Joint Force Quarterly 93

Joint Force Quarterly 95

(4th Quarter, October 2019)

Maximizing Strategic Foresight

  • Why Normandy Still Matters
  • 2019 Essay Competition Winners

Download Full PDF  →



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. If you have a setback or loss, you would be wise to do as the unofficial slogan of the U.S. Marine Corps suggests: improvise, adapt and overcome. Former Secretary James Mattis asked our professional military education (PME) institutions to develop their critical thinking skills and push their intellectual limits. To that end, in the pages of Joint Force Quarterly, we examine past and present conflicts to help you become a better leader. And we offer new ideas to help you maintain your intellectual advantage and keep the Joint Force moving forward.

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

Warfare in the information age is a new battleground. The disinformation campaigns of our adversaries undermine trust across the Joint Force and degrade the legitimacy of liberal democracies. The Australian Army serves as a case study of building trust domestically, regionally and globally in order to strengthen the entire rules-based global order. Trust is a strategic asset, say the authors, which strengthens our defense capabilities and can diminish the power of our adversaries. In order to realize a truly strategic army, force design and force structure should complement high quality combat capability.

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

Strategic Foresight is an interdisciplinary skillset concerned with identifying signals of change in uncertain environments. This article argues first that national security professionals need this skillset in this era of ambiguity and unpredictability. In addition, the author identifies several areas where Strategic Foresight can be improved. First, shift analytic focus from technology-focused futures to a more integrated vision of future environments. Second, use lessons from systems thinking to evaluate more accurately the global system. Third, provide more instruction on complexity thinking. Fourth, introduce foresight thinking early in professional development. Fifth, create a unified lexicon of the concepts and terms.

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

The Department of Defense (DOD) 2012 Mission Assurance Strategy does not account for the risk that cyberattacks on critical infrastructure could degrade mission execution. Adversaries are rapidly improving their ability to attack such infrastructure by accessing industrial control systems and exploiting other cyber vulnerabilities. At the same time, US infrastructure systems are becoming increasingly interdependent, heightening the risk of cascading failures across multiple sectors on which the Department depends. The department must strengthen the culture of mission assurance, say the authors, by bringing cybersecurity into the heart of mission assurance and extending such initiatives to all overseas defense installations.

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 fought three wars and numerous border clashes, the potential for future conflict between Pakistan and India remains high. This includes the future potential of a nuclear exchange. While the nuclear evolution of both countries trace back to the 1960s, this article focuses on developments since the formal declaration of nuclear weapons in 1998. The nuclear rivalry between Pakistan and India has produced several close calls though neither state has resorted to using nuclear weapons. While there is cause for concern, encouraging Pakistan and India to comply with international norms may defuse tensions and give us reason for hope.

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, visionary Marine officer Pete Ellis compiled remarkable studies of islands in the Western Pacific and studied the practical means for the seizure or defense of advanced bases. Ellis’s description of an island cloud (as opposed to an island chain) aptly captures the complexity and diversity of this geography and provides a framework for lasting and dispersed strength. A century after Ellis’s work, China presents new strategic and operational challenges to the US in Asia. Now is the time to develop a coherent strategy that will last another hundred years.

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 the new National Strategy for Counterterrorism, emphasizing the importance of diplomacy and the role of international partnerships. The first page of this strategy includes the statement “America First does not mean America alone,” indicating the essential role of key international partners. The US should highlight Morocco as an example for other countries in the region and capitalize on Morocco’s status as a net security exporter. Encouraging the success of countries like Morocco would reduce the threat of terrorism and give meaning to the America First concept.

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

Operation Overlord took place seventy-five years ago. Operation Overlord was strategically audacious and required an amazing amount of intellectual capacity and organizational acumen to have any chance of success. Today it teaches valuable lessons concerning the difficulty of planning and conducting integrated, all-domain, joint and combined forced-entry operations against a lethal enemy whose anti-access and area denial preparations were immense. Though much has changed since June 1944, this article highlights the operational approach, all-domain planning, and synchronized integration of Operation Overlord and asks if today’s Joint Force is intellectually prepared to plan such an operation.


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 ability of air forces to attack ground forces has been disputed since airplanes first strafed enemy trenches in World War I. The controversy that arose over NATO’s Battle Damage Assessment after the joint air campaign in Kosovo in 1999 is a case study in the effectiveness of air forces directly attacking ground forces. This article takes the experience of an A-10 pilot who flew numerous combat missions over Kosovo and visited his strike sites eleven years later. The author highlights lessons learned for joint military leaders on the conduct of joint air operations against conventional ground forces.

