Joint Force Quarterly 97

Joint Force Quarterly 97

(2nd Quarter, April 2020)

Broadening Traditional Domains

  • Commercial Satellites and National Security
  • Ulysses S. Grant and the U.S. Navy

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Army Project Manager Tactical Network works to find solutions that enable larger numbers of smaller satellites to orbit closer to Earth, April 11, 2019 (Courtesy International Space Station)

Executive Summary

By William T. Eliason

This issue of JFQ shows the way ahead for the Joint Force. In our Forum and JPME Today sections, we discuss emerging battlespace technologies. In Commentary, authors propose the development of a new global engagement cycle. In our Features section are articles about the need to adapt the Joint Force command and control structure, about dealing with Iran as a rival nation-state, and addressing A2/AD threats in the Indo-Pacific region. In Recall, we see how General Ulysses Grant learned the art of joint operations in the Civil War. Finally, we review Andrew Marble’s biography of former CJCS General John Shalikashvilli.

Soldier pushes RQ-7B Shadow unmanned aerial system on Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, February 2020 (U.S. Air National Guard/Matt Hecht)

The Imperative for the U.S. Military to Develop a Counter-UAS Strategy

By Edward A. Guelfi, Buddhika Jayamaha, and Travis Robison

Years of sustained combat has constrained military readiness and thus impacted the US military's ability to respond to emerging global security challenges. For the first time in decades, US ground forces have found themselves under aerial attack and are generally unable to counter the threat. This risk results in an imperative for the Joint Force to develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to counter unmanned aerial systems (UAS), more commonly referred to as drones. This type of strategy will provide a framework for the Joint Force to leverage emerging technologies, develop a comprehensive training program, and regain the warfighting initiative.

Airman secures Joint Air to Surface Standoff Missiles on flatbed truck at munitions storage area on Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, October 2019, as part of U.S. Strategic Command’s exercise Global Thunder 20 (U.S. Air Force/Christina Bennett)

The Challenge of Dis-Integrating A2/AD Zone: How Emerging Technologies Are Shifting the Balance Back to the Defense

By Alex Vershinin

American adversaries are building anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) zones to keep the US military out of key regions. The Chinese set up A2/AD zones to deny US access to Taiwan and the South China Sea. The Russians have A2/AD zones in Kaliningrad, Crimea, the Kola Peninsula, and the Kuril Islands to block maritime lanes. For the Joint Force, the challenge is to penetrate and degrade these A2/AD zones. Disintegration of an adversary’s A2/AD zone is possible, says the author, but we should not underestimate the resilience of enemy networks and their ability to recover from damage inflicted by US fire power.

Soyuz-2.1b rocket lifts off from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, together with 34 OneWeb communication satellites (Courtesy Roscosmos)

Proliferated Commercial Satellite Constellations: Implications for National Security

By Matthew A. Hallex and Travis S. Cottom

The development of new space technologies and the falling costs of space launch have enabled the proliferation of low orbiting satellites. Commercial actors are pursuing opportunities in space, which will disrupt traditional business models for commercial satellite communications. However, the success of these endeavors will not be confined to the commercial sector. The proliferation of satellites will change future military operations in space. In order to deny space superiority to our adversaries, the US should take a whole-of-government approach to identify strategic technologies (and other systems with military value) and prevent foreign companies and governments from acquiring these technologies.

Soldiers from Michigan National Guard form part of “enemy” force during simulated attack near Suwalki Gap as part of NATO exercise Saber Strike 2017, June 2017 (NATO)

Electronic Warfare in the Suwalki Gap: Facing the Russian “Accompli Attack”

By Jan E. Kallberg, Stephen S. Hamilton, and Matthew G. Sherburne

The Joint Operating Environment 2035 predicts the US will face challenges from both persistent disorders and states contesting international norms. One plausible scenario could be a surprise “accompli” attack with little or no warning, which would exploit disorder, challenge international norms, and establish a fait accompli with a limited resistance. The attacker’s gains could be used as leverage to force a settlement because the risks of escalation and the costs to reverse the attacker’s gains are equally unacceptable. The authors propose a five-point plan to strengthen the Joint Force communication infrastructure and improve information resiliency in the future fight.

JPME Today

Chief Master Sergeant Darin LaCour, 149th Fighter Wing command chief, speaks to enlisted Airmen of importance of professional military education, at
Joint Base San Antonio–Lackland, Texas, November 2, 2019 (Air National Guard/Derek Davis)

Strategic Leader Research: Answering the Call

By Larry D. Miller and Laura A. Wackwitz

One goal for senior service colleges and Joint Professional Military Education (JPME) schools is to transform senior officers into warrior-scholars. This requires taking a new approach to the role of research and writing in the preparation of senior officers for strategic responsibility. Greater emphasis on research and writing would meet the needs of strategic leadership, but also transform the culture of JPME. By making students and faculty active participants in problem-solving and idea generation, schools could inspire a culture of articulate leadership at the cutting edge of strategic progress, which would permeate the Joint Force and the larger strategic community.

