Joint Force Quarterly 87

Joint Force Quarterly 87

(4th Quarter, October 2017)

Questioning Doctrine

  • An Interview with Joseph L. Lengyel
  • 2017 Essay Competition Winners

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To the Editor

By General Colin L. Powell

I enjoyed your Executive Summary in the recent issue of JFQ that described the beginnings of JFQ. I congratulate everyone who has worked on the magazine since its birth. I am proud of what they have accomplished.

Marine Corps Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, meets with Japan Self-Defense Force Adm. Katsutoshi Kawano, Chief of Staff, Joint Staff, at the Ministry of Defense in Tokyo, Aug. 18, 2017. (DOD photo by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Dominique A. Pineiro)

From the Chairman: Allies and Partners Are Our Strategic Center of Gravity

By General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr.

While U.S. global leadership is the product of much more than our military capabilities, the competitive military advantage we possess is vital to our national power and the role we play on the world stage.


Army Gen.Colin L. Powell, (Ret.) speaks with Marine Corps Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, before the National Memorial Day Concert at the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol, Washington, D.C., May 28, 2017. The concert’s mission is to unite the country in remembrance and appreciation of the fallen and to serve those who are grieving. (Dept. of Defense photo by Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Dominique A. Pineiro/Released)

Executive Summary

By William T. Eliason

All of us would like direct feedback on how we are performing our missions. We hope that someone would reach out to let us know our hard work is meaningful and respected. Usually, however, we continue our work without direct encouragement, hoping it will have the impact we want to achieve.

Spc. Wacey Connor of the Arkansas National Guard completes the confidence course of the 2017 Army National Guard Best Warrior Competition July 18, 2017, at Camp Ripley Training Center, Minnesota. Minnesota National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Paul Santikko

An Interview with Joseph L. Lengyel

By William T. Eliason

I have never seen a more capable organization that does those kinds of things in our business model. As for the warfighting priority, I have watched the Guard mature from a good, solid, and competent contributor to one now that is able to deploy anywhere in the world immediately with our Active component joint force partners. We can play any role that we are asked to play; we have the capacity as a Guard Force contributor to do that.

Latvian joint terminal attack controllers and joint fires observers perform tactical movements for a close air support training mission with C Company, 125th Infantry Regiment, Wyoming, Mich., July 28, 2015, at Grayling Air Gunnery Range at Northern Strike 15. NS 15 is an annual training exercise on CGJMTC that assesses joint air-to-ground capability and involves hundreds of military personnel from 20 different states as well as Canada, Latvia, Poland and Australia. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Scott Thompson/released)

The Operational National Guard: A Unique and Capable Component of the Joint Force

By Joseph L. Lengyel

Since the attacks on 9/11, we have seen a confluence of factors shaping our security environment that presents challenges much different from the past. Globalization, the rise of near-peer powers and regional actors, sociological changes, and extreme weather are some of the most significant factors that make our security environment dynamic and complex, both at home and abroad, with the pace of change accelerating.

The sun rises over an MQ-9 Reaper remotely piloted aircraft at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., Dec. 16, 2016. The 49th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron supports the 6th Reconnaissance Squadron as well as the 9th and 29th Attack Squadrons, enabling the graduation of pilots and sensor operators in support of the Air Force's largest formal training unit. Additionally, Airmen with the 49th AMS continuously deploy in support of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance requirements. (U.S. Air Force photo by J.M. Eddins Jr.)

Open Sources for the Information Age: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Unclassified Data

By James M. Davitch

After years of major spending on intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) collection capabilities, the Intelligence Community (IC) is beginning to make a commensurate investment in technology to improve intelligence analysis. However, absent a change that recognizes the increasing value of open source information, the IC will not realize a return on its investments.

Marine sets up M18A1 claymore mine during Exercise Cobra Gold, February 14, 2014, at Ban Chan Krem, Kingdom of Thailand (U.S. Marine Corps/Adam Miller)

The Use of Explosives in Cities: A Grim but Lawful Reality of War

By Thomas Ayres

Refugees flowing out of the Middle East pose a serious humanitarian crisis for Europe and the world at large. The indiscriminate use of violence by the so-called Islamic State (IS), the unlawful actions of the Syrian regime, and the conduct of some of the warring factions precipitated and continue to fuel this crisis. Consequent to the indiscriminate use of force and explosives in cities, the flow of Syrian refugees has caused some to call for a complete ban on the use of explosive weapons in cities or urban areas. But to what end? Let’s not learn the wrong lessons from this calamity.