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 complex, dynamic and dangerous. Since the end of the Cold War and collapse of the Soviet Union, the US has battled an assortment of rogue regimes and violent extremist organizations (VEOs). While these actors remain a security threat to the US and its allies, the 2018 National Defense Strategy directs the DOD to focus on long-term, strategic competition with two revisionist powers: Russia and China. The regional and global ambitions of these two nuclear powers, along with the emergent threats posed by rogue regimes and VEOs, presents the Joint Force with a unique security challenge.


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

The Joint Qualification System’s narrow focus on officers working at the strategic level is insufficient to build the joint-ready force needed to meet our nation’s warfighting demands. Given that the Joint Qualification System was introduced ten years ago, it is time to assess how well the current system is meeting current needs. The Air Force is developing a talent management system to complement the Joint Qualification System. This initiative can inform similar efforts in other services to ensure that leaders are prepared for the challenges they will confront in increasingly sophisticated complex joint operations of the future.

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, can enable the production of replacement parts when and where they are needed, which is required to enable future agile operations. As such, AM development in the DOD represents a critical enabler of forward basing and denied area operations. However, creating reliable and trusted repair parts to the correct specification is challenging, especially in an austere environment. In order to overcome AM employment challenges and leverage this technology effectively and efficiently, unity of effort for development and implementation is required across the joint enterprise.

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 Chain Home Early Warning Radar System played an important role in Great Britain’s defense during the 1940 Battle of Britain. The system’s ability to warn the Royal Air Force about incoming Luftwaffe attacks helped restore a measure of Britain’s protection from continental states, contributing to the resistance and eventual defeat of Nazi Germany. Today, creation of the Chain Home System serves as a case study in military innovation, which shows the importance of strategic planning in the acquisition process, the importance of wartime adaptation, and the need to have the right team to manage development and implementation.


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

Analysis of the 1759 French and Indian War Quebec Campaign demonstrates that Britain achieved victory because it adhered to the principles of joint operations better than the French did. This historical case study examines the commanders’ uneven application of joint operating principles given contemporary technology and the physical environment. While the British lacked formal doctrine listing the principles of joint operations, the thought process and underlying concepts of current doctrinal principles shaped their military decisions. It is important that our joint leaders can do likewise, to learn from history and use their creativity to apply joint operating principles in combat.

Book Reviews

Hal Brands and Charles Edel

The Lessons of Tragedy

Reviewed by Joseph J. Collins

Colonel Joseph Collins, USA (Ret.), PhD reviews The Lessons of Tragedy: Statecraft and World Order by Hal Brands and Charles Edel. In this excellent book, the focus is on great power politics. And the centrality of survival and security supports this approach. However, the international order has a number of important aspects beyond interstate security politics. The issues of international political economy, trade, globalization and regional/global organizations are a big part of the story. If you can read only one book on world order, says Collins, you would do well to read Lessons of Tragedy. Aristotle would salute your prudence.

James Stavridis

Sailing True North

Reviewed by Peter H. Daly

While the emphasis is on naval leaders, Sailing True North provides insights relevant to the entire Joint Force and beyond. This book is for anyone who wants to understand the essential questions of character and leadership under stress. The author is supremely well read, and provides an invaluable distillation over a vast span of history. This book encourages self-examination as the author challenges you, and asks you to identify your heroes and the qualities you admire. Given the author’s leadership experience at the most consequential levels of command, his scholarship on this topic is recommended reading.

David P. Oakley

Subordinating Intelligence

Reviewed by J. Paul Pope

Long interventions in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other locations have resulted in increased scrutiny of civil-military relations and the interagency intelligence community. Subordinating Intelligence analyzes the evolution of civil-military relationships with an emphasis on the post–Cold War era. This book identifies the barriers to cooperation, but also identifies the factors that made a difference where integration was achieved. Given that interagency alignment is a prerequisite for success, both military and intelligence professionals would be well served to read Oakley’s excellent book to find examples of what can go wrong, but also what can go right.

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

This article examines the potential of artificial intelligence to improve joint electromagnetic spectrum operations along three lines of discussion. First, current doctrine and process limitations may impact a Joint Force commander’s ability to visualize and understand how Joint Forces are operating within the spectrum. Second, artificial intelligence and specific learning models can help understand how the electromagnetic spectrum connects military forces. And finally, the role of data can fuel machine learning despite the associated risks. Artificial intelligence can improve Joint Force understanding and visualization, say the authors, and help commanders make more accurate and timely decisions.

Joint Doctrine Updates

By The Joint Staff

Joint Doctrine Updates