Publications

Oct. 30, 2018

Complementary Engagement: An American-Led Response to Rising Regional Rivals

The concept of Complementary Engagement emphasizes capacity-building among US allies and partners while proposing a revised military structure and posture. The goal is to counter aspiring regional hegemons who have expanded their ambitions and capabilities, particularly China, Iran and Russia. Although these regional hegemons cannot match the global reach of the former Soviet Union, they still pose a threat. Therefore, says the author, the US should invest in ballistic missile defense, long range strike capabilities and nuclear weapons, and rebalance our alliances to encourage a more equitable sharing of the defense burden.

Oct. 30, 2018

Executive Summary

Editor-in Chief Bill Eliason asks what kind of leaders does the military need. Our authors have answers from across the Joint Force. Our essay competition winners cover topics from China’s expansion in the South China Sea to Russia’s peacekeeping offer in the Ukraine to the rules of engagement and the risks of misinformation cyber warfare. Throughout this issue, we deal with hot topics: Special Forces in multi-domain battle, the long-term transformation of the Joint Force, air power during the Korean War, the doctrine of strategic airpower as it continues to evolve, and newly revised joint logistics doctrine.

Oct. 17, 2018

United Nations Peacekeeping Operations: Environmental Sustainability

United Nations Peacekeeping Operations (UNPKO) are deployed to create, maintain, and secure peace in countries and regions struggling with violence and war. The environmental sustainability of UNPKO mission sites is not essential to the purpose of each deployment, but good sustainability practices can benefit the mission, host nation, troop-contributing countries, and the global environment. As a major contributor to UNPKO efforts, the United States has a direct interest in improving the sustainability and cost-effectiveness of each mission. This paper identifies gaps in sustainability practices at local and organizational levels and recommends an increased focus on sustainability practices that can benefit the mission, host nation, troopcontributing countries, and the environment.

Oct. 2, 2018

China's Strategic Support Force: A Force for a New Era

In late 2015, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) initiated reforms that have brought dramatic changes to its structure, model of warfighting, and organizational culture, including the creation of a Strategic Support Force (SSF) that centralizes most PLA space, cyber, electronic, and psychological warfare capabilities. The reforms come at an inflection point as the PLA seeks to pivot from land-based territorial defense to extended power projection to protect Chinese interests in the “strategic frontiers” of space, cyberspace, and the far seas. Understanding the new strategic roles of the SSF is essential to understanding how the PLA plans to fight and win informationized wars and how it will conduct information operations.

Aug. 13, 2018

Joint Force Quarterly 90 (3rd Quarter, July 2018)

The newest issue of Joint Force Quarterly is now online. With this issue your JFQ team completes our 90th edition and prepares to celebrate the journal’s 25th anniversary this fall, all thanks to our readers, authors, and the veterans of NDU Press, who have kept this great idea of General Colin Powell moving forward in support of the joint force. Join us in supporting what the general called “the cool yet lively interplay among some of the finest minds committed to the profession of arms.”

July 11, 2018

Enhancing Global Security Through Security Force Assistance

This commentary advocates for renewed emphasis on activities that support the capacity and capability of foreign security forces and their supporting institutions, also known as Security Force Assistance (SFA). SFA creates a framework for improved partnerships and stronger alliances, and encourages our global partners to carry a greater share of the security burden. The author calls for improvements to interoperability between current and future coalition forces and additional training of senior-level ministerial advisors among other initiatives. With continued focus and determination, SFA can help build more capable partners and facilitate peace, security and stability.

July 5, 2018

Don’t Shoot the Messenger: Demosthenes, Churchill, and the Consensus Delusion

In this feature article, the author compares the experiences of ancient Greek philosopher Demosthenes and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Though separated by two thousand years, both advocated for rearmament, both were called warmongers, and both were sidelined as a result. Far from provoking conflict, Demosthenes and Churchill sought to avoid war by strengthening military readiness and reinforcing support for their allies to make war less appealing to their adversaries. The lessons of Demosthenes and Churchill are still relevant as the Joint Force struggles with its own challenges in the midst of growing threats from actors across multiple domains.

July 5, 2018

Reverse Engineering Goldwater-Nichols: China’s Joint Force Reforms

This feature article examines the modernization of the People’s Liberation Army, particularly its operational capability within the People’s Republic of China and recent efforts to develop its capability as an expeditionary force. While the U.S. military has been reorganizing since the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986, China has paid close attention and taken significant steps, for example, in the creation of new joint warfighting commands, reorganization of its department system, and creation of new military services. These reform efforts have not been entirely successful, however, due to entrenched bureaucratic interests and the lack of recent combat operations.

July 5, 2018

Bombs, Not Broadcasts: U.S. Preference for Kinetic Strategy in Asymmetric Conflict

In this feature article, the author explores reasons why U.S. strategy in asymmetric conflict has focused so heavily on kinetic operations while conceding the information domain to weaker adversaries. This scenario is a consistent feature of every asymmetric conflict the U.S. has been involved in over the past several decades. In order for the U.S. military to be more successful in asymmetric wars, it needs to give company and battalion commanders authority to conduct information operations, move away from the mentality of treating messages like munitions, and create an organizational culture that fully appreciates the importance of information operations.

July 5, 2018

Defense of the West (Book Review)

In this timely book, one of the most seasoned observers of Atlantic security affairs, Stanley Sloan, offers insights about the future of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). These insights are linked to a detailed examination of the Alliance’s origins and development. Sloan pinpoints three key alliance drivers—national interests, common values, and political leadership—and offers a carefully circumscribed optimistic conclusion: common national interests and values are strong, but political leadership is volatile and in need of constructive and effective management.