United Nations Security Council unanimously adopts Resolution 2199 (February 12, 2015) condemning any trade, in particular of oil and oil products, with ISIL (Daesh), Al-Nusrah Front, and any other entities designated as associated with al Qaeda (Courtesy UN/Loey Felipe)

Follow the Money: Targeting Enemy War-Sustaining Activities

By Jeffrey Miller and Ian Corey

We see them every day on the highways and byways of America—18-wheel trailers and tankers hauling the goods and resources that drive the American economy. From this commerce, revenue is developed, and from this revenue, taxes are drawn—taxes that ultimately provide the manpower and equipment for the Nation’s Armed Forces. If the so-called Islamic State (IS) were to attack these vehicles on America’s highways, we would call it terrorism. Take those same tankers, however, fill them with oil drawn from or refined in IS-controlled fields or facilities, target them on a north-bound dirt road in Syria or Iraq, as U.S. and coalition forces have been doing in Operation Inherent Resolve, and what would we call it? We would call it the lawful use of force against a military objective. So, what is the difference?

Essay Competitions

Winners of the 2017 Essay Competition

By NDU Press

NDU Press Congratulates the Winners of the 2017 Essay Competitions.

View of Ground Zero, New York City, N.Y., Sept. 14, 2001. On Sept. 11, 2001, four coordinated terrorist attacks were carried out in the United States using U.S. passenger airliners with two of the attacks on One and Two World Trade Centers. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Mark C. Olsen/Released)

The Risk of Delay: The Need for a New Authorization for Use of Military Force

By Travis W. Reznik

In September 2014, President Barack Obama announced a four-part plan to systematically destroy the so-called Islamic State (IS), a plan that included sustained military operations in Iraq, into Syria, and “wherever [the terrorists] are.” While President Obama welcomed congressional support for the effort in order to show the world that America was united in confronting this new danger, he claimed the executive branch had the authority to unilaterally approve such use of military force against IS. The President’s justification rested on two congressional resolutions passed into law over a dozen years earlier: the 2001 and 2002 Authorizations for Use of Military Force (AUMFs). Despite specifically authorizing the use of military force against those responsible for the 9/11 attacks and the terrorist threat posed in Iraq, respectively, the 2001 and 2002 AUMFs have remained the primary basis for our nation’s counterterrorism efforts abroad for over 15 years. Yet during this period, the world has witnessed the collapse of Saddam Hussein’s regime, death of Osama bin Laden, proliferation of new terrorist groups across the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Africa, and the international expansion of IS.

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (May 15, 2012) An upperclass midshipman gives a briefing to first-year midshipmen, or plebes, participating in the annual Sea Trials at the U.S. Naval Academy. Sea Trials is modeled after the Marine Corps’ Crucible and the Navy’s Battle Stations recruit programs. It is a capstone event for the fourth class midshipmen and serves as a leadership challenge for the upper class midshipmen who lead each event during the exercise. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Chad Runge/Released)

Butter Bar to Four Star: Deficiencies in Leader Development

By Benjamin Ray Ogden

This article carefully unpacks the ideas that rigid cultural norms, faulty officer management practices, and significant flaws in professional military education (PME) generate damaging gaps in the development of commissioned Army officers in the Active component.

Bashar al-Asad, August 2011 (Fabio Rodrigues Pozzebom/Agência Brasil)

Asadism and Legitimacy in Syria

By Nathaniel Kahler

On July 11, 2011, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asserted that Syrian President Bashar al-Asad had lost his “legitimacy,” presaging a U.S. policy favoring regime change in Syria.1 In August 2011, President Barack Obama stated that the “future of Syria must be determined by its people, but [Asad] is standing in their way. For the sake of the Syrian people, the time has come for [Asad] to step aside.” However, nearly 6 years later, Obama has left office, while Asad rules a contiguous stretch of population centers and the majority of Syrians left in Syria. Mainstream analysis explains Asad’s resilience as a result of external factors, namely Russian and Iranian support, lack of alignment of foreign aid to opposition forces, and a subdued U.S. response to Asad and prioritization of fighting the so-called Islamic State. Likewise, analysis on the internal factors focuses the narrow but loyal support the regime enjoys from the ruling Alawite sect.3 The illegitimacy of the regime is assumed.


