Joint Force Quarterly 82

Joint Force Quarterly 82

(3rd Quarter, July 2016)

Focus on Third Offset Strategy

  • China's Goldwater-Nichols?
  • Interagency Decisionmaking During the Mayaguez Incident

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Executive Summary

By William T. Eliason

History seems to have a greater attraction as we age. As the past stretches out, we often look to it in order to relate our experiences today to those we fondly (or not so fondly) remember. Recently, I was asked if Joint Force Quarterly could include more warfighting articles, particularly those that have a historical focus. I readily responded that we always are interested in such pieces, but we receive few submissions for our Recall section. A simple enough proposition, but in execution one that is fully dependent on inputs from our audience. I have frequently remarked that such articles have a much higher chance of acceptance for publication because we receive so few warfighting articles in comparison to what we publish.

Securing the Third Offset Strategy: Priorities for the Next Secretary of Defense

By Timothy A. Walton

Following a process of examining strategy, scenarios, and assessments, this article identifies for the next Secretary of Defense eight capability statements that merit attention as the Department of Defense’s (DOD’s) top new investment priorities as part of the Third Offset Strategy in the fiscal year 2018 budget and beyond. Additionally, this article recommends that reforms to the analytical processes informing force planning decisions in general and the Third Offset Strategy in particular be guided by increased selectivity, transparency, and commonality.

Twenty-First Century Information Warfare and the Third Offset Strategy

By James R. McGrath

It is well established that both state and nonstate adversaries are gaining parity with current U.S. military-technological capabilities, and as a result adversaries are eroding the tremendous asymmetrical conventional warfare advantages once exclusively enjoyed by U.S. forces. This leveling of the playing field has been enabled through decreased costs of modern information technology and low barriers of entry to attaining precision weapons; stealth capabilities; sophisticated commercial and military command and control (C2) capabilities; advanced intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR); and relatively cheap access to commercial and government-sponsored space and cyber capabilities. As a result, in November 2014, then–Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced the Defense Innovation Initiative to counter adversary technical and tactical progress that, if left unchecked, will ultimately hinder U.S. ability to project power across the globe and permanently challenge its aims of retaining its coveted status as a global hegemon. While there are many aspects to this initiative, the Third Offset Strategy, as outlined in policy, does not adequately address the need for advanced information operations (IO), particularly IO wargaming, modeling and simulation (M&S), and training systems. The purpose of this article is to make the case that increasing the investment in joint live, virtual, and constructive (LVC) IO wargaming and simulations will generate lasting asymmetrical advantages for joint force commanders and will significantly contribute to the achievement of the Third Offset Strategy.

Avoiding Becoming a Paper Tiger: Presence in a Warfighting Defense Strategy

By Elbridge Colby and Jonathan F. Solomon

The American military is reentering a period of competition. For the 20 years following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the U.S. military reigned supreme, nearly unchallengeable in any state-on-state contingency that Washington might seriously care to take on. This meant that a whole generation of U.S. policymakers and military professionals became accustomed to U.S. military dominance, a dominance that enabled, and in some cases even propelled, a more ambitious and assertive foreign policy.

JPME Today

Air Force Reserve security forces members storm an enemy compound during a training mission April 9, 2014, at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. The 710th and 310th Security Forces Squadrons held a six-day combat leaders course while living in field conditions. Each day’s mission is designed around the main objective of the day’s classroom instruction, placing practical application of combat maneuvers into complex mission environments. The 710th SFS is out of Buckley Air Force Base, Colo., and the 310th SFS is out of Schriever AFB. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Nicholas B. Ontiveros)

Switching the Paradigm from Reactive to Proactive: Stopping Toxic Leadership

By Mike Rybacki and Chaveso Cook

An overview of the current thoughts on toxic leadership and an actionable approach for countering and preventing the development of toxic leader environments.

