NDU Press books, Lessons Encountered: Learning from the Long War (2015) and The Noncommissioned Officer and Petty Officer: Backbone of the Armed Forces (2013). We wish them well in their future lives as we welcome the 19th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr., and the Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman, Sergeant Major John W. Troxell, USA, to the front of the joint force and JFQ team.

Eight Signs Our Afghan Efforts Are Working

By Richard H.M. Outzen

As the defense attaché tasked with reopening the U.S. Defense Attaché Office in Kabul, Afghanistan, beginning in late 2014, I had the opportunity to watch “fighting season 2015” unfold from a proximate vantage point.1 I returned with the impression that Afghanistan is better than it might have been—and stable enough to warrant continued investment. In this article, I contend that the high level of American (and Western) pessimism regarding Afghanistan’s security status deserves reexamination. I offer some thoughts on why pessimism has come to dominate policy debates on Afghanistan, as well as observations on the realities of Afghanistan in 2014–2015 that merit balanced reassessment. I then conclude with eight observations that provide some basis for optimism for 2016 and beyond.

Advising the Afghan Air Force

By Aaron Tucker and Aimal Pacha Sayedi

Successful advising requires skill in a broad range of competencies that includes political-military relations, operations, and acquisitions. Advising the Afghan air force’s airlift mission seeks to strengthen the legitimacy of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan as part of the counterinsurgency strategy of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). Training at the U.S. Air Force’s Air Advisor Academy supports the initial qualification of students as air advisors, while additional lessons are gleaned from studying the Soviet experience in Afghanistan in the 1980s. Finally, developing effective advising postures can be guided by a conceptual model that incorporates ideas outlined in Colonel John Boyd’s essay “Destruction and Creation”1 and by systems engineering techniques. This article breaks down the essential components of a successful air advising posture, applies it to the mission in Afghanistan, and concludes with a summary of key points and suggested areas for improvement.

Enhancing Security Cooperation Effectiveness: A Model for Capability Package Planning

By Thomas W. Ross

Developing key capabilities of partner nation militaries is an important pillar of U.S. national defense strategy. In critical missions, such as military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, building armed forces from the bottom up occupies a central role in overall campaign strategies. Elsewhere, the United States is seeking to develop the capabilities of select partner militaries to help them conduct or support distinct missions, such as counterterrorism or counterproliferation, to diminish risks to U.S. security. Enabling collective action through partner capacity-building plays as a leitmotif throughout President Barack Obama’s 2015 National Security Strategy, which asserts that “in addition to acting decisively to defeat direct threats, we will focus on building the capacity of others to prevent the causes and consequences of conflict to include countering extreme and dangerous ideologies.”1 The strategy expresses U.S. commitment to strengthening the capabilities of partners to fight terrorism, support peacekeeping missions, deter aggression, prevent conflict, and respond to regional crises.

Special Feature

Global Health Concepts, and Engagements: Significant Enhancer for U.S. Security and International Diplomacy

By Aizen J. Marrogi and Edwin Burkett

The United States and its global allies face a multitude of challenges to peace and stability. Civil wars in Syria, Yemen, Ukraine, and parts of Africa compound sectarian disorder in the aftermath of U.S. operations and subsequent withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan. Moreover, decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict, political unrest in Egypt and Turkey, and Iran’s attempts to dominate the region—countered by pushback from Saudi Arabia and Gulf allies—contribute to geopolitical turmoil. Compounding matters are the emergence of Daesh (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) and other extreme theocratic groups and the uprooting of more than 9 million human beings, causing a complex humanitarian catastrophe rarely witnessed in modern times. Against these overwhelming difficulties, Muslims, Arabs, and the rest of the world expect and anticipate U.S. forward engagement to help resolve many of these threats.

The Future of Department of Defense Global Health Engagement

By Gerald V. Quinnan, Jr.