PACIFIC OCEAN (Aug. 17, 2017) Chief selects run in formation during an Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) 5k run on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71). Theodore Roosevelt is underway conducting a composite training unit exercise (COMPTUEX) with its carrier strike group in preparation for an upcoming deployment. COMPTUEX tests a carrier strike group's mission readiness and ability to perform as an integrated unit through simulated real-world scenarios. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Alex Perlman/Released)

Toxic Culture: Enabling Incivility in the U.S. Military and What to Do About It

By Kenneth Williams

Core values are the heart and soul of U.S. military Services and their cultures. Military organizational, strategic, operational, and tactical strength lies in the degree to which the Services’ systems, processes, and behaviors of personnel align with their stated core values, the collective practice of which creates organizational culture. Yet even with the emphasis on core values such as respect and selfless service, the Department of Defense (DOD) continues to experience toxic and counterproductive behaviors that sabotage culture and values, as well as performance, productivity, force protection, health, readiness, and actions of personnel.1 Although DOD has not conducted comprehensive research on toxic behavior, there is extensive private-sector research regarding the impact, cost, tolerance, enabling, and reduction of toxicity. This article applies private-sector research to assess DOD policies and practices and to recommend courses of action. Although the implications and cost of toxicity are beyond the scope of this article, a brief discussion is relevant for demonstrating its significance. Private-sector research has identified relationships between toxic behaviors and adverse effects on mental and physical health (including suicide, stress-related illness, and post-traumatic stress), increasing demands on an already overburdened healthcare system; job satisfaction and commitment; individual and collective performance (cognition and collaboration); employee turnover; and the creation of an organizational culture that tolerates other inappropriate behaviors including sexual harassment and discrimination.2 In addition to the impact on direct targets of toxicity, research has identified the transmission of adverse effects to bystanders and family members.3

GLENO, Timor Leste (June 15, 2016) Spc. Kayla Sutton, a native of Lake Helen, Florida, assigned to USNS Mercy (T-AH 19), hands out basic hygiene kits to local Timorese children at the Dona Ana Lemos Escuela elementary school during a Pacific Partnership 2016 health outreach event. Service members donated supplies provided by Project Hand Clasp, and educated kids on preventative health measures for basic hand washing, oral hygiene, water safety and mosquito protection. Pacific Partnership 2016 marks the sixth time the mission has visited Timor Leste since its first visit in 2006. Medical, engineering and various other personnel embarked aboard hospital ship Mercy are working side-by-side with partner nation counterparts, exchanging ideas, building best practices and relationships to ensure preparedness should disaster strike. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class William Cousins/Released)

Increasing Partner-Nation Capacity Through Global Health Engagement

By Bertram C. Providence, Derek Licina, and Andrew Leiendecker

Why the Department of Defense (DOD) and international military sector writ large engage in global health is well documented.1 How DOD conducts global health engagement (GHE) in a systematic way is not. While pundits representing the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Joint Staff, combatant commands, Service components, and other organizations codify DOD policy for GHE, individuals and units implementing this broad guidance from 2013 to today continue to do so in a patchwork manner.2 Using the Indo-Asia Pacific region as a case study, this article presents the background regarding the current state of GHE in the region, develops a standardized GHE approach for engagement, and informs a partner-nation 5-year strategy.

Local boys observe activity within village of Sharmai, Paktika Province, Afghanistan, February 18, 2013, as Human Terrain Teams speak with locals (U.S. Army/Raymond Schaeffer)

Human Terrain at the Crossroads

By Brian R. Price

The U.S. Army’s Human Terrain System (HTS) was created in 2007 amid fears of defeat in Iraq and Afghanistan. Responding to clear needs expressed by military leadership, HTS was offered as an experimental effort to embed academic social scientists with Army and Marine Corps units to dramatically increase local sociocultural knowledge on the battlefield.1


ATLANTIC OCEAN - A U.S. Coast Guard Academy officer candidate practices navigating using the stars and a sextant during an evening training session aboard United States Coast Guard Barque Eagle Sept. 13, 2012. Officer candidates spend two weeks aboard the Eagle during their training to further develop their seamanship, teamwork and leadership skills. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Lauren Jorgensen)

Are There Too Many General Officers for Today’s Military?

