Joint Force Quarterly 91

Joint Force Quarterly 91

(4th Quarter, October 2018)

Complementary Engagement 

  • A Smarter Approach to Cyber Attack Authorities
  • 2018 Essay Competition Winners

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U.S. Air Force Academy Class of 2017 marches toward their seats during graduation in Colorado Springs, Colorado, May 24, 2017 (DOD/James K. McCann)

Executive Summary

By William T. Eliason

Editor-in Chief Bill Eliason asks what kind of leaders does the military need. Our authors have answers from across the Joint Force. Our essay competition winners cover topics from China’s expansion in the South China Sea to Russia’s peacekeeping offer in the Ukraine to the rules of engagement and the risks of misinformation cyber warfare. Throughout this issue, we deal with hot topics: Special Forces in multi-domain battle, the long-term transformation of the Joint Force, air power during the Korean War, the doctrine of strategic airpower as it continues to evolve, and newly revised joint logistics doctrine.

Soldiers assigned to 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) conduct urban operations training near Stuttgart, Germany (U.S. Army/Jason Johnston)

Complementary Engagement: An American-Led Response to Rising Regional Rivals

By Stephan J. Pikner

The concept of Complementary Engagement emphasizes capacity-building among US allies and partners while proposing a revised military structure and posture. The goal is to counter aspiring regional hegemons who have expanded their ambitions and capabilities, particularly China, Iran and Russia. Although these regional hegemons cannot match the global reach of the former Soviet Union, they still pose a threat. Therefore, says the author, the US should invest in ballistic missile defense, long range strike capabilities and nuclear weapons, and rebalance our alliances to encourage a more equitable sharing of the defense burden.

Pilot Training Next students train on virtual reality flight simulator at Armed Forces Reserve Center in Austin, Texas, June 21, 2018 (U.S. Air Force/Sean M. Worrell)

Beyond the Third Offset: Matching Plans for Innovation to a Theory of Victory

By James Hasik

The Third Offset Strategy was introduced by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in 2014, which drew from previous offset strategies and focused on innovative ways to sustain the US’s power projection capabilities. In its current formulation, says the author, the Third Offset is essentially a technology strategy which offers no enduring competitive advantage. Therefore, we should simplify the meaning of offset strategy to focus on nullifying an adversary’s advantage by imposing costs that would dissuade them from turning into enemies. Based on this, military strategists should contemplate organizational and doctrinal changes rather than rely on uncertain technologies.

Essay Competitions

Twenty-nine senior faculty members from the 15 participating PME institutions took time out of their busy schedules to serve as judges. Their personal dedication and professional excellence ensured a strong and credible competition.

Winners of the 2018 Essay Competition

By NDU Press

NDU Press is proud to support the annual Secretary of Defense, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and JFQ George C. Maerz essay competitions. NDU Press hosted the final round of judging on May 17–18, 2018, during which 29 faculty judges from 15 participating professional military education institutions selected the best entries in each category. The First Place winners in each of the three categories are published in the following pages.

Sailors signal to MV-22 Osprey during flight quarters aboard USS Ashland, East China Sea, March 10, 2017 (U.S. Navy/Kaleb R. Staples)

Coercive Gradualism Through Gray Zone Statecraft in the South China Seas: China’s Strategy and Potential U.S. Options

By Kapil Bhatia

Coercive Gradualism is the incremental employment of coercive instruments of national power in a synchronized and integrated fashion below the threshold of military conflict. In response to aggressive regional challenges, such as China’s use of Coercive Gradualism in the South China Sea, the US needs to develop and implement a coherent strategy utilizing all diplomatic, informational, military and economic options. This essay won the 2018 Secretary of Defense National Security Essay Competition. The author, Captain Kapil Bhatia of the Indian Navy wrote this as a student at the US Naval War College.