The term global health has come into common usage in recent years and encompasses various matters relevant to health, including diseases that cross international borders, factors that affect public health globally, and the interconnectedness of health matters around the globe. Diseases that have been unevenly distributed across the world have been of concern to militaries for centuries, perhaps throughout history. Historians record that the decimation of Napoleon’s army during his invasion of Russia was the result of starvation, severe weather, and disease, the most important of which was typhus, which killed over 80,000 troops.1 His retreating army then spread typhus throughout Europe. Likewise, typhoid fever was a serious problem in World War I and the American Civil War.2 Spanish troops were severely affected by yellow fever during the Spanish-American War, and Spanish influenza had disproportionate and decisive effects during World War I.3 Colonization of Africa, Asia, and Latin America by Western powers led to increased awareness of diseases that were generally exotic to the imposing country, motivating interest in developing means of prevention and control of diseases. Examples of efforts emanating from such interest include the work of Walter Reed and William C. Gorgas in defining the transmission and prevention of yellow fever, research regarding cholera and diarrhea in Bangladesh, and the establishment of research laboratories (for example, the Pasteur Institute and Medical Research Council laboratories in Africa). Conversely, the invasion and colonization of foreign lands has also long been known to result in the introduction of exotic disease into the occupied lands, with the importation of smallpox and syphilis into North America by colonists as outstanding examples.

Separate and Equal: Building Better Relationships with the International Humanitarian Community

By Paul A. Gaist and Ramey L. Wilson

In today’s complex global landscape, understanding and taking the opportunities to build peace to prevent war are increasingly paramount if a stable and sustainable world is to be realized. As such, we need to sharpen the focus of the roles the military and the humanitarian assistance community have in this important call to action and, at the least, determine what each side needs to know about the other. This is especially true if we are to find those intersections and circumstances where the military and the humanitarian assistance community are able to work together and to recognize those where they cannot. Toward this goal, this article reviews the identity, principles, and culture of the humanitarian community, what it expects from military forces, and what it wants the military to consider when it is planning health engagement. Additionally, approaches and methods for constructive interaction between the military and community forces are proposed.

Global Health Engagement: A Military Medicine Core Competency

By Thomas R. Cullison, Charles W. Beadling, and Elizabeth Erickson

In his February 2014 testimony to the House Armed Services Committee, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Jonathan Woodson articulated six strategic lines of effort supporting then–Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel’s “six strategic priorities for reshaping our forces and institutions for a different future.” Dr. Woodson’s sixth line of effort was to “expand our global health engagement strategy.” This article is an overview of U.S. global health engagement, including such topics as current guidelines, health as a strategic enabler, health in disaster management, and future directions for global health engagement.

JPME Today

The Fourth Level of War

By Michael R. Matheny

Civilization began because the beginning of civilization is a military advantage.”1 This observation by Walter Bagehot is not far off the mark. Warfare certainly matured along with civilization as a violent expression of political will and intent. We currently view the art of warfare in three levels—tactical, operational, and strategic—but it was not always so. In the beginning, there were strategy and tactics. Strategy outlined how and to what purpose war might be used to achieve political objectives. Tactics directed how the violence was actually applied on the battlefield. For most of military history, tactical art was able to achieve strategic objectives as tribes, forces, and armies marshaled on the battlefield to destroy the enemy’s ability to resist their master’s political will. Although much debated, operational art was born at the end of the 19th century when the size of armies, made possible by the development of the nation-state, rendered tactics unable to bring about political results. Civilization has moved on. From a doctrinal, theoretical, and practical point of view, it is now time to consider a fourth level of war—the theater-strategic level of war.

Building Joint Capacity Within the Reserve Component

By Brent French

We should expect increased dependency on the Reserve Component (RC) due to post-sequestration, post–Operation Enduring Freedom force reductions within the Active Component (AC), and simultaneous plans to increase regional alignment throughout the RC.1 RC contribution to all echelons of combatant command planning and execution will expand to allow “military department apportionment of larger Reserve Component formations . . . to Combatant Commander OPLANs [operation plans].”2 Joint force presentation, planning, and administration will, by necessity, be a Total Force endeavor. This prompts inquiry into the current state and future sufficiency of joint competencies within the RC.3 After reviewing the constellation of laws, policies, and practices designed to produce joint qualified officers (JQOs), I believe the current system is serving the AC well but has unintentionally limited the joint potential resident in the RC officer corps to the detriment of the Department of Defense (DOD). In this article, I argue that “joint,” as defined by law and implemented within DOD, has become largely an AC competency and that national security would be better served by developing a new vision for joint competencies as component-neutral.


