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Category: JFQ Articles

Dec. 29, 2021

Challenges to Creative Thinking: Identifying Officer Background Beliefs in Limited Information Environments

The nature of the current threat environment presents a challenge to U.S. national security that necessitates creative thinking by military officers. In 2020, the Joint Chiefs of Staff released a guidance document stating that the “profound and rapidly changing character of war and conflict” requires “the development of strategically minded joint warfighters who think critically and can creatively apply military power to inform national strategy.” This article conveys the results of the first empirical analysis of the background beliefs, or operative theories, that officers employ when applying military power to inform national strategy. It then outlines the implications of these findings and recommends ways to develop strategically minded military officers.

Dec. 29, 2021

Misleading a Pandemic: The Viral Effects of Chinese Propaganda and the Coronavirus

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the world, including strained diplomatic ties and blurred perceptions of who or what is responsible for its origins. In response to allegations, China crafted an intricate social media campaign to clear its name. Social media propaganda toward Western countries has become increasingly complex, systematic, and effective. The joint force should examine this campaign as an opportunity to better understand the changing character of war and the deliberate weaponization of social media among Great Power competitors.

Dec. 29, 2021

Design Thinking at the Enterprise Level: Integrating Defense All-Source Analysis

There is no shared understanding within the Defense Intelligence Enterprise about how all-source analytic organizations at different echelons should collaborate to support civilian and military decisionmakers. Although leaders within the enterprise and the broader Intelligence Community (IC) have taken steps to enhance horizontal integration between all-source analytic organizations, insufficient focus on the vertical integration of analysis throughout the Department of Defense (DOD) persists. A design thinking framework applied at the enterprise level should mitigate this problem and encourage the informed interactions necessary to integrate all-source analysis across DOD.

Dec. 29, 2021

Analyzing the Potential Disruptive Effects of Hypersonic Missiles on Strategy and Joint Warfighting

There are conflicting assertions about the implications of the United States, Russia, and China developing and deploying high-speed maneuvering weapons delivery systems—more commonly referred to as hypersonic missiles to conduct warfare. The often hyped and much-anticipated technical promise of hypersonic missiles raises questions that go to the heart of long-held U.S. operational and strategic assumptions. To better understand military operations featuring hypersonic missiles, DOD should initiate a campaign of experimentation, “a process of discovery about new military operational concepts and capabilities.”

Dec. 29, 2021

In Memoriam: General Colin Powell Photo Retrospective

In 1993, as the first Black Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Colin Powell founded this journal, Joint Force Quarterly—or simply JFQ, and introduced its inaugural issue that summer. His vision was to create a dynamic publication that would educate and inspire current and future military leaders serving across the joint force and “to provide for a free give-and-take of ideas among a wide range of people from every corner of the military.” Nearly 30 years later, and with over 100 JFQs published, our editorial team and contributing authors have consistently strived to carry forward his integrity, leadership, and steadfast commitment to our county’s warfighters. We offer this photo retrospective in honor of an extraordinary hero whose vision and determination shaped this journal and our nation.

Dec. 28, 2021

Executive Summary

After nearly 2 years of loss in the pandemic, it seems hard to see where we are, where we have been, and certainly where we are going. For the team that publishes this journal, the loss of General Colin Powell was personal. Without his simple tasking in 1993, Joint Force Quarterly would not exist. Having been the editor in chief now for 11 years, General Powell was on my shoulder every day in spirit, and his vision for what he saw as an important component of jointness has been our team’s guiding force.

Oct. 14, 2021

Purpose-Built Antiarmor Teams: An Imperative for the Marine Corps Ground Combat Element

The Marine Corps has an “institutional misunderstanding of armor” that leaves its Ground Combat Element (GCE) ill-equipped to defeat the armored platforms that our peer adversaries employ. The Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) has no active antiarmor doctrine and likewise lacks a purpose-built, ground-based antiarmor capability. The Marine Corps must establish modern antiarmor doctrine and restructure the training and equipping of Combined Anti-Armor Teams (CAATs) across the GCE to remain globally competitive across the full spectrum of conflict.

Oct. 14, 2021

Joint Doctrine Update

Joint Publications (JPs) under revision and signed within the past six months.

Oct. 14, 2021

Read the Manual: Reversing the Trends of Failure in NATO Humanitarian Interventions with Airpower

Alliance leaders should more heavily weigh insights from their own military doctrine when deliberating if and how to embark on another humanitarian intervention using airpower without a conventional ground force. At a minimum, such consideration should give NATO leaders a better sense of what is realistically possible with airpower. With this better sense, they should be able to make more effective decisions on, if, and how to use the military instrument to achieve humanitarian objectives if airpower is the most robust military means available to them.

Oct. 14, 2021

Proxy War: The Least Bad Option

If proxy wars will haunt the future, as Tyrone Groh suggests, then Proxy War will prove to be not only useful but also essential. Writing to policymakers and strategists, Groh offers many valuable considerations for clear and sober thinking about the employment of a proxy and, conversely, how to overcome a proxy threat.