Joint Force Quarterly 81

Joint Force Quarterly 81

(2nd Quarter, April 2016)

The Joint Force after Huntington

  • Fighting Ebola
  • Defense Entrepreneurship

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Executive Summary

By William T. Eliason

In a previous career, I was a strategic- and operational-level planner. One of the many quotations I learned early on was from one of World War II’s great leaders who himself was an effective staff officer, General Dwight D. Eisenhower. Speaking at a gathering of American business leaders well into his second term as President, Ike related a story about a group of officers who were working out how to employ large formations before the Great War broke out. These officers were using maps of the central terrain in Europe, but their superiors at Leavenworth told them to use maps with more familiar U.S. terrain including Gettysburg and other Civil War venues. It seems that planning for the last war is not something new. Unknowingly, the planners’ first intuition to use European battlegrounds was correct; a few years later the maps selected were dead center on the battlefields of 1914–1918, but in Ike’s view, the skills they developed in the planning effort were more important than the plans they produced. He felt so strongly about the value of the planning process that he told these industrialists, “Plans are worthless, but planning is everything. There is a very great distinction because when you are planning for an emergency you must start with this one thing: the very definition of ‘emergency’ is that it is unexpected, therefore it is not going to happen the way you are planning” (remarks at the National Defense Executive Reserve Conference, November 14, 1957). Later, as a planner, I told my teammates that planners learn to plan, and then plan to plan again. Nothing was ever fixed because a plan was only a reflection of the information available at the time. The key to success was how well planners learned from their experiences. This constant renewing is essential for developing the minds of those involved than whether the plan would be useful.

Crafting and Managing Effects: The Evolution of the Profession of Arms

By James G. Stavridis, Ervin J. Rokke, and Terry C. Pierce

Recent operations conducted against U.S. businesses and citizens have reemphasized a critical vulnerability in how the U.S. Government thinks about and defends itself against nonkinetic instruments of power. This is particularly true in the manmade domain of cyber. In December 2014, a high-profile breach of Sony Pictures Entertainment was linked to a state-sponsored cyber attack by North Korea. Apparently, North Korea was motivated by opposition to the film The Interview, a comedy about the assassination of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un. The Obama administration responded to Pyongyang’s alleged cyber attacks on Sony by imposing sanctions against the country’s lucrative arms industry. It is too soon to tell whether this response was appropriate and effective. However, the apparent difficulties we faced in determining how best to respond indicate that the assumptions underlying the definitions and responsibilities of our military profession, most of which emerged following World War II and the beginning of the Cold War, are badly in need of updating to accommodate new forms of warfare.

Errors in Strategic Thinking: Anti-Politics and the Macro Bias

By Celestino Perez, Jr.

How can military professionals improve U.S. strategic performance? If General Martin Dempsey, who served as President Barack Obama’s principal military advisor, is correct, American strategic performance too often surprises and disappoints. Strategic discontent, which arises from the failure to conjoin strategic intent and actual outcomes, may well be the default expectation, whereas strategic satisfaction is the rare surprise.

Strategy 2.0: The Next Generation

By Margaret M. Polski

There is widespread concern and a great deal of collective handwringing these days about defense strategy. Seasoned observers will note that this is not a new problem. The environment that General Shalikashvili described in introducing the 1994/1995 Autumn/Winter issue of Joint Force Quarterly in the epigraph above is strikingly familiar 20 years later: conflicts in regions formerly at peace, the changing role of alliances and the range of situations in which we are called upon to use the military, the ambiguity and proliferation of threats around the world, and the ever-quickening pace of change in science and technology that nourishes competitors and substantially reduces the time it takes for a force to go from state-of-the-art to obsolescence.