Paul Sobol, survivor of Auschwitz Concentration Camp, watches presentation about horrors of Holocaust during special Holocaust Remembrance Day observance, April 12, 2019, at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe,
Belgium (U.S. Army/Pierre-Etienne Courtejoie)

Expanding Atrocity Prevention Education for Rising U.S. National Security Leaders

By David Wigmore

This article proposes a new mandatory semester-long course in atrocity prevention at the National Defense University (NDU) in Washington, DC. In the last century, tens of millions of civilians were killed in atrocities and genocide (mass killings of targeted, unarmed populations). Today, such atrocities and genocide are responsible for three times as many deaths as war. And there is a persistent threat of atrocities in the contemporary security environment. The proposed course would teach practical “upstream-prevention” skills and reinforce moral conduct among senior officers, says the author, and thus influence who holds the high moral ground in great-power competition.

U.S. and Gulf Cooperation Council forces conduct final field-training event of exercise Eagle Resolve 2017, which focuses on regional challenges associated with asymmetric/unconventional warfare, in Kuwait’s Shuwaikh Port, April 6, 2017 (U.S. Army/Frank O’Brien)

The Missing Element in Crafting National Strategy: A Theory of Success

By Frank G. Hoffman

Grand strategy is more art than science, but the practice has always required creativity to translate the Big Idea into a specific plan which uses every instrument of national power to advance the national interest. How do policymakers develop grand strategy? Is it captured in a single concept like containment? Or is it a series of strategic activities orchestrated like a campaign plan? This article explores the “theory of success”, a methodology to formulate grand strategy with an emphasis on strategic logic, the continuous line of thinking which integrates and aligns desired outcomes with existing conditions and constraints.


Fire controlman installs radiation cover onto Phalanx close-in weapon system
aboard USS Russell, January 29, 2020, Pacific Ocean (U.S. Navy/Sean Lynch)

The Joint Force Needs a Global Engagement Cycle

By Gregory M. Tomlin

Step into any joint or coalition operations center and you will find planners, intelligence analysts, and operators synchronizing joint fires. The Joint Force commonly conflates the joint information and joint fires functions, limiting its ability to influence the thinking and behavior of audiences not associated with a US adversary. This article argues for establishing a Joint Staff Global Engagement Division to lead the global integration of the joint information function. Adopting this concept, says the author, would address current inadequacies with how the Joint Force integrates the information function into all military operations.

Korean prisoners of war, Koje (Geoje) Island, Korea, 1953 (U.S. Army/Donald K. Grovom)

Detention Operations as a Strategic Consideration

By John F. Hussey

The US military continues to make mistakes in detainee operations, which has reduced its ability to achieve national objectives. If we do not place significant emphasis on this critical aspect of planning, says the author, more mistakes will be made and the US military will lose credibility. Moreover, if we do not fix these mistakes, the nation may fail in other aspects of combat operations. This article conveys historical examples of insufficient and ineffective planning for detainee operations, and offers a new paradigm to future planners and specific recommendations to minimize errors and help achieve national and military objectives.


Screening Obscuration Module attached to Utility Task Vehicle activates autonomously during Robotic Complex Breach Concept on Yakima Training Center, Yakima, Washington, April 26, 2019 (U.S. Marine Corps/Nathaniel Q. Hamilton)

Transforming DOD for Agile Multidomain Command and Control

By Douglas O. Creviston

Advances in artificial intelligence and autonomous systems offer enhanced military capabilities to nations who adopt and operationalize these technologies. How might the Joint Force change policy and leadership structures to maximize the benefits of such technologies? In this article, data science concepts are applied to the historical example of the Department of Defense (DOD) 2003 data strategy to yield insights into the changes the Joint Force should make to improve the agility of command and control structures. Making these changes would enable the Joint Force to make better decisions, says the author, and conduct more effective multi-domain operations.

Marine with 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines, carries sandbag to strengthen security post during reinforcement of U.S. Embassy
Compound in Baghdad, January 4, 2020 (U.S. Marine Corps/Kyle C. Talbot)

Disciplined Lethality: Expanding Competition with Iran in an Age of Nation-State Rivalries

By Scott J. Harr

The 2018 National Defense Strategy (NDS) identifies Iran as a long-standing threat to US strategic interests and a source of instability in the Middle East. This article examines the prospects of expanding strategic competition with Iran, and argues the US could outcompete Iran without resorting to the US’s traditional overmatch strengths. The best way to defeat Iran’s attempts to undermine American power and influence is by defining acceptable behavior, setting expectations, and laying ground rules for competition. This disciplined lethality, says the author, would allow for success in the gray zone while keeping competition beneath large-scale combat.