By Gregory C. McCarthy

There are approximately 900 Active-duty general/flag officers (GO/FOs) today of 1.3 million troops. This is a ratio of 1 GO/FO for every 1,400 troops. During World War II, an admittedly different era, there were more than 2,000 GO/FOs for a little more than 12 million Active troops (1:6,000). This development represents “rank creep” that does not enhance mission success but clutters the chain of command, adds bureaucratic layers to decisions, and costs taxpayers additional money from funding higher paygrades to fill positions. As end-strength fluctuates, force structure and strength projections for the next decade show the uniformed Services maintaining substantial excess capacity at senior ranks. Although historical numbers are inexact guides and future threats could radically change circumstances, the case for reduction is strong. The Department of Defense (DOD) should reduce the numbers, billets, and percent of GO/FOs in each Service to increase efficiency, streamline decisionmaking, achieve modest cost savings, and enhance accountability of decisionmaking.

U.S. Air Force Reserve Maj. Elisa Klitzke, a pilot with the 731st Airlift Squadron, pilots a C-130 Hercules during this years Central Accord exercise in Libreville, Gabon on June 15, 2016. U.S. Army Africa’s exercise Central Accord 2016 is an annual, combined, joint military exercise that brings together partner nations to practice and demonstrate proficiency in conducting peacekeeping operations. (DoD News photo by TSgt Brian Kimball)

Exploring a New System of Command and Control: The Case for U.S. Africa Command

By Michael G. Kamas, David W. Pope, and Ryan N. Propst

The Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) proposed several changes to improve the organization of the combatant commands (CCMDs) in its markup of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2017. The first provision seeks to focus the CCMDs on their primary warfighting mission supporting the National Defense Strategy, limiting CCMD participation in other important, but nonessential, mission sets. A second proposal would “require the Secretary of Defense to conduct a pilot program on an alternative organizational structure at one combatant command . . . replacing the Service component commands with joint task forces [JTFs] focused on operational military missions. The Committee believes that this could provide lessons for improving the integration of operational efforts across the command, streamlining unnecessary layers of management, and reducing the number of staff.”1 Converting the command and control (C2) structure of a geographic CCMD from a group of Service component commands to a set of JTFs is achievable, despite congressionally mandated reductions in headquarters staff personnel and lack of a major combat operation in theater. While the final version of the NDAA removed this requirement, U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM) would have been the ideal CCMD to test and evaluate this new C2 structure.

Apollo 16 Hasselblad image of Earth from the moon (NASA)

The Role of Space Norms in Protection and Defense

By Audrey M. Schaffer

Over the past decade, the United States has participated in a variety of activities intended to shape international norms for outer space activities. The Oxford English Dictionary defines a norm as “That which is a model or a pattern; a type, a standard.” In the outer space context, norms have come to mean both “top down” high-level principles intended to inform the development of new international legal regimes and “bottom up” best practice guidelines intended to inform day-to-day operations.1 Both types of space norms have their value, but the latter have received the most attention in recent years because of their potential to enhance space safety and sustainability as the number of space actors grows and the nature of space activities changes. Much as roadway traffic rules prevent accidents and reduce congestion, safety-focused “space traffic management” norms, such as limiting debris, avoiding collisions, and sharing space surveillance information, can reduce the likelihood of accidents and protect valuable orbital regimes from the deleterious effects of long-lived space debris. All who operate in space will benefit from a more safe, predictable, and efficient operating environment.


Largest amphibious landing since end of World War II, September 15, 1950, at Inchon Harbor, Republic of Korea (U.S. Army/31st Infantry Regiment)

Time in War

By Phillip S. Meilinger

Time has always been considered a key element in war. Speed, by definition, derives from time: “distance traveled divided by the time of travel” is the usual definition. Over two millennia ago, Sun Tzu remarked on its importance, noting that “speed is the essence of war” and “divine swiftness” is to be “esteemed.”1 Carl von Clausewitz believed similarly, commenting that time had a major psychological effect that would help provide secrecy as well as speed.2 Not just theorists, but also practitioners (such as Napoleon as quoted in this article’s epigraph) have recognized the importance of time and timing in war. But what is time?

Book Reviews

Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides's Trap?

Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides's Trap?

By James R. Cricks

Harvard sage Graham Allison has chosen to focus his considerable foreign policy expertise on the preeminent question of our age: how can we avoid a future war between its two most powerful nations? This book is a historically driven analysis of a topic he previously discussed in a prominent 2015 Atlantic article on the “Thucydides Trap.” In the classic work on the Peloponnesian War, Thucydides described the case of a disastrous conflict between a rising Athens and an established Sparta that brought Greek preeminence to a close. As a new U.S. administration grapples with a similar relationship, Allison provides key insights on the nature of the current problem while offering clues on how it can be successfully managed. He asserts a U.S.-China war is not inevitable, but conflict will continue to intensify as rising Chinese strength causes great concern for the United States and its allies.