Rediscovering the Art of Strategic Thinking: Developing 21st-Century Strategic Leaders

By Daniel H. McCauley

At a time when global instability and uncertainty are undeniable, the demand for astute American global strategic leadership is greater than ever. Unfortunately, tactical superficiality and parochial policies of convenience are undermining joint strategic leader development and the ability to operate effectively around the world. Tactical supremacy and the lack of a peer competitor have contributed to strategic thinking becoming a lost art. This critical shortfall has been recognized for a number of years. General Anthony Zinni, USMC (Ret.), and Tony Koltz stated in their 2009 book Leading the Charge that leaders today have no vision and consequently have “lost the ability to look and plan ahead.” Trapped within rigid bureaucracies, today’s joint strategic leaders immerse themselves in current operations, reacting to, rather than shaping, future events.

Strategic Agility: Theory and Practice

By Charles H. Jacoby, Jr., with Ryan L. Shaw

As the combatant commander for the homeland, every day I contemplated the extant and emerging threats to our people, territory, and way of life. Defense of the homeland in depth was one of the strategic ends that I was charged with, and like the other combatant commanders (CCDRs) who are faced with sustaining U.S. leadership and protecting U.S. interests in a complex and dangerous world, I worked with my staff to find effective ways to employ available means in support of my assigned strategic ends. I also had responsibility for the accrued risk. This is the strategic calculus that all CCDRs must continually manage in the face of changing realities. In the homeland, the consequences of miscalculation come at the direct expense of our people and way of life.

JPME Today

Sustaining the "New Norm" of Jointness

By Case Cunningham, Patrick Donahoe, Mike Jernigan, and Michael Riggins

On May 25, 2011, a platoon from the U.S. Army’s 1st Battalion, 133nd Infantry Regiment, was ambushed near the village of Do Ab, Nuristan Province, Afghanistan. An estimated force of more than 300 Taliban engaged the small unit. As mortars and rocket-propelled grenades exploded around the Americans, two U.S. Air Force joint terminal attack controllers (JTACs) contacted a U.S. Air Force MC-12 tactical reconnaissance aircraft to relay requests for air support to other aircraft. While the Soldiers fought the Taliban, who outnumbered them roughly five to one, the JTACs directed fires from Air Force F-16s, F-15Es, and AC-130s; Navy F/A-18s; and Army AH-64s and OH-58s. The battle raged for 12 hours before the Taliban abandoned their attempts to overrun the platoon. More than 250 enemy forces were killed during the engagement. No American lives were lost.

The Future of Senior Service College Education: Heed the Clarion Call

By Charles D. Allen and Edward J. Filiberti

In 2014, Joint Force Quarterly (JFQ) helped stimulate professional dialogue on joint professional military education (JPME) by establishing a new section titled “JPME Today.” This article continues the discourse on JPME policy issues. Although initially directed by the Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986, jointness has grown to become an integral part of our military culture. Applying the U.S. Army leader development framework, the three pillars of joint training, joint work experiences, and JPME all served to reinforce competencies and helped acculturate jointness within a heretofore Service-centric military.

Officers Are Less Intelligent: What Does It Mean?

By Matthew F. Cancian

The American military is not getting the leaders it needs for the complexities of 21st-century warfare. This refrain has been a centerpiece of the “Force for the Future” initiative, and now there is some hard evidence to support it. According to data obtained from a Freedom of Information Act request, the intelligence of new Marine Corps officers has declined steadily since 1980. Two-thirds of the new officers commissioned in 2014 would be in the bottom one-third of the class of 1980; 41 percent of new officers in 2014 would not have qualified to be officers by the standards held at the time of World War II. Similarly, at the top of the distribution, there are fewer of the very intelligent officers who will eventually become senior leaders.


Fighting Ebola: An Interagency Collaboration Paradigm

By Ross F. Lightsey

An old fable tells that a single stick by itself is weak; bundled with others, however, the stick will be much stronger. Likewise, during the world’s 2014–2015 response to the Ebola crisis in Liberia, interagency, intergovernmental, and international forces were strong and firmly united, moving forward with a singular agenda. If, on the other hand, all 100-plus organizations had not been united by the Liberian government to stamp out Ebola, the effort would have been weak and ineffective.