Combat controller watches as C-17 Globemaster III, assigned to 17th Weapons Squadron, Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, lands on airstrip in Nevada Test and Training Range during joint forcible entry exercise, June 16, 2016 (U.S. Air Force/Kevin Tanenbaum)

Countering A2/AD in the Indo-Pacific: A Potential Change for the Army and Joint Force

By Hassan M. Kamara

Amphibious training is unusually significant in the Indo-Pacific region due to the nature of troop dispositions and geography. Seventy years ago, this was the assessment of General Douglas MacArthur. Today, the Joint Force’s ability to deploy and maneuver ground forces in a contested maritime-centric region is limited to transit through the land and air domains. Redeveloping the Army’s forcible-entry amphibious capability would give the Joint Force flexibility to deploy ground forces through maritime corridors controlled by the Navy. This, says the author, would increase the cross-domain synergy of US forces in a potential anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) campaign in the Indo-Pacific.


General U.S. Grant, ca. 1855–1865 (Library of Congress/Brady-Handy)

Learning the Art of Joint Operations: Ulysses S. Grant and the U.S. Navy

By Harry Laver

General Ulysses Grant learned the art of joint operations during the Civil War by working with Andrew Hull Foote, his Navy counterpart who shared Grant’s commitment to winning the war. There was no Joint Force Commander in the 1860s because there was no formal principle of unity of command. Today, this principle mitigates the confusion and complexity of joint operations, as per JP 3-0 Joint Operations which assigns a single commander with the requisite authority to direct all forces employed in pursuit of a common purpose. Grant’s partnership with Foote exemplifies how to make joint operations work.

Book Reviews

Boy on the Bridge: The Story of John Shalikashvili’s American Success

Boy on the Bridge: The Story of John Shalikashvili’s American Success

Reviewed by Bryon Greenwald

Bryon Greenwald reviews Boy on the Bridge: The Story of John Shalikashvilli’s American Success by Andrew Marble. This fine biography of former CJCS (1993-1997) General John Shalikashvilli offers much to the military reader. He was a competent leader who rose from humble origins to become the most senior officer in the US military.

To Build a Better World: Choices to End the Cold War and Create a Global Commonwealth

To Build a Better World: Choices to End the Cold War and Create a Global Commonwealth

Reviewed by Walter M. Hudson

Walter Hudson reviews To Build a Better World: Choices to End the Cold War and Create a Global Commonwealth by Philip Zelikow and Condoleezza Rice. Zelikow and Rice write not only as scholars but also as actors who played parts in history. This book is valuable to policymakers, warfighters, and students of strategy throughout the Joint Force.

The Russian Understanding of War: Blurring the Lines Between War and Peace

The Russian Understanding of War: Blurring the Lines Between War and Peace

Reviewed by Mariya Y. Omelicheva

Mariya Omelicheva reviews The Russian Understanding of War: Blurring the Lines between War and Peace by Oscar Jonsson. This book helps the reader understand an adversary that has embraced a form of conflict at odds with Western notions of war and peace. It is a must read for Russia-watchers and all national security analysts and strategists in the Joint Force.

Joint Doctrine

F/A-18F Super Hornet assigned to “Diamondbacks” of Strike Fighter Squadron, attached to Carrier Air Wing 5102, conducts flight operations, Atsugi, Japan, January 29, 2020 (U.S. Navy/Alex Grammar)

Airbase Defense Falls Between the Cracks

By Joseph T. Buontempo and Joseph E. Ringer

Locating US overseas airbases far from the enemy used to be sufficient to protect the airbases. Now that our enemies are better organized and technologically equipped, distance is unlikely to provide refuge from the reach of these increasingly capable adversaries. This paper considers two types of threats to overseas airbases. The first is direct and indirect attacks by special operators, and the second is attacks by theater ballistic and cruise missiles. To improve the protection of airbases against enemy forces, say the authors, the concept of a base security zone should be incorporated in joint doctrine.

Dr. Valbona Zeneli, Marshall Center’s professor of National Security Studies, talks about “Crime and Corruption,” August 12, 2016, during Program on Countering Transnational Organized Crime (George C. Marshall European
Center for Security Studies/Christine June)

Putting the “FIL” into “DIME”: Growing Joint Understanding of the Instruments of Power

By Cesar Augusto Rodriguez, Timothy Charles Walton, and Hyong Chu

When developing strategy, the US military considers all instruments of power (IOP) in planning activities that require a whole-of-government approach. Recently, newer IOPs such as financial, intelligence and law enforcement have emerged. The National Defense Strategy and a doctrine note on strategy mention the new IOPs, but there is no guidance on how they could be applied in a competitive environment. A better understanding of these new IOPs could mitigate the gap in doctrine and joint planning, say the authors, by defining the terms, identifying key mission partners, and detecting potential applications for each new instrument.

Joint Doctrine Updates

By The Joint Staff

Joint Doctrine Updates.