An Interview with Michael S. Rogers

By William T. Eliason

We are three organizations brought together under one leader because of the great synergy and complementary nature to the mission set among the three organizations. It was a very conscious decision to bring them together under one individual. You really get a lot of synergy by doing that, and you increase capability end-to-end as opposed to breaking it into three different components. Of the three hats, the two that I really focus on externally are commander of USCYBERCOM and director of the NSA.

Beyond the Build: How the Component Commands Support the U.S. Cyber Command Vision

By U.S. Cyber Command Combined Action Group

Networked technology is transforming society. That transformation has come with significant change to war and the military art. Until recently, cyber considerations rarely extended beyond the computers and cables that supported kinetic warfighting functions. The natural domains—land, sea, air, and space—dominated the planning and conduct of operations, while the risks entailed in using cyberspace for military purposes went largely unrecognized. Today, cyberspace ranks as its own warfighting domain—one that intersects the four natural domains.

Joint Force Observations of Retrograde Operations from Afghanistan

By Aundre F. Piggee, Matthew Bain, David Carlson, Richard Lliteras, Christopher Ostrander, Lawrence Pleis, Willie Rios, and Dennis Wilson

Numerous articles have highlighted the monumental and complex efforts by U.S. and coalition forces to draw down the force, close operating bases, and remove the equipment and supplies that accumulated throughout Afghanistan during 13 years of combat operations. The signing of the bilateral security agreement (BSA) late in 2014 with the Afghanistan government had a profound impact on our ability to close the retrograde mission by December 2014. Prior to the signing of the agreement, there was a legitimate concern that we would have to rapidly accelerate throughput across all available means and modes if conditions in the BSA were unfavorable to our forces and coalition partners. Anticipating this situation, the responsible force drawdown, materiel retrograde, and base closure and transfer missions were collectively the top priority for the commander of U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) throughout 2014.


Unconventional Warfare in the Gray Zone

By Joseph L. Votel, Charles T. Cleveland, Charles T. Connett, and Will Irwin

In the months immediately following the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon in the autumn of 2001, a small special operations forces (SOF) element and interagency team, supported by carrier- and land-based airstrikes, brought down the illegitimate Taliban government in Afghanistan that had been providing sanctuary for al Qaeda. This strikingly successful unconventional warfare (UW) operation was carried out with a U.S. “boots on the ground” presence of roughly 350 SOF and 110 interagency operatives working alongside an indigenous force of some 15,000 Afghan irregulars.1 The Taliban regime fell within a matter of weeks. Many factors contributed to this extraordinary accomplishment, but its success clearly underscores the potential and viability of this form of warfare.

The Aegis Warship: Joint Force Linchpin for IAMD and Access Control

By John F. Morton

Under defense strategic guidance, U.S. combatant commanders have been rebalancing joint forces along the Asia-Pacific Rim with recalibrated capabilities to shape the regional security environments in their areas of responsibility. The mission of what the 2012 guidance calls “Joint Force in 2020” is to project stabilizing force to support our allies and partners, and to help maintain the free flow of commerce along sea lines of communication in the globalized economic system.

Violent Nonstate Actors with Missile Technologies: Threats Beyond the Battlefield

By Mark E. Vinson and John Caldwell

During the summer of 2014, three overlapping crises involving violent nonstate actors (VNSAs) with missile technologies captured the world’s attention.1 First, for 50 days in July and August, Israel engaged in a major conflict with Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and other VNSAs that fired more than 4,500 rockets and mortars from the Gaza Strip at Israel.