G.S. Isserson and the War of the Future

G.S. Isserson and the War of the Future: Key Writings of a Soviet Military Theorist

By Ofer Fridman

On December 8, 1594, William Louis of Nassau, one of the commanders of the Dutch army, sent a letter to his cousin, Maurice of Nassau, in which he suggested a new way to deploy musketeers on the battlefield that significantly increased their rate of fire. He argued that six rotating ranks of musketeers could produce a continuous hail of fire, keeping the enemy at bay. This “volley” technique (known as the “European Countermarch” today) soon became the standard way of force deployment in European armies. It was part of the emerging military revolution that changed not only the ways to conduct wars but also the geopolitical balance in Europe and the general course of history.1 In 1532, 62 years before this pivotal work of the Counts of Nassau, another work of military significance was published—The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli. While this book did not deal with military deployment per se, its significance as one of the fundamental works on political-military relations has been widely acknowledged through the centuries.

How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything

How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything: Tales from the Pentagon

By Tammy S. Schultz

The reader of How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything: Tales from the Pentagon will cheer, groan, and have core beliefs reinforced and challenged—everything a good book should do. Rosa Brooks argues that warfare is changing, the military is taking on way too much, and U.S. national security is in peril as a result. The book is especially timely given calls for increased military spending while simultaneously drastically cutting State Department and foreign aid funding.

Joint Doctrine

Amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) test-fires a rolling airframe missile launcher to intercept a remote-controlled drone during an exercise to test the ship’s defense capability. America is currently underway with more than 1,000 Sailors and 1,600 embarked Marines conducting Amphibious Squadron/Marine Expeditionary Unit Integration operations in preparation for the ship’s maiden deployment later this year. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Demetrius Kennon/Released)

Robotic Swarms in Offensive Maneuver

By Jules Hurst

For many years, military scientists have contemplated the advent of swarming tactics as an evolution within maneuver warfare, and futurists have contemplated the execution of the tactics by cooperative teams of semi-autonomous drones.1 These projections expound on strengths demonstrated by hive-minded organisms such as bees or ants, which work cooperatively to defeat larger invaders through non-hierarchal communications. Other swarm theorists reference the deadly effectiveness of the ephemeral, loose formations of horse archers of the Asian steppe against less flexible foes.2 Whatever the source of inspiration, few authors move beyond the abstract employment of robotic swarms. To fully explore swarm utility in fire and maneuver, swarms should be inserted into the tactical concepts of today—chiefly, the five forms of offensive maneuver recognized under Army doctrine.

After continuous rains caused serious flooding in Haiti’s north, government agencies supported by UN mission in Haiti and World Food Program responded with evacuations, temporary shelters, and food and supplies distributions, November 11, 2014 (Courtesy UN/Logan Abassi)

The U.S. Government’s Approach to Food Security: Focus on Campaign Activities

By George E. Katsos

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr., stresses the importance of effective cooperation with nonmilitary organizations to promote a common operational framework and allocate critical information and resources. Per his direction, the joint force continues to inquire about and examine the nuances between organizational workforce cultures and methodologies. One area where military and nonmilitary workforce approaches differ is security. This article focuses on an aspect of security known in international circles and endorsed by the United Nations (UN) as human security.1 Threats to human security can be categorized in seven dimensions, one of which is food security.2 Complementing an initial installment on health security also published in Joint Force Quarterly, this article addresses the U.S. Government’s approach to food security with a focus on combatant command campaign activities.

U.S. Army and British paratroopers perform a static-line jump at Holland Drop Zone in preparation for Combined Joint Operational Access Exercise 15-01 at Fort Bragg, N.C., April 11, 2015. Combined Joint Operational Access Exercise 15-01 is an 82nd Airborne Division-led bilateral training event at Fort Bragg, N.C., taking place April 13-20, 2015. This is the largest exercise of its kind held at Fort Bragg in nearly 20 years and demonstrates interoperability between U.S. Army and British Army soldiers, U.S. Air Force, Air National Guard and Royal Air Force airmen and U.S. Marines. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Sean Martin/Released)

Joint Publication 5-0, Joint Planning

By Steve Townsend

The Joint Staff Director, Strategic Plans and Policy Directorate (J5), approved a new Joint Publication (JP) 5-0, Joint Planning. The publication, signed by the Director, Joint Force Development (J7), will be the fifth iteration of joint doctrine on planning since 1995.

Joint Doctrine Update

By The Joint Staff

Joint Doctrine Update.