Joint Force Quarterly 98

Joint Force Quarterly 98

(3rd Quarter, July 2020)

The Psychology of Jointness

  • Accelerating Military Innovation
  • Paradox of Campaigning in Long Wars

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Aviation boatswain’s mate (handling) 3rd class Tainesha Hines shows encouragement on flight deck during vertical replenishment onboard amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island, Pacific Ocean, April 20, 2020 (U.S. Navy/Harry
Andrew D. Gordon)

Executive Summary

By William T. Eliason

As I write this column from my table far away from my NDU Press office during the pandemic, I am wondering about the scope of it all, as I am sure many of you are. Was COVID-19 unexpected? Unprecedented? Did we all think it would not happen? One thing I am certain about—such times bring out the need for capability and teamwork in the harshest of conditions. While not a typical environment for the military, often when we see the need to team up in ways that might not be traditional to work out a “wicked problem” like this one, I wonder if this situation is exactly what jointness is for.

Airman changes light on wing of B-52 Stratofortress during annual command and control exercise Global Thunder 2019, at
Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, October 30, 2018 (U.S. Air Force/Sydney Campbell)

Structuring for Competition: Rethinking the Area of Responsibility Concept for Great Power Competition

By Lauren A. Courchaine, Alexus G. Grynkewich, and Brian D. Courchaine

Even if we can create and master new tools capable of dominating today’s battlespace, just having the best technology will not be enough: Winning conflicts today requires changes to the ways DOD organizes and employs forces. Ultimately, if the United States fails to take a comprehensive approach toward adapting to the challenges of the information age and adversarial competition, then we will cede our national security advantage.

Simulated small boat threats pass by high-speed experimental boat Stiletto so Sailors assigned to Navy Expeditionary Combat Command can observe new technologies in relevant maritime environment, Atlantic Ocean, January 16, 2013 (U.S. Navy)

Accelerating Military Innovation: Lessons from China and Israel

By George M. Dougherty

The U.S. military’s technological advantage is under threat. Since the end of the Cold War, the military has been largely occupied with relatively low-tech counterterrorism and counterinsurgency conflicts against non-peer adversaries. Much U.S. defense research and development (R&D) during that time focused on delivering incremental innovations to address capability gaps in existing systems and warfighting concepts. As a result, many of today’s frontline systems are upgraded versions of those used in the Gulf War almost 30 years ago.

U.S. Ambassador to Liberia Deborah Malac, in white, and president of Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, left, speak to reporters after touring Ebola treatment unit built to care for medical workers who become infected while treating Ebola patients, in Harbel, Liberia, November 5, 2014 (U.S. Army/Nathan Hoskins)

Disinformation and Disease: Operating in the Information Environment During Foreign Humanitarian Assistance Missions

By Melia Pfannenstiel and Louis L. Cook

Previous disease outbreaks involving narrative exploitation by the former Soviet Union, Russia, and Iran highlight the consequences of failing to identify and counter misinformation and disinformation. The expected rise in disease- and disaster-related FHA missions demands interagency community and Department of Defense (DOD) coordination to mitigate risks. This analysis illustrates the threat posed by adversaries and the necessity of building expertise to synchronize information-related capabilities for counternarrative planning.

JPME Today

Sailors assigned to Naval Special Warfare Group 2 conduct military dive operations off U.S. East Coast, Atlantic Ocean, September 18, 2019 (U.S. Navy/Jayme Pastoric)

Evaluating Strategies: Six Criteria for National Security Professionals

By Gregory D. Miller

It is relatively easy to examine past strategies and evaluate whether they were successful; it is much more difficult to evaluate current and proposed strategies to determine whether they are likely to be effective. This article briefly discusses some of the proposals in business literature for evaluating corporate strategies and incorporates many of these ideas into six criteria for evaluating security strategies.

Soldier assigned to 182nd Transportation Company fires M240B machine gun as part of Operation ROM, hosted by 79th Theater
Sustainment Command, at Fort Hunter Liggett, California, December 2, 2017 (U.S. Army Reserve/Heather Doppke)

Operations Short of War and Operational Art

By Milan Vego

In peacetime, one’s military forces are predominantly involved in conducting diverse and low-intensity actions, arbitrarily called operations short of war. Focus in these operations is almost entirely on strategy and tactics, while operational art—that critically important intermediate field of study and practice of the art of war—is given short shrift. One reason for this unsatisfactory situation is the belief that operational art is applicable only to a high-intensity conventional war, but this is indisputably false. Operational art can, and should, be applied across the entire spectrum of conflict.

General Martin E. Dempsey, then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, center, listens to briefing from U.S. and Afghan special operations forces at Camp Morehead, Afghanistan, April 23, 2012 (DOD/D. Myles Cullen)

Preparing Senior Officers and Their Counterparts for Interagency National Security Decisionmaking

By Joseph J. Collins

America will be better off if uniformed officers know more about interagency decisionmaking and their civilian colleagues understand more about the military and how it is schooled. The answer to the problems at hand is education writ large, but the critical part will be in determining how, when, and where this education takes place.


