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Category: Joint Force Quarterly

Jan. 1, 2014

The Tender Soldier: A True Story of War and Sacrifice

On November 4, 2008, Paula Loyd, a social scientist with a relatively new U.S. Army program, the Human Terrain System (HTS) and its deployed Human Terrain Teams, was on task in Maiwand, Afghanistan. Deployed to study the sociocultural nuances of the Afghan people and help commanders better understand the host population, this day would lead to Loyd’s death. The Tender Soldier: A True Story of War and Sacrifice, by journalist and Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism Professor Vanessa M. Gezari, is a well-researched and deeply personal narrative of the events of that day and the controversies surrounding the program that deployed Loyd into the field.

Jan. 1, 2014

Useful Enemies: When Waging War is More Important Than Winning Them

In Useful Enemies, David Keen (professor of conflict studies at the London School of Economics) explores both the causes of conflict and the varied factors that perpetuate war. Military leaders, policymakers, analysts, scholars, and general readers interested in the complex dynamics of warfare should find the work engaging. Keen’s thesis is controversial: “This book suggests that a great many wars are resistant to ending for the simple (but hidden) reason that powerful actors (both local and international) do not want them to end. . . . Very often, powerful actors may simply pursue other priorities that conflict with the expressed goal of winning (actions that may have the effectof reproducing the enemy, or that may simply take time, energy and resources away from ‘winning’)” (pp. 8–9).

Jan. 1, 2014

Security Cooperation: How It All Fits

Joint Publication (JP) 3-XX, Security Cooperation, will most likely deal with the terms and programs supporting U.S. foreign policy and how they relate. The anticipated updating of JP 3-22, Foreign Internal Defense, should be synchronized with it and present expanded discussion of U.S. combat operations to include major counterinsurgency and counterterrorism operations in support of host countries. Joint Doctrine Note 1-13,Security Force Assistance, will also help provide commanders a doctrinal foundation for identifying tools and resources to assist other militaries. Language redundancies and confusing definitions should not be allowed to impede military ventures—hence the need for doctrine as the fundamental principles guiding force employment toward common objectives. Future joint doctrine must explain the relationship of security cooperation terms.