Measuring Strategic Deterrence: A Wargaming Approach

By Douglas R. Ducharme

During the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, President John F. Kennedy weighed a number of factors to assess the potential effectiveness of U.S. actions to deter the Soviets from further deployment of medium-range nuclear missiles in Cuba. Kennedy realized that an existing missile gap gave the United States an assured second-strike capability, but Soviet missiles in Cuba would make the consequences of a Soviet first strike much costlier. For example, U.S. extended-deterrence strategies would be at risk, which could suggest that the United States might not risk nuclear war if the Soviets subsequently assaulted Berlin. Although Kennedy’s greatest fear was the potential for human error and accidental escalation during the standoff, he gained insight into Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev’s risk tolerance after receiving a rambling four-part cable from the seemingly stressed Soviet leader.1 In the end, it was the rational consideration of these factors from both his and Khrushchev’s perspectives that allowed Kennedy to assess relative resolve and select actions that would control escalation.


A Way Ahead for DOD Disaster Preparedness

By Frank C. DiGiovanni

On October 8, 2005, I was just 6 weeks into my assignment coordinating with the Pakistani military to keep the air logistics routes open through Pakistan into Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and to coordinate coalition, Afghan, and Pakistani border operations. It was a pretty average deployment. That changed at 0850 local time. First, I heard a sound like a freight train and then the building began to rock like a cork bobbing, and the ground beneath us was acting more like liquid than solid, with visible ripples moving toward us. The ground continued to move for what seemed like forever, and one of my Pakistani friends asked me, “Is this the end of the world?” I answered, “No,” but his question did give me pause. Finally, after almost 6 minutes, the noise subsided and the ground stopped moving. I did not know it at the time, but I had just experienced one of the largest earthquakes ever recorded in Pakistan. According to one source, the “shallow earthquake registered a 7.6 magnitude on the Richter scale.” The earthquake “epicenter was located approximately 19 km north-northeast of the city of Muzaffarabad, the capital of the Pakistani-administered part of Kashmir,” and “100 km north-northeast of Islamabad.”

The U.S. Pacific Command Response to Super Typhoon Haiyan

By Thomas Parker, Sean P. Carroll, Gregg Sanders, Jason E. King, and Imes Chiu

On November 6, 2013, Haiyan (known locally as Yolanda) became what many described as the strongest storm on record to make landfall. According to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Haiyan had winds of up to 200 miles per hour, with gusts of up to 225 miles per hour. Haiyan affected 9 out of the 17 regions in the Philippines. With over $86 million in total U.S. assistance, the U.S. military response efforts comprised more than 13,400 military personnel, 66 aircraft, and 12 naval vessels, which delivered over 2,495 tons of relief supplies and evacuated more than 21,000 people. More than 1,300 flights were completed in support of the relief effort, delivering goods and services to approximately 450 sites. As of July 2014, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) estimated that a total of 16 million people were affected by Haiyan.

Baltic battalion soldiers during city battle training day in San Gregorio, Spain, October 24, 2015, during Trident Juncture 2015 (NATO/Siim Teder)

#SocialMediaMatters: Lessons Learned from Exercise Trident Juncture

By Gregory M. Tomlin

Headquarters from the brigade to combatant command levels must understand how to establish credibility and gain popularity through social media if they are to effectively shape the information environment during modern military operations.


China’s Goldwater-Nichols?
Assessing PLA Organizational

China's Goldwater-Nichols? Assessing PLA Organizational Reforms

By Phillip C. Saunders and Joel Wuthnow

In the past few months, China has announced a series of major reforms to the organizational structure of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA): the Central Military Commission (CMC) has been revamped, the four general departments dissolved, new service headquarters created, and five new theater commands established in place of the seven military regions (MRs). These changes are part of a sweeping transformation of PLA institutions, force structure, and policy that will be ongoing through 2020. In pursuing these reforms, China’s leaders hope both to tighten central political control over a force that was seen as increasingly corrupt and to build the PLA into a credible joint warfighting entity. Yet important obstacles remain, and it may be years before the implications of these reforms come into full view.

What It Means to Be Expeditionary: A Look at the French Army in Africa

By Michael Shurkin

Former U.S. Army Chief of Staff General Raymond Odierno elaborated a vision for the Service’s future that left many questions unanswered. Specifically, he called for the Army to be more expeditionary as well as more scalable, tailorable, and regionally aligned. General Odierno’s successor and the current Army Chief of Staff, General Mark Milley, similarly has spoken of the need for the Army to be “agile,” “adaptive,” and “expeditionary,” and to have an “expeditionary mindset.” Lieutenant General Gustave Perna, writing in the March–April 2016 issue of Army Sustainment, has also evoked the imperative of having an “expeditionary Army.” What, however, do these terms mean? What would it take for the Army to realize the generals’ vision, and what, if any, are the associated risks?

