Publications

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Category: Joint Force Quarterly

July 25, 2019

Global Risks and Opportunities: The Great Power Competition Paradigm

The great power competition paradigm outlined in the National Defense Strategy provides a way to think strategically about inter-state competition in a multipolar world. Both history and a survey of current events indicate we should expect great power competition throughout the 21st century between the US, China and Russia in Africa, Central Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. Although information operations, economic diplomacy and espionage will be the primary weapons of statecraft, say the authors, military cooperation can catalyze greater regional integration, reassure our partners and allies, and support our whole-of-government efforts.

July 25, 2019

Twenty-First Century Nuclear Deterrence: Operationalizing the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review

America must maintain credible nuclear deterrent capabilities to convince potential adversaries and allies alike that the US will defend its vital interests and will employ those capabilities, all while hedging against an uncertain future. Despite the changing environment, America continues to view nuclear deterrence largely in Cold War terms. The continued reliance on obsolete deterrence concepts exposes a gap between policy and practice. The US must eliminate this gap, say the authors, by developing a tailored and flexible deterrence posture, which will give the Joint Force a broad spectrum of nuclear deterrence capabilities.

July 24, 2019

LikeWar

Brett Swaney reviews LikeWar: The Weaponization of Social Media by Peter W. Singer and Emerson T. Brooking. The authors examine the role of social media in reshaping the character of war and politics. The result is an insightful overview of the new information battlespace for national security professionals.

July 24, 2019

Flanking the Crater

The Battle of the Crater, fought in 1864 during the US Civil War, is a successful example of tactical innovation except that it did not succeed. The idea was to alter the battlespace by tunneling under the enemy’s fortifications. The local commander made a quick feasibility study, and decided to utilize his soldiers’ skills as civilian miners. The authors use these events as a case study in innovation, particularly the role of mid-level leaders and propose a Joint Innovation Framework. Among their recommendations is appointment of a lead integrator who would help translate tactical opportunities into operational and strategic victories.

Jan. 23, 2019

Joint Doctrine Update

Joint Doctrine Updates.

Jan. 23, 2019

J 3-24 Counterinsurgency

The Joint Staff has revised JP 3-24, Counterinsurgency, which provides instructions and doctrine to plan, execute, and assess counterinsurgency operations. JP 3-24 is a priority publication, which supports the National Defense Strategy and National Military Strategy. JP 3-24 defines counterinsurgency (COIN) as comprehensive civilian and military efforts designed to simultaneously defeat and contain insurgency and address its root causes. Accordingly, JP 3-24 provides authoritative doctrine relative to counterinsurgency. Highlights include analysis of the COIN operational environment, the nature of an insurgency, considerations for COIN planning, and how to conduct a COIN assessment.

Jan. 23, 2019

Master and Commander in Joint Air Operations: Winning the Air War Through Mission Command

Much has been written on Mission Command and Control since 2012 when CJCS General Martin Dempsey released a white paper which encouraged this leadership style among his subordinates. Mission command is a proven concept in air operations, and will be required to face the challenges of future conflicts. Since the advent of satellite communications and the internet, however, command and control of joint air operations has become increasingly centralized. Mission command is essential to winning future air wars says, the author, which is feasible because new technology allows operational commanders to make tactical decisions from thousands of miles away.

Jan. 23, 2019

War in 140 Characters

How has social media reshaped the way war is fought? Brett Swaney reviews War in 140 Characters: How Social Media Is Reshaping Conflict in the Twenty-First Century by David Patrikarakos. Every war, says the author, is essentially a clash of narratives. The author’s hypothesis that social media has reshaped not just the nature of conflict but also the entire discourse surrounding warfare remains an open question. Nonetheless, this book is required reading for national security professionals who seek a better understanding of the power of social media and the contemporary conflict increasingly shaped by homo digitalis.

Jan. 23, 2019

Just War Reconsidered

The greatest blind spot of Just War Theory is the accountability of senior civilian and military leaders for wartime decisions. Anthony Pfaff reviews Just War Reconsidered: Strategy, Ethics, and Theory by James Dubik. This book covers the responsibilities and obligations of civilians for the decision to go to war, and the higher obligations of military leaders and soldiers pertaining to unnecessary harm, impermissible weapons, the acceptance of surrender, and the treatment of combatants and noncombatants, among others. This book is critical reading for national security professionals in positions where they will make or advise decision-makers regarding warfare.

Jan. 23, 2019

Vietnam

This book tells the tragic story of the Vietnam War. Williamson Murray reviews Vietnam: An Epic Tragedy, 1945–1975 by Max Hastings. In this case, the word tragic is not an overstatement. Vietnam weaves the stories of American and Vietnamese soldiers and civilians on all sides of the struggle into a terrifying and impressive tale of both man’s inhumanity to his fellows, and the heroism of those on the sharp end. Perhaps the saddest result from the American point of view is that our political and military leaders learned so little from the high price we paid.