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Joint Force Quarterly 93

Joint Force Quarterly 95

(4th Quarter, October 2019)

Maximizing Strategic Foresight

  • Why Normandy Still Matters
  • 2019 Essay Competition Winners

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During Berlin Crisis of 1961, group of U.S. Naval Reservists talk to U.S. Army Soldiers who man Checkpoint Charlie, only American checkpoint along Berlin Wall (U.S. Navy Museum)

Executive Summary

By William T. Eliason

Our world is in constant motion, and as a result change is what we must always seek to adjust and improve our situations. If you have a setback, a delay, or a loss, you do as the unofficial slogan of the U.S. Marine Corps suggests—you improvise, adapt, and overcome. I would add that we need to be constantly learning both from what we see and from what others experienced. As former Secretary James Mattis asked our professional military education (PME) institutions to do, developing our critical thinking skills and testing our intellectual limits in new and engaging ways are no longer options for a select few. To that end for the joint force, Joint Force Quarterly continues to offer discussions about past conflicts and current issues and to frame future concepts and issues in ways that hopefully help each of us better use our minds. With that as a goal, we offer a wide range of ideas to help you keep your intellectual edge. Hopefully, you will read them and send us your best ideas on how to keep improving the joint force.

Marine keeps watch during Talisman Sabre exercise, Shoalwater Bay Training Area, July 16, 2019 (Australian Defence Force/Jake Sims)

Strategic Army: Developing Trust in the Shifting Landscape

By Emily Bienvenue and Zachary Rogers

While the nature of war remains a battle of political wills, discontinuous change in the strategic landscape is constantly changing the way in which warfare is conducted.1 Expedited by the speed and scope of technological change, the age of information warfare (IW) is well upon us.2 While the impact of technological change on operational and strategic maneuverability in the physical battlespace is comparatively well understood, the impact of complex interwoven technological and social trends on the nature of conflict and the threat posed to the rules-based global order are less so.

Array of blue light-emitting diodes and time-gated specialized camera is used to collect whole body image data from test mannequin (Courtesy Howard J. Walls/Aerosol Control Group Lead, RTI International)

Maximizing the Power of Strategic Foresight

By Amy Zalman

In order to develop plans and recommend actions in support of strategic goals, national security professionals need the ability to anticipate the impacts of change in their external environment. The planner’s task is complicated by the fact that from the vantage of the present, there are many possible impacts of change. In a laboratory, variables can be titrated precisely and outcomes predicted; in the national security environment, variables are dynamic and complex, and outcomes are the product of emergent interactions among people, institutions, and systems. The exact path of these interactions is inherently nonlinear and difficult to predict.

Interim Armored Vehicle “Stryker” and AH-64 Apache helicopters with Battle Group Poland move to secure area during lethality demonstration at Bemowo Piskie Training Area, Poland, June 15, 2018, as part of Saber Strike 18 (U.S. Army/Hubert D. Delany)

Strengthening Mission Assurance Against Emerging Threats: Critical Gaps and Opportunities for Progress

By Paul N. Stockton with John P. Paczkowski

U.S. combatant commanders (CCDRs) face an intensifying and deeply asymmetric challenge to carrying out their operational plans (OPLANs). To help execute these plans, Department of Defense (DOD) facilities and functions require electric power and other infrastructure support, typically provided by U.S. civilian-owned utilities (or host-nation assets for installations abroad). Disrupting or destroying that infrastructure offers adversaries an indirect but potentially devastating means to degrade the deployment, operation, and—ultimately—the lethality of U.S. combat forces.