Sharpening Our Cultural Tools for Improved Global Health Engagement

By Suzanne Leclerc-Madlala and Maysaa Alobaidi

The central theoretical concept in all life sciences is adaptation, the idea that things change over time. Unlike other species, we humans have the full benefit of a dual system of inheritance; that is, we use (or are shaped by) both biological and cultural systems of adaptation. Both systems work in a similar way. Through the process of sexual reproduction, we inherit genetic traits from our parents, and through the process of learning, we inherit culture from our social group. Culture is a central concept in the study of human beings, and its existence has played a major role in the success of our species, including our success with combating, controlling, and containing disease.

The Primacy of COG Planning: Getting Back to Basics

By Steven D. Kornatz

Center of gravity (COG) continues to be a popular topic in military journals, blogs, and lectures. Many recent discussions have tended to be ambivalent at best toward the value of the concept of COG. Several of these dialogues present detailed contrarian views to the validity of Carl von Clausewitz’s much analyzed theory of COG (or Schwerpunkt, as presented in On War). They discuss how this theory is too complex to be used by U.S. military planners. However, the painstaking discussion of Clausewitz is done at the expense of missing the fact that the refined, modern-day view of COG is a critical concept for planners to understand and apply. When done correctly, COG planning methodology is the primary practical way to link an objective to a course of action (COA). This is not to assert that proper employment of COG methodology is always easy. Application in certain scenarios may be complex, but the important aspect of COG methodology is that when properly employed, it is the foundation of and gives direction to COA development.


Abandon Ship: Interagency Decisionmaking during the Mayaguez Incident

By Richard B. Hughes

In the spring of 1975, Cambodia’s communist Khmer Rouge government seized a U.S. merchant ship, the SS Mayaguez, leading the United States to mount a joint operation to rescue the ship and its crew. The focus of this effort became an assault on Koh Tang, a small island in the Gulf of Thailand approximately 30 miles from the Cambodian mainland.1 Despite the notable evolutions in joint and interagency doctrine in the more than 40 years since this incident, it remains strikingly relevant because of the nature of the challenges it presented to interagency decisionmakers: a short timeline, limited intelligence, forces not tailored to the mission, an unpredictable opponent, and fevered public interest. At the time, the “Mayaguez Incident” was generally viewed as a success. A more sober review, however, shows that the military operation nearly ended in disaster. A close examination of interagency decisionmaking reveals a series of pitfalls, including intelligence failures, poor interagency communication, and incomplete assessment of risk. These factors led the National Security Council (NSC) to make decisions that had little chance of furthering President Gerald Ford’s foreign policy objectives and that placed U.S. forces at grave risk. Military and civilian leaders would do well to review the lessons of this crisis, lest they make the same mistakes in the future.

Book Reviews

National Insecurity and What Good Is Grand Strategy

Reviewed by Brian C. Collins

Imagine the following scenario: The President of the United States commits our military to confronting a difficult challenge in the Middle East. With mounting losses and growing economic costs, the American people and their representatives in Congress become increasingly critical of and vocal in their opposition to administration policies. This criticism centers on charges that the President and his advisors are operating without a clear plan of action and have no strategy to speak of.

Blood Year

Reviewed by Thomas C. Greenwood

Students of strategy and defense policy who have closely tracked the war on terror since 9/11 will find David Kilcullen’s new book both enlightening and discouraging. It is enlightening because he carefully weaves years of field study, scholarly research, and thoughtful analysis into a compelling work that is rich in insights and brutally honest in its judgments. Yet it is discouraging nonetheless. After taking the reader on a rich journey through the rise and fall of al Qaeda, the emergence of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), an analysis of the inconclusive campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, the collapse of order in the Middle East, the brutal civil war in Syria, and the largest dislocation of refugees since World War II, he offers the reader few policy recommendations on how we might rediscover strategic clarity and advance U.S. national interests in a multigenerational war against violent extremism.

