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Category: Joint Force Quarterly

July 1, 2014

Defense Strategic Guidance: Thoughtful Choices and Security Cooperation

DOD aids such as amalgamating strategic guidance, Secretarial reviews of campaign and contingency plans, and steady-state activities within theaters will help seal enduring gaps and help planners watch for unintended damage to our security cooperation partners as well as engendering further dialogue in DOD, the combatant commands, and the embassies.

July 1, 2014

Sexual Assault and the Military Petri Dish

The military is just different enough from society at large that it should use its public trust, relative isolation, massive resources, autonomy, centralized control, and ability to act quickly to resolve the issue of sexual assault in its own ranks and help solve the problem for the rest of society.

April 1, 2014

Airpower and Globalization Effects: Rethinking the Five Rings

The Five Rings theory may not provide quick wins against large countries with modern air defense systems, but an escalatory strategic interdiction strategy relying on capable air and navel forces to affect the most critical and vulnerable elements would apply to many crises with its nonlethal and reversible options.

April 1, 2014

Sun Tzu in Contemporary Chinese Strategy

Sun Tzu’s The Art of War cuts both ways. Its tenets work against enemies but can also strike against China. Using the general’s maxims, we can uncover inconsistencies in the grandly moral stance assumed by Chinese leaders. For instance, claims made for public consumption can be juxtaposed with demonstrable fact.

Jan. 1, 2014

Biometric-Enabled Intelligence in Regional Command-East

Biometric-enabled Intelligence (BEI) has established its value throughout Regional Command–East even though the full potential of biometrics-related collections and applications remains unknown. Importantly, the concept has gained traction at the general government level as well as locally, where Afghan National Security Forces and allies and adversaries are seeing the forensic footprints insurgents leave behind being exploited to erase insurgent anonymity, which has served as a traditional hiding place. Arrests and warrants are up, and BEI operations have impacted insurgents' ability to lead their movement and lower-level cells' ability to function. The pressure grows as coalition and Afghan forces employ biometrically developed watch lists and "be on the lookout" messages as part of focused hunts for offenders.

Jan. 1, 2014

"Gallantry and Intrepidity": Valor Decorations in Current and Past Conflicts

The Nation and its military appear to be growing less generous with decorations for valor. Seventeen Medals of Honor were awarded for the 17 days of the Battle of Chosin Reservoir, while 11 have been awarded over the 11-year span of U.S. combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. No single factor accounts for the 20-fold reduction in the number of valor decorations in current operations. The most popular reasoning focuses on the changing nature of warfare and military culture, but that leaves gaps. The awards process is kept from public scrutiny, but some evidence suggests changes since Vietnam. The effects of the factors that can be isolated need further analysis to enable today's warriors to be awarded the decorations they earn.

Jan. 1, 2014

From the Chairman

The Joint Force remains unrivaled. We deter threats, assure partners, and defeat adversaries. We are strong—and our nation is secure—because we commit to being the best led, best trained, and best equipped force as our non-negotiable imperative. You, the men and women of the Joint Force—all volunteers—are the Nation’s qualitative military edge. We are who we are because of your commitment and determination. The world is not getting any safer, but we are becoming more adaptable.

Jan. 1, 2014

Executive Summary

There was a time when “jointness” had no champions. There was a time when professional military education at the Service colleges offered little in the way of joint content. Joint military operations often revealed a lack of basic coordination, much less cooperation or cohesion. Despite examples in World War II of joint coordination in various operations, after the war, Army Chief of Staff General Dwight D. Eisenhower and Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Chester Nimitz committed their respective Services to work together to establish a joint military education effort 40 years before the Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986 required it.

Jan. 1, 2014

The Role of Professional Military Education in Mission Command

The military's new command system, known as mission command, requires that subordinate leaders at all levels are at once aggressive and disciplined in accomplishing the mission. Accordingly, the Chairman's "conduct of military operations through decentralized execution based upon mission type orders" calls for commensurate professional military education (PME), but the emphasis on relative autonomy has not been as pronounced as needed. Among areas where PME is found wanting is not allowing students time to think about what they are learning. Implanting civilian instructors with more experience in building in time for research and reflection, and requiring writing—an operations order a week is suggested—will help develop the critical thinking mission command demands.

Jan. 1, 2014

The Pen and the Sword: Faculty Management Challenges in the Mixed Cultural Environment of a War College

While the war colleges each Service maintains bow to their Services' cultures, and the National War College and Eisenhower School are joint, these institutions share certain commonalities in preparing lieutenant colonels and colonels and their Navy equivalents for the next level of responsibility. Seen from the perspective of an administrator, the war colleges should aim to be "intellectual centers of excellence with a mix of the best and brightest military and civilian faculty members." Properly resourced and staffed, the schools could serve as percolators for new and even counterintuitive thinking egged on by incisive research on impactful areas, and also as launching pads for the sorts of inquiring and innovative officers needed to confront the challenges of a fast-paced age.