Combined Air Operations Center at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, provides command and control of airpower throughout Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and 17 other nations (U.S. Air Force/Joshua Strang)

Political Warfare with Other Means: 2017 Cyber Attacks on Qatar

By Edwin Y. Chua

Qatar’s state news agency falsely reported in 2017 that a Qatari Emir supported Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran and Israel. Although this cyberattack was ultimately unsuccessful, the author says we can and should learn from these events, and take a pre-emptive approach to prevent the spread of false and misleading information. This essay tied for first place in the Strategy Article category of the 2018 Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Strategic Essay Competition. The author, Major Edwin Y. Chua of the Singapore Army wrote this as a student at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College.

Eastern Ukrainian woman, one of over 1 million internally displaced persons due to conflict, has just returned from her destroyed home holding all her possessions, on main street in Nikishino Village, March 1, 2015 (© UNHCR/Andrew McConnell)

Peacekeepers in the Donbas

By Michael P. Wagner

The ongoing conflict in Eastern Ukraine between Ukrainian forces and separatists backed by Russia has the potential for peaceful settlement. Russian President Vladimir Putin surprised many observers when he proposed introducing peacekeepers in Eastern Ukraine. Putin’s proposal may be disingenuous, says the author, but may also be a real opportunity for peace. This essay tied for first place in the Strategy Article category of the 2018 Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Strategic Essay Competition. The author, Lieutenant Colonel Michael P. Wagner of the US Army wrote this as a student at the US Army War College.


NASA successfully hot-fire tested 3D printed copper combustion chamber liner with E-Beam Free Form Fabrication manufactured nickel-alloy jacket, March 2, 2018 (NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center/David Olive)

Additive Manufacturing: Shaping the Sustainment Battlespace

By Michael Kidd, Angela Quinn, and Andres Munera

The proliferation of 3D Printing technologies, also known as additive manufacturing is the subject of this essay. The authors explain the amazing possibilities of this emergent technology to shorten supply chains, produce hard-to-source parts, and deliver spare parts on demand, such as printed food and even printed human organs. There is no doubt that 3D Printing will expand into other fields, increasing flexibility and significantly shortening supply chains. However, there are still major hurdles to overcome before 3D Printing is fully implemented in a way that best supports the joint war fighter.

Navy Sky Raiders from USS Valley Forge fire 5-inch wing rockets at North Korean field positions, October 24, 1950 (U.S. Navy/Burke)

The U.S. Air Force and Army in Korea: How Army Decisions Limited Airpower Effectiveness

By Price T. Bingham

The US Air Force was key to halting the North Korean invasion and rescuing US Army forces during the Korean War. Unfortunately, US Army commanders made decisions that limited the effectiveness of US air power, says the author, which made the Korean War more costly than necessary. This historical analysis offers important lessons for the Joint Force. First is that joint doctrine must recognize the need to design ground maneuvers to enhance the effectiveness of air interdiction. And second is that each service has its own unique paradigm of war to achieve national security objectives.


Special forces launch surface-to-air missiles during training mission on Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, June 11, 2014 (U.S. Air Force/Tyler Woodward)

Beyond the Gray Zone: Special Operations in Multidomain Battle

By James E. Hayes III

The joint operational approach known as Multi-Domain Battle is the subject of this feature article. The demands of the future battlefield will be characterized by increased lethality, complexity and the loss of traditional US supremacy, and thus test the tactical skill and strategic acumen of Special Forces. Employment of Special Forces can give the Joint Force commander an advantage over conventional land, air and maritime forces in combat. To maximize their effectiveness in the Multi-Domain Battle environment, however, commanders must accept a greater level of risk than has been customary during recent operations.

Cyber warfare operations journeyman monitors live cyber attacks on operations floor of 27th Cyberspace Squadron at Warfield Air National Guard Base, Middle River, Maryland, June 3, 2017 (U.S. Air Force/J.M. Eddins, Jr.)

