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Category: JFQ Articles

May 14, 2019

Limiting Risk in America’s Wars

In Limiting Risk in America’s Wars, Phillip Meilinger argues against conducting prolonged wars of annihilation with large conventional U.S. ground forces. Instead, Meilinger favors the indirect approach espoused by British military thinkers such as Sir Basil H. Liddell Hart. Meilinger contends that U.S. strategy would be better served by second-front operations and grand strategic maneuvers that strike the enemy unexpectedly. Such operations would divert opposing forces, enable U.S. forces to avoid prolonged conflicts, and more rapidly achieve stated war aims. Reviewer Tom Greenwood concludes that Meilinger has written a provocative book that warrants close attention from JFQ’s readers.

May 14, 2019

The Cold War and The Cold War’s Killing Fields

Two new books revisit the Cold War. Odd Arne Westad’s The Cold War: A World History and Paul Chamberlin’s The Cold War’s Killing Fields. Westad does not use the standard bracket of 1945-89, but takes the long view back to nineteenth century economic turmoil and turn-of-the-century anti-colonialist sentiment. Chamberlain also emphasizes this same point, that the Cold War was much more than a bipolar ideological struggle. According to reviewer Walter Hudson, neither book is perfect, particularly the Chamberlin book in which American policies and policymakers do not receive fair treatment. Nonetheless, the merits of both books outweigh their flaws.

May 14, 2019

Fire for Effect: The Evolution of Joint Fires

Joint Publication (JP) 3-60, Joint Targeting, was revised and signed by the Director of Joint Force Development, and JP 3-09, Joint Fire Support, is in the final stages of its revision, tentatively scheduled for release in fall 2019. While both of these documents are commendable, says Mark Berwanger, some will claim that joint doctrine falls short in providing sufficient doctrine to integrate and synchronize all capabilities needed to accomplish the commander’s intent. Until the definition, utilization, and cultural understanding of “fires” is updated to include all offensive capabilities regardless of the weapon system, problems of integration and synchronization will remain.

May 14, 2019

The Insufficiency of U.S. Irregular Warfare Doctrine

As the U.S. enters a new era of near-peer competition, Irregular Warfare (IW) doctrine is insufficient to counter adversary employment of irregular strategies. China, Russia, Iran, North Korea and Violent Extremist Organizations are using irregular methods to include information, cyber, economic, and unconventional warfare to offset conventional military advantages. The doctrinal terms IW and Unconventional Warfare (UW) provide a common point of departure for the doctrinal discussion, but are incomplete, generally not well understood and often misused. According to Pelleriti and co-authors, U.S. planners must reassess and update IW terminology, concepts and authorities to be successful in this new era.

May 14, 2019

Joint Doctrine Updates

Joint Doctrine Updates

May 14, 2019

Enhancing Unit Readiness on the Southwest Border

Realistic training for military can often be illusive. Factors such as urban growth, pollution, competition for frequencies and airspace, and protected habitats, continually challenge the Department of Defense in carrying out realistic training at installations. However, a small task force in the southwest has developed a solution to keep units training as they fight. At Fort Bliss in Texas, Joint Task Force North (JTF-N) has developed innovative training opportunities for units that otherwise may not get the chance. While the benefits are easy to see, JTF-N is always looking for new ways to save money and enhance unit readiness.

May 14, 2019

U.S. Africa Command and Its Changing Strategic Environment

U.S. Africa Command has been training governments to combat terrorism, insurgency, and transnational crime while instilling the principles of professionalism and good governance. However, major changes in the strategic environment call for a new approach. Based on changing trade patterns, China’s rising influence, and the U.S.’s new focus on great power competition, say the authors, USAFRICOM must now help African leaders safeguard national independence and root out foreign corruption. A whole-of-government approach is needed to prevent dark money from subverting local governments and turning would-be allies against the United States.

May 14, 2019

Unity of Command: Authority and Responsibility over Military Justice

Military justice has been undergoing constant change recently, as a stream of legislation continues to modify the procedures through which we achieve justice in the military. This period of flux is now coming to an end, as the most sweeping reforms in thirty years passed Congress in 2016. Perhaps the most important outcome is not what has changed, but what stayed the same: the role of the commander in the military justice process. This article examines the commander’s historical role in the military justice process, and the challenges of maintaining authority and responsibility.

May 14, 2019

A Model for Tactical Readiness Through Strategic Opportunity

Theater Security Cooperation Programs (TSCP) are often viewed as burdens and distractions. However, if managed correctly TSCPs can significantly increase unit readiness. This article provides a model based on the authors’ experience in Operation Garuda Shield 17, which placed tactical leaders at strategic points of friction to communicate up and down the chain of command. TSCPs should be viewed as readiness opportunities rather than burdens because they provide opportunity for increased resources, unique experiences, as well as deployment and training readiness. Exercise planners and their partner-nation equivalents are the key audience, say the authors, to influence and ensure success.

May 14, 2019

The Acquisition and Cross Servicing Agreement: An Old Tool for the Modern Military

This article builds on a recent contribution from General Votel and Colonel Keravuori (in JFQ 89) who showed how the BWT approach promotes sustainable multi-national, regional and local defense institutions. Using a simple exchange of supplies and materials by via Acquisition and Cross Servicing Agreement transactions, the Joint Force can simultaneously build partner capacity and increase logistical interoperability. This simple but effective tool, says the author, allows service members to function in ambiguous, complex and volatile environments. Given the demands of future operations, the Joint Force must utilize all resources available to be leaner, faster and more mobile.