Members of Cameroonian armed forces participate in visit,
board, search, and seizure drill aboard Nigerian training vessel during U.S. Africa Command–sponsored exercise Obangame Express 2019, in Lagos, Nigeria, March 18, 2019 (U.S. Navy/Kyle Steckler)

The "Politics" of Security Cooperation and Security Assistance

By Thomas-Durell Young

In 1955 a book titled The Politics of the Prussian Army, 1640–1945 was published; it would soon become a landmark study of civil-military relations. Gordon Craig’s unassuming tome became widely influential within and outside the civil-military relations field and spurred the publication of what has become a wide literature on the politics of armies (particularly those of the United Kingdom, Italy, Russia, and France) that takes a different approach to our conventional understanding of civil-military relations.

Staff Sergeant Amanda Elsenboss, U.S. Army Marksmanship
Unit Service Rifle Team Soldier, won Interservice Individual
Championship High Service Woman Title, Interservice 1,000-yard Individual Match (Open Division), and Interservice Individual Long-Range Match during 2017 Interservice Rifle Championships, held from July 26 through August 2 at the Calvin A. Lloyd Range Complex on Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia (U.S. Army/Julius Clayton)

The Psychology of Jointness

By Charles Davis and Kristian E. Smith

No military in the world can employ the forces of different services in such an integrated and interdependent manner as the U.S. military, and we can attribute this hard-won level of competence, accumulated over decades, to reforms stemming from the Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986 (GNA). These changes led the U.S. military to become the most powerful force in the world by compelling it to become the most joint force in the world.


Soldiers assigned to 213th Psychological Operations Company
observe reaction after playing announcement over loudspeaker
out of Joint Security Station Oubaidy, located just outside Sadr
City, Iraq, after series of rocket and mortar attacks, March 29, 2008 (U.S. Air Force/Jason T. Bailey)

Leveraging Return on Investment: A Model for Joint Force Campaign Plan Assessments

By M.E. Tobin, William G. Coulter, John P. Romito, and Derek R. Fitzpatrick

On August 2, 2019, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper informed the military Services of a department-wide fiscal program review to better align the future joint force toward a near-peer threat environment, a process similar to the “night court” proceedings he held during his tenure as the Secretary of the Army. The directive memo states, “No reform is too small, too bold, or too controversial to be considered.”

Sailor directs MH-60 Sea Hawk helicopter assigned to “Warlords” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 51 as it takes off on flight deck aboard USS McCampbell during vertical replenishment training, East China Sea, March 27, 2020 (U.S. Navy/Markus Castaneda)

Balancing Competition with Cooperation: A Strategy to Prepare for the Chinese Dream

By Lloyd Edwards

The United States has no more pressing national security imperative than formulating and implementing an effective strategy about the People’s Republic of China (PRC). While tightening his authoritarian control at home, General Secretary Xi Jinping has leveraged China’s rising economic strength to challenge the U.S.-led liberal international order.1 China’s growth and actions under Xi pose a threat to U.S. prosperity in the short term and its national security in the long term. For example, the PRC is leading in the development of 5G technology.


Battle of Blenheim, oil on canvas, by Joshua Ross, Jr.,
ca. 1715 (Courtesy Government Art Collection, London)

The Duke of Marlborough and the Paradox of Campaigning in Long Wars

By Gordon Muir

The Duke of Marlborough was a commander for the ages. For 10 campaigns during the War of the Spanish Succession, stretching from 1702 to 1711, he was never defeated on the field of battle. However, the war ended in the failure of the Grand Alliance’s war aim to prevent Louis XIV’s Bourbon dynasty from taking the throne of Spain. Marlborough’s campaign in 1711 provides a potent source of understanding for joint military commanders and practitioners on the complexities of campaigning.

Book Reviews

The Dragons and the Snakes

The New Rules of War and The Dragons and the Snakes

By Frank Hoffman

It is said that generals always want to refight the last war. Often scholars are willing to do the same. Martin Van Creveld’s Transformation of War (Free Press, 1991) was heavily influenced by the painful intifadas in his native Israel. Mary Kaldor’s New and Old Wars: Organised Violence in a Global Era (Stanford University Press, 1999) was based on the criminal warlords of the ethnic Balkan clashes. In his The Utility of Force: The Art of War in the Modern World (Knopf, 2007), British general Rupert Smith declared that war, as he was taught, no longer existed and drew heavily on the breakup of the former Yugoslavia and his tour in Bosnia. Conventional warfare was thrown into history’s dustbin and “wars amongst the people” presented as a novel paradigm shift.

The Culture of Military Organizations

The Culture of Military Organizations

By Anthony King

It would be difficult to find scholars who are better qualified to edit this excellent new volume of military culture. Having retired from the U.S. Army following a distinguished career, culminating as one of General David Petraeus’s most trusted aides in Iraq in 2007, Peter Mansoor has published a number of books on military history and Iraq. Williamson Murray has been a major figure in military studies for over 30 years, producing, among many other works, the now classic three-volume study Military Effectiveness (Cambridge University Press, 2010) with his long-term collaborator Allan R. Millett.

Surrogate Warfare: The Transformation of War in the Twenty-First Century

Surrogate Warfare

By Harry Wingo

What do you get when two Middle Eastern subject matter experts decide to update the age-old concept of proxy warfare and explore the potential of machines to serve as surrogates that substitute or supplement a nation’s formal military forces? The answer is an ambitious and useful examination of how war is changing in light of emerging technologies, such as autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs, or drones) and cyber weapons able to leverage artificial intelligence (AI). Members of the joint force willing to brave the occasional academese passages on Clausewitzian theory will find gems of insight throughout Surrogate Warfare.

Joint Doctrine

Joint Doctrine Updates

By The Joint Staff

Joint Doctrine Updates.