Essay Competitions

Front row, left to right: Dr. Michelle Getchell, U.S. Naval War College; Colonel Donald Holloway, USAF, National War College;  Dr. Amy Baxter, Air University eSchool; Dr. Donald W. Chisholm, U.S. Naval War College; Dr. Richard L. DiNardo, Marine Corps Staff College; General Joseph J. Dunford, Jr., Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Dr. Charles Chadbourne, U.S. Naval War College; Dr. Elizabeth D. Woodward, Air War College; Dr. Benjamin “Frank” Cooling, Eisenhower School; Dr. C.J. Horn, College of Information and Cyberspace; Dr. Jeffrey D. Smotherman, NDU Press; Dr. Bonnie Calabria, College of International Security Affairs. Back row, left to right: Dr. John Terino, Air Command and Staff College; Dr. Paul Springer, Air Command and Staff College; Dr. Jeff Turner, Joint Forces Staff College, Dr. Naunihal Singh, U.S. Naval War College; Dr. James D. Kiras, School of Advanced Air and Space Studies; Dr. William T. Eliason, NDU Press; Dr. Peter Eltsov, College of International Security Affairs; Dr. Brian McNeil, Air War College; Dr. Ryan Wadle, Air University eSchool; Dr. James Chen, College of Information and Cyberspace; Dr. Jack Godwin, NDU Press; Dr. Jaimie Orr, National War College.

Not shown: Dr. Kristin Mulready-Stone, U.S. Naval War College; Dr. Larry D. Miller, U.S. Army War College; Dr. Daniel Marston, U.S. Marine Corps School for Advanced Warfighting.

Winners of the 2019 Essay Competitions

By NDU Press

NDU Press congratulates the winners of the 2019 Essay Competitions.

Indian army’s BrahMos Mobile Autonomous Launchers, February 7, 2014 (Courtesy Anirvan Shukla)

Pakistan’s Low Yield in the Field: Diligent Deterrence or De-Escalation Debacle

By Daniel Hooey

Having engaged in three wars and numerous border crises, Pakistan and India remain at a high state of potential conflict in the future; however, the prospects of escalation toward a nuclear exchange are a subject of rich debate among Western and South Asian scholars.1 While the nuclear exploits of both countries trace back to the 1960s, this article focuses on developments observed since declared nuclearization in 1998—most notably Pakistan’s ongoing pursuit of low-yield nuclear weapons (LYNWs).

Annual air combat tactics, humanitarian assistance, and disaster relief exercise Cope North increases readiness and interoperability of U.S. Air Force, Japan Air Self-Defense Force, and Royal Australian Air Force (U.S. Air Force/Matthew Bruch)

The Second Island Cloud: A Deeper and Broader Concept for American Presence in the Pacific Islands

By Andrew Rhodes

In the early 20th century, the visionary Marine officer Earl “Pete” Ellis compiled remarkable studies of islands in the Western Pacific and considered the practical means for the seizure or defense of advanced bases. A century after Ellis’s work, China presents new strategic and operational challenges to the U.S. position in Asia, and it is time for Washington to develop a coherent strategy, one that will last another 100 years, for the islands of the Western Pacific. It has become common to consider the second island chain as a defining feature of Pacific geography, but when Ellis mastered its geography, he saw not a “chain,” but a “cloud.”

Marine with Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force–Crisis Response–Africa 19.2, Marine Forces Europe and Africa, evaluates Moroccan soldiers during culminating event at Tifnit, Morocco, July 25, 2019 (U.S. Marine Corps/Margaret Gale)

America First ≠ America Alone: Morocco as Exemplar for U.S. Counterterrorism Strategy

By James B. Cogbill

On October 4, 2018, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the release of President Donald Trump’s new National Strategy for Counterterrorism (NSCT), stating that “the President’s strategy emphasizes the importance of diplomacy and the role of international partnerships in combating the terrorist threats we face.” The first page of the NSCT includes the statement “America First does not mean America alone,” indicating the essential role of key international partners.