The U.S.-China Military Scorecard and China's Military Power

Reviewed by Thomas McNaugher

Over the past 20 years China’s military spending, a low priority in the 1980s, has grown, in real terms, at roughly 11 percent per year. At the same time, the focus of China’s military strategy has pivoted sharply from an army-centric “people’s war under modern conditions” aimed to blunt a Soviet attack from the northwest to an air and naval force–centric emphasis on “local wars under informationized conditions” along the country’s long coast, with the United States as the principal adversary. It has been a prodigious transformation, modeled after—and surely provoked by—the U.S. military’s own transformation.

Joint Doctrine

The Multinational Interoperability Council: Enhancing Coalition Operations

By Michelle L. Pryor, Thomas Labouche, Mario Wilke, and Charles C. Pattillo, Jr.

Throughout history, coalitions have played an important role in military operations. In today’s globalized world, nations are becoming even more likely to take part in an operation as part of an alliance or coalition, rather than engaging in operations on their own.1 Whether the operation involves an established alliance or an ad hoc coalition, interoperability between multinational forces is imperative to achieving mission success. To be successful in the anticipated complex and shifting operating environment, coalition forces must identify and address potential strategic and operational challenges and interoperability concerns well in advance. This requires an investment in areas of common doctrine development, coalition planning, exercises, and experimentation. Early identification of the potential challenges can improve the speed and quality of decisionmaking and enhance unity of effort within a coalition. The Multinational Interoperability Council (MIC), led by senior operators of the member nations, focuses on understanding and addressing contemporary strategic and operational challenges and risks.

The Tao of Doctrine: Contesting an Art of Operations

By G. Stephen Lauer

According to Army Doctrine Publication (ADP) 3-0, Unified Land Operations, “Operational art is the pursuit of strategic objectives, in whole or in part, through the arrangement of tactical actions in time, space, and purpose.” With this definition, the U.S. Army broke with both its prior doctrinal paradigm of an operational level of war and the joint model in Joint Publication (JP) 3-0, Joint Operations, of the three levels of war. In contrast to ADP 3-0, however, Army Doctrine Reference Publication 3-0, Unified Land Operations, emphasizes the joint definition, acknowledging an operational level: “Operational art is applicable at all levels of war, not just to the operational level of war.” Thus, a contested delineation of operational art entered the cognitive space of schools and commands throughout the Army. This article is not specifically about whether there should or should not be an operational level of war; rather, it is concerned with the concept of “doctrine” and its relationship to history and theory in the context of an operational art.

Joint Engineers Launch New Knowledge-Based Management Program

By Brian E. Griffin

After more than 3 years in development, the Joint Staff Logistics Directorate will field its first joint engineering computer application: the Joint Engineer Common Operating Picture (JECOP). Its purpose is to aid combatant command and Service engineers with steady-state planning, programming, and the synchronization of engineer efforts for worldwide military operations. The JECOP portal serves as a collaborative knowledge management tool that depicts network information on a map in order for end-users to quickly gather and analyze location data for a variety of purposes including data summary, trend analysis, infrastructure planning, and decision support. The portal also provides users access to real-time authoritative data linked to strategic direction via map-based displays and user-defined views.

JPME II Available at Satellite Sites

By Kenneth Pisel

Joint Professional Military Education, Phase II (JPME II) is a career milestone for joint warfighters and was designed and implemented to assist with the development of military leaders. The Department of Defense (DOD) Joint Officer Management Program mandates JPME II for an officer to be designated a Level III Joint Qualified Officer and eligible for promotion to O-7.1 This requirement generates a high demand signal for JPME II, but that demand is tempered by constraints in both the law and the existing infrastructure. The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2016 modified the language in Title 10 U.S. Codes that define JPME II and authorized JPME II–granting institutions (for example, Joint Forces Staff College (JFSC) and Service war colleges) greater flexibility in presenting their curricula.2 The result is that JPME II is now exportable to sites away from the traditional residential campuses. Preserving academic outcomes and associated resource requirements will determine how this flexibility allows the schools to best support the joint warfighter.

Joint Doctrine Update

By The Joint Staff

Joint Doctrine Updates.