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Category: Joint Force Quarterly

Dec. 30, 2014

Seeing 2020: America's New Vision for Integrated Air and Missile Defense

On December 5, 2013, with the stroke of a pen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin E. Dempsey profoundly altered the U.S. approach to the pressing problem of air and missile defense. On that date—coincidentally, 70 years to the day after the U.S. Army Air Corps began Operation Crossbow, the Anglo-American bombing campaign against Adolf Hitler’s V-1 and V-2 missile forces and a missile defense milestone—General Dempsey signed the Joint Integrated Air and Missile Defense: Vision 2020.1 This seminal document for air and missile defense (AMD) outlines the Chairman’s guidance to the joint force and, by extension, to all the stakeholders that contribute to the air and missile defense of the U.S. homeland and its regional forces, partners, and allies. What makes the new vision both exceptionally timely and highly relevant is that it accounts for the volatility and reality of 21st-century strategic and threat environments characterized more often than not by rapid, enigmatic change.

Dec. 30, 2014

Letter

As I read Rebecca Patterson and Jodi Vittori’s article titled “Why Military Officers Should Study Political Economy” in Joint Force Quarterly 75 (4th Quarter 2014), I reconsidered my own understanding of the term political economy. At one time I was admittedly unsure of its precise meaning, although I could make some informed guesses, and thankfully the authors do a good job of giving readers many opportunities to understand what it means based on context in various passages.

Sept. 30, 2014

Deterrence with China: Avoiding Nuclear Miscalculation

As China rises and the United States seeks to maintain its global dominance, the world is faced with a new historical phenomenon: a dramatic shift in power between two nuclear-capable nations. As the relative power of each nation nears parity, tension is inevitable and the character of the evolving Sino-U.S. relationship poses a risk of nuclear miscalculation. Nuclear use between China and the United States would be a catastrophe, but China is an independent actor, and the United States can only influence, but not control, the crossing of the nuclear threshold. If U.S. policymakers neglect this risk, miscalculation is more likely.

Sept. 30, 2014

The Limits of Cyberspace Deterrence

As a concept, deterrence has been part of the military vernacular since antiquity. In his History of the Peloponnesian War, Thucydides quotes Hermocrates as stating, “Nobody is driven into war by ignorance, and no one who thinks that he will gain anything from it is deterred by fear.”2 In the 2,400 years since then, the domains for the conduct of military affairs have expanded from the original land and maritime domains to air, space, and now cyberspace. As warfighting expanded its scope, strategic theory did as well. Today, U.S. doctrine declares that the fundamental purpose of the military is to deter or wage war in support of national policy.3 Therefore, military strategists and planners have a responsibility to assess how adversaries may be deterred in any warfighting domain. Through the joint planning process, planners, working through the interagency process, consider deterrent options for every instrument of national power—diplomatic, informational, military, and economic—across all phases of military operations.4 However, most of the thought and analysis in deterrence has revolved around the use of conventional and nuclear weapons.

Sept. 30, 2014

Opportunities in Understanding China’s Approach to the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands

In 2010, two Japanese coast guard vessels and a Chinese fishing boat collided in the disputed waters near the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands, sparking increasingly confrontational behavior by both China and Japan. The pattern of escalation continued in 2012 when Japan nationalized several of the disputed islands by purchasing them from the private owner. China promptly responded by sending warships to the area in a show of force. Although escalation to the point of war is unlikely, these incidents underscore the destabilizing regional effects of the disputed islands and associated maritime boundaries. China’s territorial claims are rooted in historical context, nationalism, national security, and economic interests.3 By understanding China’s perspectives, motives, and approaches to resolving this dispute, the United States can anticipate the current pattern of escalation, forecast future Chinese behavior, and identify opportunities for conflict management and eventual de-escalation to improve strategic stability in the region.

Sept. 30, 2014

A Potent Vector: Assessing Chinese Cruise Missile Developments

The numerous, increasingly advanced cruise missiles being developed and deployed by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) have largely flown under the public’s radar. This article surveys PRC cruise missile programs and assesses their implications for broader People’s Liberation Army (PLA) capabilities, especially in a Taiwan scenario.

Sept. 30, 2014

Understanding the Enemy: The Enduring Value of Technical and Forensic Exploitation

The escalation of improvised explosive device (IED) incidents and related casualties during Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom led to a new intelligence field related to technical intelligence (TECHINT) called weapons technical intelligence (WTI), which combined technical and forensic IED exploitation techniques to link persons, places, things, and events. WTI operationalizes technical and forensic activities by fusing the technical, forensic, and biometric disciplines to produce actionable intelligence for countering threat networks. It is an especially powerful tool against terrorist organizations that rely on IEDs as a primary weapon in their arsenals. Given the enduring nature of the IED problem, careful consideration is required to ensure that we have the necessary counter-IED capability and capacity to meet future threats across the range of military operations. Across this range and at each level of war from tactical to strategic, TECHINT and WTI make critical contributions to joint warfare and military decisionmaking.

July 1, 2014

Tailored Deterrence: Strategic Context to Guide Joint Force 2020

U.S. deterrence is neutered by not clearly defining national security threats and aligning resources accordingly, as in favoring offensive Air-Sea Battle against China against defensive A2/AD capabilities with partners, or preparing sufficiently against regional players such as North Korea and Syria. Plans must accord with actual defense policies and dangers.

July 1, 2014

The Role of U.S. Land Forces in the Asia-Pacific

Washington must not yield to fiscal pressures that erode its legitimacy as a global leader. Its forces must remain capable across the spectrum from the smallest to the largest security challenges and control procurement accordingly, using existing resources and allies in a flexible approach the Army will continue to pursue.

July 1, 2014

Resilient Command and Control: The Need for Distributed Control

Centralized control and decentralized execution has been a fundamental principle of Air Force power projection. It will remain seminal as the Service combines a single commander who weighs strategy and tactics for optimal force employment with Airmen empowered to use imagination and initiative.