Harnessing the Influence of Senior Enlisted Leaders

By Paul Kingsbury

Over the past 11 years I have had the privilege to serve as a senior enlisted leader (SEL) in a variety of billets. I have engaged with a wide audience of enlisted and officer leaders in a variety of formal and informal settings. Although I have been fortunate to work for many officers who valued my skill sets, it has become clear to me that many leaders are not fully harnessing the influence and capabilities of their SELs. SELs today now serve on a much broader scale than perhaps in previous generations, influencing and advising Service and Department of Defense (DOD) leaders and staffs at the operational and strategic levels—but perhaps we have failed to completely consider and effectively communicate the full value we can provide. It is important for commanders to understand the full potential of the SEL position to align expectations and ensure they know how to get “max return on investment” from us; similarly, as SELs, we must understand how our roles and influence change in these billets to ensure we are providing maximum value to our commanders.


Cheap Technology Will Challenge U.S. Tactical Dominance

By T.X. Hammes

The convergence of dramatic improvements in the fields of robotics, artificial intelligence, materials, additive manufacturing, and nanoenergetics is dramatically changing the character of conflict in all domains. This convergence is creating a massive increase in capabilities available to increasingly smaller political entities—extending even to the individual. This new diffusion of power has major implications for the conduct of warfare, not the least of which are the major hazards or opportunities that it presents to medium and even small powers. The outcome will depend on the paths they choose.

The Missing Lever: A Joint Military Advisory Command for Partner-Nation Engagement

By Kevin D. Stringer

With the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and the subsequent requirement to retrain a partially collapsed Iraqi military and provide advisors to moderate elements of the Syrian opposition, the primacy of the military advisory mission for U.S. forces comes again to the forefront. Though the tradition of military advising efforts is ancient, modern U.S. efforts began with Korea and Vietnam and continue with Iraq and Afghanistan. The military advisory mission has proved cost effective with relatively small footprints and inexpensive technologies, while leveraging foreign partners. These characteristics make the advisory focus both attractive and effective in today’s sequestration environment.

Back to Basics on Hybrid Warfare in Europe: A Lesson from the Balkans

By Christopher J. Lamb and Susan Stipanovich

The complex mix of aggressive behaviors Russia used in Georgia and Ukraine is commonly referred to as hybrid warfare, defined by one scholar as “a tailored mix of conventional weapons, irregular tactics, terrorism, and criminal behavior in the same time and battle space to obtain political objectives.” North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) leaders fear Russia will use hybrid warfare to destabilize or occupy parts of Poland, the Baltic states, or other countries. They are trying to devise more effective responses to counter such a possibility. Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg asserts that NATO must adapt to meet the hybrid warfare threat. Speaking at the same event, U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter agreed and suggested “part of the answer” was “increased readiness, special operation forces, and more intelligence.” Several months earlier, Carter’s deputy, Robert Work, declared the United States also needed “new operational concepts” to confront hybrid warfare. Meanwhile some NATO countries are establishing special units to counter hybrid warfare tactics, and the U.S. Congress has required the Pentagon to come up with a strategy to counter hybrid warfare.

Economic Development in Counterinsurgency: Building a Stable Second Pillar

By Patrick H. Donley

The future of U.S. participation in counterinsurgency (COIN) is uncertain, but not so the probability that future adversaries will avoid U.S. conventional military dominance by using asymmetric, unconventional methods. As COIN theorist David Kilcullen warns, “Any smart future enemy will likely sidestep our unprecedented superiority in traditional, force-on-force, state-on-state warfare. And so insurgency . . . will be our enemies’ weapon of choice until we prove we can master it.”1 Unfortunately, because no two insurgencies are exactly alike, mastering COIN will be a perpetual endeavor.

Defense Entrepreneurship: How to Build Institutions for Innovation Inside the Military

By James Hasik

Fears of slipping dominance are driving an American push for military innovation. But while the accomplishments of American industry are enviable, not all innovation is grounded in technology or flows from the private sector. The U.S. Armed Forces have a considerable history with internally driven innovation, and today a new class of innovators is emerging within the Services. These public entrepreneurs watch for opportunities, make decisions under uncertainty, and then meld the factors of change in sticky (that is, locally commercialized) ways. Their entrepreneurship sometimes falters, as the controlling tendencies and vested interests of the bureaucratic apparatus resist. Defense entrepreneurs must overcome greater barriers than those faced by private entrepreneurs, but policymakers could speed their progress by building the right organizational models in staffing, structures, and incentives.