A Smarter Approach to Cyber Attack Authorities

By Michael P. Carvelli

Restricted cyberattack authority enables operational commanders to attack effectively while simultaneously minimizing the risk of unintended consequences. Because operational commanders face adversaries capable of degrading and destroying our military capabilities, commanders should be armed with as many weapons as possible to employ against an adversary in the event of a crisis. A coherent system of nationally pre-approved cyberattack methods combined with delegation of limited authority, says the author, would offer important advantages. Such a system would increase the menu of options, keep military operations in alignment with the national interest, and ensure that national authorities remain in control.

USS Nautilus entering New York harbor August 25, 1958, after voyage under
North Pole (U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command)

Military Transformation: Applying the Kotter Eight-Step Methodology for Change in the U.S. Armed Services

By Hassan M. Kamara

The Joint Force can transform itself and attain its long-term objectives for modernization, says the author, by following a process of change management adapted from John Kotter’s eight step methodology. The author demonstrates the applicability and utility of Kotter’s methodology with a case study of the Navy’s conversion to nuclear propulsion led by the father of the nuclear Navy, Admiral Hyman Rickover. By emulating Rickover’s example building organizational standards, recruiting top talent and improving officer management systems to support the Navy’s nuclear conversion, the Joint Force may successfully execute contemporary transformation efforts.


Ex–USS Alabama hit by white phosphorus bomb dropped by NBS-1 in bombing tests, as Army Martin twin-engine bomber flies overhead, Chesapeake Bay, September 23, 1921 (U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command)

Air Force Strategic Bombing and Its Counterpoints from World War I to Vietnam

By Michael M. Trimble

Strategic bombing has dominated US Air Force doctrine for sixty years despite the broader use of air power during this period. What factors led to this? The author finds that in wartime, the Air Force adapts to the needs of the conflict, but in peacetime returns to a more narrow view of air power in national defense. If the last sixty years teaches anything, it’s that every conflict involves new challenges, which means senior leaders and strategists must train for core missions, anticipate the most deadly threats, and be ready at all times for more surprises.

Book Reviews

On Grand Strategy

On Grand Strategy

By Peter Dombrowski

John Lewis Gaddis, deemed the “Dean of Cold War Historians” by a New York Times reviewer, has published yet another book, at least the 14th in a long and productive career. The latest, On Grand Strategy, however, will disappoint those hoping for another learned exposition on the American role in the post–World War II era. Rather, Gaddis, the Robert A. Lovett Professor of Military and Naval History and Director of the Brady Johnson Program in Grand Strategy at Yale University, has written a wide-ranging essay on strategic thinking that begins with the dawn of recorded history and concludes with the momentous challenges facing American leaders during World War II. As such, On Grand Strategy will bring joy to those whose professions depend on strategizing and anyone wanting to rummage through history seeking insights into how past strategists practiced their craft.

Directorate S: The C.I.A. and America's Secret Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan

Directorate S: The C.I.A. and America’s Secret Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan

By Thomas F. Lynch III

Directorate S by longtime Washington Post journalist, former think tank president, and now dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University, Steve Coll, is a seminal book. It is a highly worthy successor to the author’s Pulitzer Prize–winning 2004 work Ghost Wars. Directorate S is impressive in its scope, level of detail, and readability. It successfully fills much of the gaping void in prior literature on the controversial topic of the U.S. role in Afghanistan and Pakistan. As a reference for scholars and policymakers, this book is first rate. Although it will not be the final word on the strategic trajectory of South Asia and the future arc of complex U.S. policy choices in that region, Coll’s work makes an indelible mark.

Allies That Count

Allies That Count: Junior Partners in Coalition Warfare

By Kathleen J. McInnis

Years ago, when I was working on the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) desk in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, we were asked by both the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations to help persuade allies and partners around the world to contribute additional forces to the mission in Afghanistan. To their credit, many countries around the world did so. But shortly thereafter, operators on the ground began signaling that many such contributions were so difficult to integrate into the mission that it was distracting from ISAF’s ability to prosecute operations. Some states had caveats on their forces, others had interoperability issues, and still others approached the mission with wholly different strategic mindsets than many of their counterparts. In short, we were building the coalition to help us win the war in Afghanistan, but in so doing, we were distracting our warfighters from actually being able to do so. Why were we spending so much time and effort recruiting forces from allies without accounting for the significant operational strains that their incorporation into the ISAF force laydown might cause?