JPME Today

Troops watch activity on Omaha Beach as their LCVP landing craft approaches shore on D-Day, June 6, 1944 (U.S. Army Signal Corps/U.S. National Archives)

Why Normandy Still Matters: Seventy-Five Years On, Operation Overlord Inspires, Instructs, and Invites Us to Be Better Joint Warfighters

By Bryon Greenwald

The 50-mile stretch of French coastline running from midway up the Cotentin Peninsula east to the Orne River is hallowed ground for all who cherish democracy and the rule of law and the freedom and economic prosperity those values permit. There, on June 6, 1944, Allied forces conducted an enormous amphibious invasion across five beaches—Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword—that caught the Germans by surprise and initiated the end of Nazi reign over Europe.


Aviation ordnanceman applies final wiring to GBU-24 laser-guided bomb attached to F-14 “Tomcat” fighter aircraft on board USS Theodore Roosevelt during Allied Force, Adriatic Sea, May 4, 1999 (U.S. Navy/Dennis Taylor)

Attacking Fielded Forces: An Airman's Perspective from Kosovo

By Phil Haun

The Dayton Peace Accords in 1996 settled the Bosnian civil war but left unresolved the ethnic conflict in Kosovo, the semi-autonomous region in southern Serbia. By 1998, clashes between Serbian police and ethnic Kosovar Albanians produced a humanitarian crisis only temporarily resolved by a U.S.-brokered peace agreement that quickly unraveled over the winter. Reinvigorated efforts at a peace deal failed at Rambouillet, France, in February 1999, however, and frustrated U.S. and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) leaders ultimately authorized three nights of restricted airstrikes to bring the Serbs back to the negotiating table.

Marine with 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, scales wall during counter-IED training at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, California, July 25, 2019 (U.S. Marine Corps/Colton Brownlee)

Countering Threat Networks to Deter, Compete, and Win: Competition Below Armed Conflict with Revisionist Powers

By Vayl S. Oxford

The current geopolitical environment is the most complex, dynamic, and dangerous the United States has ever faced. During the Cold War, the Nation squared off against a superpower rival in the Soviet Union, and since its collapse, the United States has battled an assortment of rogue regimes and violent extremist organizations (VEOs). While rogue regimes and VEOs remain a threat to U.S. and allies’ security, the United States must also contend with the threat posed by not one but two major state competitors, China and Russia, each fielding significant nuclear and conventional forces.1 The 2018 National Defense Strategy directs the Department of Defense (DOD) to focus on “long-term, strategic competition” with these two “revisionist powers,” whose regional and global ambitions are at odds with those of the United States and its allies, while also continuing to keep rogue regimes and VEOs at bay.


Pararescueman with 82nd Expeditionary Rescue Squadron, deployed in support of Combined Joint Task Force–Horn of Africa, participates in static line jump from 75th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron C-130J Hercules near Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, May 11, 2019 (U.S. Air Force/Chris Hibben)

Development Beyond the Joint Qualification System: An Overview

By Dina Eliezer, Theresa K. Mitchell, and Allison Abbe

In 1986, Congress passed the Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act, leading to substantial reforms in joint officer personnel policy and management. Goldwater-Nichols requirements were based on concerns that the Department of Defense (DOD) had paid insufficient attention to joint officer management and on a perception that there were disincentives to serving in joint assignments. Twenty years after Goldwater-Nichols, continued congressional interest in joint officer development resulted in the 2007 requirement for DOD to establish different levels of joint qualification and supporting criteria for each level.1 In response to this congressional requirement, DOD evaluated the state of Joint Officer Management (JOM) and the Joint Specialty Officer designation process and implemented the Joint Qualification System (JQS) to support a more strategic human resource approach to JOM.2

Titanium parts printed from powder and laser provide researchers with high-strength, heat-resistant examples of future of additive manufacturing (U.S. Army/David McNally)

3D Printing for Joint Agile Operations

By Jaren K. Price, Miranda C. La Bash, and Bart Land

Additive manufacturing (AM), also known as 3D printing, could enable future agile operating concepts. AM has the ability to significantly shorten the Department of Defense (DOD) logistics chain, especially where repair parts are concerned, by producing the parts as they are needed. This would enable rapid, flexible response to unanticipated faults or battle damage with reduced stockpile requirements, increasing the agility of the operational force. However, to fully and efficiently capitalize on the potential of AM, DOD must develop common data solutions and standardized safety, certification, and requisition processes for AM, leveraging data science to prioritize development efforts by cost savings and implementation impact. An integrated effort by the joint enterprise is required to overcome Service independence and technology implementation challenges to make joint agile sustainment a reality.