The Criticality of Collaborative Planning

By Sarah Mussoni, Gert-Jan de Vreede, and Alfred Buckles

In both 2011 and 2012, the Barack Obama administration announced a pivot to the Asia-Pacific region. One of the factors necessitating this pivot was the strained relationship between China and Japan, as well as the U.S. bilateral agreement with Japan to provide security for it. Furthermore, recent disputes over the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea have placed a premium on how the United States postures to meet its obligations politically and militarily. President Obama confirmed that the U.S.-Japan bilateral security pact applies to the islands. The asymmetric nature of this situation demands a dynamic and flexible planning capability—not one focused only on military operations, but one that also integrates diplomatic, information, military, and economic dimensions of power into a coherent strategy.


The American Wolf Packs: A Case Study in Wartime Adaptation

By F.G. Hoffman

To paraphrase an often ridiculed comment made by former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, you go to war with the joint force you have, not necessarily the joint force you need. While some critics found the quip off base, this is actually a well-grounded historical reality. As one scholar has stressed, “War invariably throws up challenges that require states and their militaries to adapt. Indeed, it is virtually impossible for states and militaries to anticipate all of the problems they will face in war, however much they try to do so.”1 To succeed, most military organizations have to adapt in some way, whether in terms of doctrine, structure, weapons, or tasks.

Book Reviews

Book Review: Fighting the Cold War

Reviewed by Joseph J. Collins

As the Cold War fades from memory, it is essential that we study its course and absorb its lessons. In that spirit, General John “Jack” Galvin, USA (Ret.), who commanded U.S. Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) and U.S. European Command (USEUCOM), wrote a memoir, published several months before his death in September 2015, that is both an important lesson in history and a tutorial in strategic leadership. Written by a general who was also a prize-winning author and scholar, it is a delight to read. The real Galvin—son of Boston, family man, soldier-scholar, mensch—comes through on every page.

Book Review: Duty

Reviewed by Thomas F. Lynch III

Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War is a valuable work by a unique public figure. Former Secretary Robert M. Gates recounts his 4½ years at the helm of the Department of Defense overseeing two separate wars for first a Republican and then a Democratic President. In this regard, Bob Gates has no peer; he is the only Defense Secretary to serve for consecutive Presidents from opposing political parties.

Book Review: Knife Fights

Reviewed by Richard McConnell

John Nagl, the author of Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife, offers an intimate portrait of the education, experience, and practice that contributed to his emergence as one of the premier advocates of counterinsurgency (COIN) doctrine during the past decade. In Knife Fights he provides an unvarnished description of what it is like to advocate doctrinal change to a nation at war.

Joint Doctrine

Interorganizational Cooperation—Part II of III: The Humanitarian Perspective

By James C. McArthur, Andrew J. Carswell, Jason Cone, Faith M. Chamberlain, John Dyer, Dale Erickson, George E. Katsos, Michael Marx, James Ruf, Lisa Schirch, and Patrick O. Shea

Recent observations from U.S. military involvement in major combat operations in Iraq, counterinsurgency in Afghanistan, and humanitarian assistance in the United States, Haiti, and West Africa provide critical lessons for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to consider for future joint force development.1 This article is the second in a three-part series on interorganizational cooperation and focuses on the humanitarian perspective. In it, we demonstrate how one particular challenge can adversely impact people, the commonality of purpose, and organizational processes, namely, the difficulty in achieving a reciprocal mutual understanding of other organizations when seeking cooperation.

The Enduring IED Problem: Why We Need Doctrine

By Marc Tranchemontagne

As the Services and joint force update their doctrine after nearly a decade and a half of counter–improvised explosive device (IED) operations in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, now is a good time to consider what we have learned about operating in IED-rich environments. At the start of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2001, we lacked counter-IED doctrine—as well as counterinsurgency and counterterrorism doctrine—and had to figure things out on the fly. It was a steep learning curve with a high cost in lives lost and equipment destroyed, and the United States spent billions to counter a weapon that costs only a few dollars to make.

Joint Doctrine Update

By The Joint Staff

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