Joint Force Quarterly 94

Joint Force Quarterly 94

(3rd Quarter, July 2019)

Social Media as Force Multiplier

  • An Interview with Terrence J. O'Shaughnessy
  • The Atmospheric Littoral

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USS LCI(L)-553 and USS LCI(L)-410 land troops on Omaha Beach during initial assault on D-Day, June 6, 1944 (National Museum of the U.S. Navy/Naval History and Heritage Command)

Executive Summary

By William T. Eliason

This June, the world observed the 75th anniversary of the Normandy landings, which marked the beginning of the end of Nazi control in Europe. In what was probably the last time veterans of that combined campaign could meet in company strength, victorious and liberated nations alike honored their service and sacrifice. We all were reminded of the terrible costs of war as well as our collective responsibility to remember such experiences in hopes they will not be repeated. The awesome power of those young warriors, many of them civilians fresh out of school just months before, shows how well-trained and well-led troops, draftees, and long-serving veterans can achieve strategic ends. A friend sent me a link to a CBS Reports video from 1964 that featured Walter Cronkite interviewing President Dwight D. Eisenhower in England, and later Normandy, about the operation.

General Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy, USAF, is Commander of U.S. Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command.

An Interview with Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy

By William T. Eliason

General Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy, USAF, Commander of US Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command is interviewed by JFQ Editor-in-Chief Bill Eliason. Objective number one is defending the homeland, which means communicating and cooperating with every other combatant command, with the Department of Homeland Security, as well as global partners and non-traditional partners in the civilian and commercial sectors. When it comes to countering the threat from unmanned aerial systems, protecting critical infrastructure, or engaging adversaries in the cyber domain, says O’Shaughnessy, homeland defense and homeland security are inseparable.

EC-130J Commando Solo systems operator monitors broadcast during mission in support of Operation Inherent Resolve at undisclosed location in Southwest Asia, September 5, 2017 (U.S. Air Force/Michael Battles)

What’s Not to Like? Social Media as Information Operations Force Multiplier

By Glenda Jakubowski

Social media has enabled identity theft, targeted advertising, psychometric profiling, dissemination through bots and the creation of false personas. The same psychology that explains why social media is so credible and addictive also explains why social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are vulnerable to attack. As a case in point, Russia’s Internet Research Agency launched the “translator project” which hacked voter registration data, stole the identities of thousands of American citizens, and posed as interest groups and political activists. The result, says the author, is the most effective influence campaign in world history.

Not in My Squad workshop facilitator and Brigade S-1 noncommissioned officer for National Ground Intelligence Center engages with female soldiers from Peruvian army during physical readiness training in Lima, Peru, September 10, 2018 (U.S. Air National Guard/Holli Nelson)

A Framework to Understand and Improve Defense All-Source Intelligence Analysis

By James S. Kwoun

This article proposes a framework to optimize the employment and career development of military and civilian intelligence analysts. The author’s framework identifies training gaps and interoperability issues within joint and strategic intelligence organizations. Military intelligence analysts are initially trained to operate at the tactical level, says the author, whereas civilian analysts are trained to operate predominately at the strategic level. In addition, there is a significant convergence of military and civilian personnel at the Defense Intelligence Agency, Joint Staff, combatant commands and service intelligence centers. The author’s framework facilitates discussion of professional development for analysts across the Department of Defense.

JPME Today

Senior Chief Aviation Support Equipment Technician Augustine Ilomuanya, assigned to amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island, conducts dress white uniform inspection, San Diego, March 22, 2019 (U.S. Navy/Colby A. Mothershead)

A Profession of Arms? Conflicting Views and the Lack of Virtue Ethics in Professional Military Education

By Thomas J. Statler

Perceiving military service as an occupation rather than a profession creates a problem for professional military education (PME). From an occupational point of view, military service is a collection of technical skills. From a professional point of view, the profession of arms is rooted in internal trust shared with other members of the profession, and external trust demanded by society. The trust of one’s government is required for members of this profession, who in turn are granted relative autonomy. One goal of PME, therefore, should be to produce military professionals who are trustworthy in both their professional and private lives.

Marines from Company G and Company E, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines, being interviewed pier side following rescue operation of merchant vessel SS Mayaguez, May 20, 1975 (Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library)

The Mayaguez Incident: A Model Case Study for PME

By Gregory D. Miller

The seizure and rescue of the SS Mayaguez in 1975 serves as a case study in this fascinating article. Considered by many to be the last battle of the Vietnam War, the Mayaguez incident took place just two weeks before the final withdrawal of American troops from Vietnam. The author highlights the challenges created by a poor understanding of history, lack of awareness of the strategic situation, numerous communication failures and an inability to overcome groupthink. Although the Mayaguez operation was flawed, says the author, this case is a valuable teaching tool at every level of professional military education.


F-35A Lightning II pilot assigned to 4th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron dons anti-gravity suit in preparation for first combat sortie in U.S. Air Forces Central Command area of responsibility, Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates, April 26, 2019 (U.S. Air Force/Jocelyn A. Ford)

Can the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter Avoid the Fate of the F-22 Raptor?

By Scott Hubinger

Has the US made the right choices in our defense industrial base for advanced combat aircraft? The author analyzes two major weapons systems—the F-22 Raptor and the F-35 Lightning II—looking for ways to save money, improve interoperability, and enhance military-industrial cooperation between the US and its allies. The author’s analysis of the F-22 program raises questions that might be common to both programs. Why, for example, was the single purpose non-joint aircraft (the F-22) program cancelled after only 25% of the intended aircraft had been procured? Does the F-22’s fate offer any lessons for multipurpose joint aircraft?


