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Category: JFQ Articles

Sept. 10, 2020

The Psychology of Jointness

No military in the world can employ the forces of different services in such an integrated and interdependent manner as the U.S. military, and we can attribute this hard-won level of competence, accumulated over decades, to reforms stemming from the Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986 (GNA). These changes led the U.S. military to become the most powerful force in the world by compelling it to become the most joint force in the world.

Joint Force Quarterly 98 Sept. 10, 2020

The "Politics" of Security Cooperation and Security Assistance

In 1955 a book titled The Politics of the Prussian Army, 1640–1945 was published; it would soon become a landmark study of civil-military relations. Gordon Craig’s unassuming tome became widely influential within and outside the civil-military relations field and spurred the publication of what has become a wide literature on the politics of armies (particularly those of the United Kingdom, Italy, Russia, and France) that takes a different approach to our conventional understanding of civil-military relations.

Sept. 10, 2020

Joint Doctrine Updates

Joint Doctrine Updates.

Sept. 10, 2020

Preparing Senior Officers and Their Counterparts for Interagency National Security Decisionmaking

America will be better off if uniformed officers know more about interagency decisionmaking and their civilian colleagues understand more about the military and how it is schooled. The answer to the problems at hand is education writ large, but the critical part will be in determining how, when, and where this education takes place.

Sept. 10, 2020

Operations Short of War and Operational Art

In peacetime, one’s military forces are predominantly involved in conducting diverse and low-intensity actions, arbitrarily called operations short of war. Focus in these operations is almost entirely on strategy and tactics, while operational art—that critically important intermediate field of study and practice of the art of war—is given short shrift. One reason for this unsatisfactory situation is the belief that operational art is applicable only to a high-intensity conventional war, but this is indisputably false. Operational art can, and should, be applied across the entire spectrum of conflict.

Sept. 10, 2020

Evaluating Strategies: Six Criteria for National Security Professionals

It is relatively easy to examine past strategies and evaluate whether they were successful; it is much more difficult to evaluate current and proposed strategies to determine whether they are likely to be effective. This article briefly discusses some of the proposals in business literature for evaluating corporate strategies and incorporates many of these ideas into six criteria for evaluating security strategies.

Sept. 10, 2020

Disinformation and Disease: Operating in the Information Environment During Foreign Humanitarian Assistance Missions

Previous disease outbreaks involving narrative exploitation by the former Soviet Union, Russia, and Iran highlight the consequences of failing to identify and counter misinformation and disinformation. The expected rise in disease- and disaster-related FHA missions demands interagency community and Department of Defense (DOD) coordination to mitigate risks. This analysis illustrates the threat posed by adversaries and the necessity of building expertise to synchronize information-related capabilities for counternarrative planning.

Sept. 10, 2020

Accelerating Military Innovation: Lessons from China and Israel

The U.S. military’s technological advantage is under threat. Since the end of the Cold War, the military has been largely occupied with relatively low-tech counterterrorism and counterinsurgency conflicts against non-peer adversaries. Much U.S. defense research and development (R&D) during that time focused on delivering incremental innovations to address capability gaps in existing systems and warfighting concepts. As a result, many of today’s frontline systems are upgraded versions of those used in the Gulf War almost 30 years ago.

Sept. 10, 2020

Structuring for Competition: Rethinking the Area of Responsibility Concept for Great Power Competition

Even if we can create and master new tools capable of dominating today’s battlespace, just having the best technology will not be enough: Winning conflicts today requires changes to the ways DOD organizes and employs forces. Ultimately, if the United States fails to take a comprehensive approach toward adapting to the challenges of the information age and adversarial competition, then we will cede our national security advantage.

Sept. 10, 2020

Executive Summary

As I write this column from my table far away from my NDU Press office during the pandemic, I am wondering about the scope of it all, as I am sure many of you are. Was COVID-19 unexpected? Unprecedented? Did we all think it would not happen? One thing I am certain about—such times bring out the need for capability and teamwork in the harshest of conditions. While not a typical environment for the military, often when we see the need to team up in ways that might not be traditional to work out a “wicked problem” like this one, I wonder if this situation is exactly what jointness is for.