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Category: Joint Force Quarterly

July 1, 2016

Executive Summary

History seems to have a greater attraction as we age. As the past stretches out, we often look to it in order to relate our experiences today to those we fondly (or not so fondly) remember. Recently, I was asked if Joint Force Quarterly could include more warfighting articles, particularly those that have a historical focus. I readily responded that we always are interested in such pieces, but we receive few submissions for our Recall section. A simple enough proposition, but in execution one that is fully dependent on inputs from our audience. I have frequently remarked that such articles have a much higher chance of acceptance for publication because we receive so few warfighting articles in comparison to what we publish.

July 1, 2016

Securing the Third Offset Strategy: Priorities for the Next Secretary of Defense

Following a process of examining strategy, scenarios, and assessments, this article identifies for the next Secretary of Defense eight capability statements that merit attention as the Department of Defense’s (DOD’s) top new investment priorities as part of the Third Offset Strategy in the fiscal year 2018 budget and beyond. Additionally, this article recommends that reforms to the analytical processes informing force planning decisions in general and the Third Offset Strategy in particular be guided by increased selectivity, transparency, and commonality.

July 1, 2016

Twenty-First Century Information Warfare and the Third Offset Strategy

It is well established that both state and nonstate adversaries are gaining parity with current U.S. military-technological capabilities, and as a result adversaries are eroding the tremendous asymmetrical conventional warfare advantages once exclusively enjoyed by U.S. forces. This leveling of the playing field has been enabled through decreased costs of modern information technology and low barriers of entry to attaining precision weapons; stealth capabilities; sophisticated commercial and military command and control (C2) capabilities; advanced intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR); and relatively cheap access to commercial and government-sponsored space and cyber capabilities. As a result, in November 2014, then–Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced the Defense Innovation Initiative to counter adversary technical and tactical progress that, if left unchecked, will ultimately hinder U.S. ability to project power across the globe and permanently challenge its aims of retaining its coveted status as a global hegemon. While there are many aspects to this initiative, the Third Offset Strategy, as outlined in policy, does not adequately address the need for advanced information operations (IO), particularly IO wargaming, modeling and simulation (M&S), and training systems. The purpose of this article is to make the case that increasing the investment in joint live, virtual, and constructive (LVC) IO wargaming and simulations will generate lasting asymmetrical advantages for joint force commanders and will significantly contribute to the achievement of the Third Offset Strategy.

July 1, 2016

Avoiding Becoming a Paper Tiger: Presence in a Warfighting Defense Strategy

The American military is reentering a period of competition. For the 20 years following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the U.S. military reigned supreme, nearly unchallengeable in any state-on-state contingency that Washington might seriously care to take on. This meant that a whole generation of U.S. policymakers and military professionals became accustomed to U.S. military dominance, a dominance that enabled, and in some cases even propelled, a more ambitious and assertive foreign policy.

July 1, 2016

Switching the Paradigm from Reactive to Proactive: Stopping Toxic Leadership

An overview of the current thoughts on toxic leadership and an actionable approach for countering and preventing the development of toxic leader environments.

July 1, 2016

Measuring Strategic Deterrence: A Wargaming Approach

During the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, President John F. Kennedy weighed a number of factors to assess the potential effectiveness of U.S. actions to deter the Soviets from further deployment of medium-range nuclear missiles in Cuba. Kennedy realized that an existing missile gap gave the United States an assured second-strike capability, but Soviet missiles in Cuba would make the consequences of a Soviet first strike much costlier. For example, U.S. extended-deterrence strategies would be at risk, which could suggest that the United States might not risk nuclear war if the Soviets subsequently assaulted Berlin. Although Kennedy’s greatest fear was the potential for human error and accidental escalation during the standoff, he gained insight into Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev’s risk tolerance after receiving a rambling four-part cable from the seemingly stressed Soviet leader.1 In the end, it was the rational consideration of these factors from both his and Khrushchev’s perspectives that allowed Kennedy to assess relative resolve and select actions that would control escalation.

July 1, 2016

A Way Ahead for DOD Disaster Preparedness

On October 8, 2005, I was just 6 weeks into my assignment coordinating with the Pakistani military to keep the air logistics routes open through Pakistan into Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and to coordinate coalition, Afghan, and Pakistani border operations. It was a pretty average deployment. That changed at 0850 local time. First, I heard a sound like a freight train and then the building began to rock like a cork bobbing, and the ground beneath us was acting more like liquid than solid, with visible ripples moving toward us. The ground continued to move for what seemed like forever, and one of my Pakistani friends asked me, “Is this the end of the world?” I answered, “No,” but his question did give me pause. Finally, after almost 6 minutes, the noise subsided and the ground stopped moving. I did not know it at the time, but I had just experienced one of the largest earthquakes ever recorded in Pakistan. According to one source, the “shallow earthquake registered a 7.6 magnitude on the Richter scale.” The earthquake “epicenter was located approximately 19 km north-northeast of the city of Muzaffarabad, the capital of the Pakistani-administered part of Kashmir,” and “100 km north-northeast of Islamabad.”

July 1, 2016

The U.S. Pacific Command Response to Super Typhoon Haiyan

On November 6, 2013, Haiyan (known locally as Yolanda) became what many described as the strongest storm on record to make landfall. According to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Haiyan had winds of up to 200 miles per hour, with gusts of up to 225 miles per hour. Haiyan affected 9 out of the 17 regions in the Philippines. With over $86 million in total U.S. assistance, the U.S. military response efforts comprised more than 13,400 military personnel, 66 aircraft, and 12 naval vessels, which delivered over 2,495 tons of relief supplies and evacuated more than 21,000 people. More than 1,300 flights were completed in support of the relief effort, delivering goods and services to approximately 450 sites. As of July 2014, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) estimated that a total of 16 million people were affected by Haiyan.

July 1, 2016

#SocialMediaMatters: Lessons Learned from Exercise Trident Juncture

Headquarters from the brigade to combatant command levels must understand how to establish credibility and gain popularity through social media if they are to effectively shape the information environment during modern military operations.

July 1, 2016

China's Goldwater-Nichols? Assessing PLA Organizational Reforms

In the past few months, China has announced a series of major reforms to the organizational structure of the People’s Liberation Army. The new PLA C2 structure might best be described as Goldwater-Nichols with Chinese characteristics.