Airmen test hazmat equipment for functionality during emergency medical response exercise at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, May 19, 2019 (U.S. Air National Guard/Derek Davis)

Joint Integrative Solutions for Combat Casualty Care in a Pacific War at Sea

By Dion Moten, Bryan Teff, Michael Pyle, Gerald Delk, and Randel Clark

US maritime forces currently conduct theater security operations through rotating carrier strike groups in the Western Pacific. Although current engagements and interactions with our competitors in the region fall short of open military conflict, a war at sea may be unavoidable. Some of the most significant deficiencies within the current combat casualty care system occur within this contentious maritime environment. To improve readiness, the authors recommend joint integration of medical capabilities such as incorporating forward resuscitative and surgical platforms, enhancing our medical airlift and sealift evacuation capabilities, supplementing Mercy-class hospital ships, and implementing a medical command and control system.

Romanian soldier fires rocket propelled grenade at range near Bemowo Piskie Training Area, Poland, January 24, 2018, as part of multinational
battle group comprised of U.S., UK, Croatian, and Romanian soldiers supporting NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence (U.S. Army/Andrew McNeil)

Ground Combat Overmatch Through Control of the Atmospheric Littoral

By George M. Dougherty

Atmospheric littoral operations—in the air between the buildings—exemplify how the inherent capabilities of unmanned systems and autonomy could enable overmatch, particularly for close combat in the land domain where many future conflicts are likely to be decided. A doctrine of exploiting control of the atmospheric littoral offers tactical advantages that provide a driving force for integrating robotic systems into ground combat. By pursuing a low-cost program of prototyping and experimentation, the US can lead the emerging combat capabilities offered by unmanned systems, avoid technological surprise, and lead the fight in three dimensions.

Two U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancers assigned to 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, deployed from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, fly with Koku Jieitai F-2 fighter jet over East China Sea, July 7, 2017
(Courtesy Japan Air Self-Defense Force)

Twenty-First Century Nuclear Deterrence: Operationalizing the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review

By Ryan W. Kort, Carlos R. Bersabe, Dalton H. Clarke, and Derek J. Di Bello

America must maintain credible nuclear deterrent capabilities to convince potential adversaries and allies alike that the US will defend its vital interests and will employ those capabilities, all while hedging against an uncertain future. Despite the changing environment, America continues to view nuclear deterrence largely in Cold War terms. The continued reliance on obsolete deterrence concepts exposes a gap between policy and practice. The US must eliminate this gap, say the authors, by developing a tailored and flexible deterrence posture, which will give the Joint Force a broad spectrum of nuclear deterrence capabilities.

Fire controlman (left) and gunner’s mate maintain Mark 38 25mm machine gun aboard USS Porter in Atlantic Ocean, March 5, 2019 (U.S. Navy/James R. Turner)

Global Risks and Opportunities: The Great Power Competition Paradigm

By Mark D. Miles and Charles R. Miller

The great power competition paradigm outlined in the National Defense Strategy provides a way to think strategically about inter-state competition in a multipolar world. Both history and a survey of current events indicate we should expect great power competition throughout the 21st century between the US, China and Russia in Africa, Central Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. Although information operations, economic diplomacy and espionage will be the primary weapons of statecraft, say the authors, military cooperation can catalyze greater regional integration, reassure our partners and allies, and support our whole-of-government efforts.


Civil War veterans of 57th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment pose with Confederate General William Mahone on May 3, 1887, at crater caused by Union Soldiers exploding mine at Petersburg, Virginia (Library of Congress/William H. Tipton)

Flanking the Crater

By John K. DiEugenio and Aubry J. Eaton

The Battle of the Crater, fought in 1864 during the US Civil War, is a successful example of tactical innovation except that it did not succeed. The idea was to alter the battlespace by tunneling under the enemy’s fortifications. The local commander made a quick feasibility study, and decided to utilize his soldiers’ skills as civilian miners. The authors use these events as a case study in innovation, particularly the role of mid-level leaders and propose a Joint Innovation Framework. Among their recommendations is appointment of a lead integrator who would help translate tactical opportunities into operational and strategic victories.

Book Reviews

America vs. the West

America vs. the West

Reviewed by Brittany Bounds

Brittany Bounds reviews America vs. the West: Can the Liberal World Order Be Preserved? By Kori Schake. Schake gives an efficient summation of the great power competition with China and Russia, says Bounds, and offers several possible scenarios for an alternative to the liberal international order if the US continues to disengage.

Strategy, Evolution, and War

Strategy, Evolution, and War

Reviewed by Ryan Shaffer

Ryan Shaffer reviews Strategy, Evolution, and War: From Apes to Artificial Intelligence by Kenneth Payne. Payne studies the origins of human strategy in evolutionary history, examines the relationship between culture, war and technology, and considers the potential of artificial intelligence to influence military strategy.



Reviewed by Brett Swaney

Brett Swaney reviews LikeWar: The Weaponization of Social Media by Peter W. Singer and Emerson T. Brooking. The authors examine the role of social media in reshaping the character of war and politics. The result is an insightful overview of the new information battlespace for national security professionals.

Joint Doctrine

2K12 Kub mobile surface-to-air missile system fires during multinational live-fire training exercise Shabla 19, in Shabla, Bulgaria, June 12, 2019 (U.S. Army/Thomas Mort)

Getting the Joint Functions Right

By Thomas Crosbie

In July 2017, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff announced a special out-of-cycle revision to joint doctrine, adding Information to the joint functions. The significance of this policy change was highlighted by endorsement from the Secretary of Defense in September 2017, where he stressed that inclusion in the joint functions signaled an elevation of information throughout Department of Defense thinking and practice. This article is an historical overview of the joint functions, intended to overcome the long-standing reluctance to place the soft power elements of the modern battlefield on the same footing as hard power elements.

Joint Doctrine Updates

By The Joint Staff

Joint Doctrine Updates