Women’s Auxiliary Air Force radar operator Denise Miley plotting aircraft on cathode ray tube of RF7 receiver in Receiver Room at Bawdsey Chain Home radar station (Courtesy Royal Air Force, Imperial War Museum, Goodchild)

The Chain Home Early Warning Radar System: A Case Study in Defense Innovation

By Justin Roger Lynch

The United Kingdom began the Battle of Britain in an unenviable position. After the fall of France and evacuation of Dunkirk, Britons were justifiably concerned about Germany’s next move and the potential for an attack on England. Fortunately, when the Luftwaffe attack came, the British government had already created the world’s first integrated air defense system.


Death of General Wolfe, by Benjamin West, 1770, oil on canvas, National Gallery of Canada (Courtesy of The Yorck Project)

Wolfe, Montcalm, and the Principles of Joint Operations in the Quebec Campaign of 1759

By Joseph Finnan, Lee P. Gray, John H. Perry, and Brian Lust

A critical campaign analysis of the French and Indian War’s 1759 Quebec campaign demonstrates that Britain achieved victory because it reflected the principles of joint operations better than its French enemy did. While the British lacked a doctrinal publication that listed principles of joint operations, the thought processes and underlying concepts similar to our current doctrinal principles unmistakably shaped their military thought.

Book Reviews

Hal Brands and Charles Edel

The Lessons of Tragedy

Reviewed by Joseph J. Collins

The field of international relations is awash with books on world order, “the system of norms, rules, and power relationships that regulates international affairs” (p. 42). While military concerns often focus on technical or operational issues, senior officers and strategists need to understand the evolving world order to understand the strategic context that underpins their work.

James Stavridis

Sailing True North

Reviewed by Peter H. Daly

Character is being widely discussed on the national stage today, and it is the main subject of Sailing True North: Ten Admirals and the Voyage of Character. This new title spans the arc of time from Themistocles to current-day admirals. For each of his subjects, the author distills their stories and key attributes. I have known Jim Stavridis for more than 30 years and most recently worked closely with him in my role as CEO and Publisher at the U.S. Naval Institute when he was Chair of the Board.

David P. Oakley

Subordinating Intelligence

Reviewed by J. Paul Pope

Long experiences in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other conflicts have resulted in an increased emphasis on civil-military relationships and the interagency community in U.S. doctrine. Predeployment training now includes exercises requiring coordination with Embassies, Ambassadors, and U.S. and international agencies. Harnessing, aligning, and integrating the collective expertise and capabilities found in these organizations is essential for mission accomplishment. This integration cannot be assumed in mission planning; it requires closer coordination than previously understood, mutual understanding, and intentionality at all levels.

Joint Doctrine

Marine Corps cryptologic analyst assigned to 1st Radio Battalion, I Marine Expeditionary Force Information Group, monitors electromagnetic spectrum during training in support of Command Post Exercise at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, December 12, 2018 (U.S. Marine Corps/Brendan Mullin)

Unmasking the Spectrum with Artificial Intelligence

By Matthew J. Florenzen, Kurt M. Shulkitas, and Kyle P. Bair

Imagine you are a combatant commander (CCDR) equipped with the latest capabilities today’s military has to offer. Your troops are armed with fifth-generation aircraft, precision-strike capabilities, advanced naval forces, and fully networked combat arms and land forces. From your command center you can precisely observe your forces on the battlefield, and your surveillance equipment allows unmitigated access to their actions and communications in real time. However, when you take this state-of-the-art force into combat against a near-peer competitor, nothing seems to work.

Joint Doctrine Updates

By The Joint Staff

Joint Doctrine Updates