Publications

March 31, 2020

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

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.

March 31, 2020

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

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.

March 31, 2020

Detention Operations as a Strategic Consideration

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.

March 31, 2020

The Joint Force Needs a Global Engagement Cycle

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.

March 31, 2020

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

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.

March 31, 2020

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

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.

March 31, 2020

Strategic Leader Research: Answering the Call

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.

March 31, 2020

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

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.

March 31, 2020

Proliferated Commercial Satellite Constellations: Implications for National Security

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.

March 31, 2020

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

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.