If We Fight Joint, Shouldn't Our History Reflect That?

By David F. Winkler

American forces are fighting joint as never before in conjunction with the armed forces of allied nations. Joint and combined operations in Afghanistan and Iraq and current operations over Iraq and Syria have demonstrated conclusively that the Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986 came at the right time and has subsequently produced impressive results.

Book Reviews

Book Review: Counterinsurgency in Crisis

Reviewed by F.G. Hoffman

Writing in his seminal The British Way in Counter-Insurgency, David French concluded that the United Kingdom had created a “chequered history of gathering, analyzing, and disseminating the lessons” from its irregular campaigns. This conclusion contrasts with Dr. John Nagl’s case study of Britain’s superior organizational learning in Malaya in his Eating Soup with a Knife. Both books focused on Britain’s imperial past. More recently, veterans from the United Kingdom’s campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan have sided with French, stating that “despite our institutional [counterinsurgency] heritage,” the study of small wars “[has been] relegated to a position of almost complete institutional irrelevance.” This is now reinforced by a new assessment of British operations, Counterinsurgency in Crisis, which argues that Her Majesty’s armed forces overestimated the relevance of their past imperial policing to contemporary challenges.

Book Review: Clausewitz

Reviewed by John T. Kuehn

Donald Stoker, a professor of strategy and policy at the Naval Postgraduate School, has written what could be labeled a military biography of Carl von Clausewitz. One might reasonably ask why a biography of the Prussian general and military theorist is necessary, given Peter Paret’s towering intellectual biography Clausewitz and the State (Princeton University Press, 1985).

Book Review: Superforecasting

Reviewed by Michael J. Mazarr

Philip Tetlock has worked for decades on the problem of judgment in national security affairs. He became justly renowned for his book Expert Political Judgment: How Good Is It? How Can We Know? (Princeton University Press, 2006), which demonstrated, among other things, that foreign policy experts were no more accurate in their forecasts than “monkeys throwing darts.” Tetlock’s somewhat alarming finding led to a series of intriguing questions: Just how good can judgment become? Can we do better than the “experts”?

Joint Doctrine

Interorganizational Cooperation III of III: The Joint Force Perspective

By James C. McArthur et. al.

This article completes a trilogy on interorganizational cooperation—with a focus on the joint force perspective. The first article discussed civilian perspectives from across the U.S. Government and their challenges in working with the military and highlighted the potential benefits of enhancing unity of effort throughout the government. The second article presented humanitarian organization perspectives on interfacing with the military and served to illuminate the potential value of increased candor and cooperation as a means to develop mutually beneficial relationships. In this final installment, the discussion focuses on how the joint force might assess and mitigate the issues raised by the first two articles through application of the joint doctrine development process. This article also explores how joint doctrine can assist in developing and sustaining the relationships that are essential for building effective and cooperative processes in the operational environment. Although the authors accept that cultures and missions vary widely among different types of organizations, we suggest there is a mutual benefit to be achieved from deep understanding of not only one’s own organization but also each other’s perspectives, methods, and structures.

Thoughts on Force Protection

By Richard E. Berkebile

One of the prime objectives of an adversary is to inflict damage on the joint force. With thinking enemies, vulnerability is an inescapable characteristic of conflict, and every joint force will have vulnerabilities. Contemporary threats transcend space far easier than in the past, and operational protection is not confined to lethal threats to formations located in hostile environments overseas. With modern technology, even individual Servicemembers can be targeted directly or indirectly through families or communities and by both lethal and nonlethal means. For example, in August 2015 the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant published the names, photographs, and addresses of 100 U.S. military personnel and encouraged sympathetic individuals to attack them.

Joint Doctrine Update

By The Joint Staff

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