Staying the Course

Staying the Course: October 1967 to September 1968

By Jon Askonas

Erik Villard’s new volume casts clarifying light on stubbornly held myths about the conduct and strategy of America’s intervention in Vietnam. Even more than the preceding volumes in the Combat Operations series, Staying the Course incorporates the latest historiography, including extensive North Vietnamese sources and newly released Military Assistance Command–Vietnam (MACV) documents. By carefully linking American strategic thinking to MACV 1968 campaign goals and actual operations, Villard, a historian at the U.S. Army Center of Military History, uses careful analysis to dispel a variety of myths: that MACV was over-focused on attrition, that the American mission lacked a focus on counterinsurgency or population security, that the Army was overcommitted to “conventional” operations or “search-and-destroy,” or that American forces overlooked the need to build up the South Vietnamese military and do so in a sustainable way. The overall effect is to restore clarity and urgency to the Army’s efforts in Vietnam in that fateful year, as MACV’s leaders fought against the clock to shield and secure the population and build up the Republic of Vietnam and its armed forces against a thinking and reacting enemy with burgeoning plans of its own.

Joint Doctrine

USAID Assistant Administrator for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance Nancy Lindborg meets with Syrian refugees at Islahiye Refugee Camp in Turkey, January 24, 2013 (State Department)

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

By George E. Katsos

The US has been involved in protecting civilians outside national borders for over a century. DOD policy emphasizes the protection of mission-related military and nonmilitary personnel, equipment, facilities, and infrastructure during military campaigns. Improving the conditions for effective local governance and minimizing the need for future or extended employment of US forces is central to US national security interests. Therefore, campaign activities should enhance efforts to improve civilian security and earn population support. Careful planning will reinforce viable security institutions, offer assistance to displaced or dislocated civilians, and protect people from torture, unlawful imprisonment and other human rights abuses.

Pararescuemen practice personnel recovery mission during PJ Rodeo Competition near Patrick Air Force Base, Florida, September 20, 2016 (U.S. Air Force/Brandon Shipiro)

Building Joint Personnel Recovery Through Multinational Collaboration

By David Gayvert

The Multinational Capability Development Campaign is a Joint Force initiative, which focuses on conducting coalition and multinational operations associated with personnel recovery. This article shows how partner nations can effectively coordinate their military, diplomatic and civilian efforts to prepare for and execute the recovery and reintegration of isolated personnel. By developing a common lexicon and standardizing doctrine and policy, the Joint Force can improve interagency capabilities and solve this common problem affordably and effectively. However, partner nations must first underscore the importance of effective personnel recovery, and senior leaders must prioritize personnel recovery in all preparations and planning.

Boatswain’s mate seaman apprentice assigned to Amphibious Construction Battalion 1 prepares U.S. Navy Improved Navy Lighterage System causeway ferry for on-loading during Joint Logistics Over the Shore 2016, Naval Magazine Indian Island, Washington, June 13, 2016 (U.S. Air Force/Kenneth W. Norman)

Joint Publication 4-0, Joint Logistics

By Andrew Keene

The Joint Staff has revised Joint Publication 4-0, Joint Logistics. This version focuses on five areas: warfighter readiness, competition below the level of armed conflict, global integration, innovation, and strengthening alliances. This version offers a framework for combatant commanders and subordinate commanders to integrate strategic, operational and tactical support efforts and facilitate movement of forces and materiel around the world. This version takes a big step toward alignment of the National Military Strategy, the Joint Strategic Campaign Plan and best practices used by combatant commands, all of which is essential to success.

Joint Doctrine Update

By The Joint Staff

Joint Doctrine Updates.