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Category: Joint Force Quarterly

Oct. 1, 2016

Fighting with Friends: Coalition Warfare in Korean Waters, 1950–1953

In late June 1950, President Harry Truman ordered U.S. forces into combat against the North Korean invasion of South Korea. One of the first units to respond was a combined U.S. Navy–Royal Navy task force with one aircraft carrier from each navy. Throughout the Korean War, British and American naval forces operated together to support the decisive actions on land. Although Anglo-American naval relations were close throughout the Korean War, these ties could be strained and frayed when U.S. Navy commanders operated as though the Royal Navy was a mirror image of their own fleet. This case study in managing multinational operations serves as a timely reminder for commanders and operators of the importance of understanding the history and organizational structure of their coalition partners and of being prepared to adjust practices and procedures based on this knowledge. The experience of Rear Admiral George Dyer illustrates the dangers of mirror-imaging coalition allies, even those as close as the Royal Navy.

Oct. 1, 2016

A Passion for Leadership

Robert Gates’s previous memoirs on his time at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and on the National Security Council staff as well as his tenure as Secretary of Defense were well received as “ultimate insider” accounts. Gates’s latest book, A Passion for Leadership, is different but should prove just as popular for different reasons. Gates distills his government experience, along with his service as president of Texas A&M (the Nation’s fifth largest university), into a treatise on leadership. It is a fitting capstone to an illustrious career, during which he “worked for eight U.S. presidents . . . and observed or worked with fourteen secretaries of state, thirteen secretaries of defense, nine chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, fourteen national security advisers, ten directors of the CIA,” and innumerable senior military officers and diplomats. He has observed and exercised a lot of leadership and believes he has something important to say about the topic. He is right.

Oct. 1, 2016

Carnage and Connectivity

One approaches the first few pages of Carnage and Connectivity with a sense of trepidation. Do we need another book invoking Carl von Clausewitz’s “remarkable trinity” to explain the changing character (but not nature!) of war? Do we need another book critiquing revolutions in military affairs (RMAs) as unrealistic technophilia? Do we need another book parsing the meaning of cyber power? With a deep sense of foreboding I plowed on, expecting my pessimism to be confirmed. But then I encountered pithy writing, unique insights, and even detected a sense of humor. While Carnage and Connectivity covers well-trodden ground, it does so with exceptional clarity, biting critiques, and the self-confident voice of a seasoned (if not cynical) scholar.

July 1, 2016

From the Chairman | Upholding Our Oath

As the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, I am honored to represent the extraordinary Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, Airmen, and Coastguardsmen who make up the Joint Force. Throughout my travels and engagements, I continue to be inspired by your professionalism, your commitment to defending the Nation, and your adaptiveness in encountering the security challenges our country faces.

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.