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Category: JFQ Articles

July 1, 2021

Linking Foreign Language Capabilities with Expeditionary Requirements

Whether combined forces are jumping out of airplanes together, turning wrenches side by side, or providing direct patient care as a clinical team, security cooperation activities must bridge the culture and language divides between our partner militaries.

July 1, 2021

Hydrocarbons and Hegemony

There is a widespread notion today that the United States inherited from Great Britain and defended a liberal world premised on the free exchange of goods and capital (particularly by sea). This article suggests we can better understand the origins of this system and its possible future by integrating hydrocarbons—specifically coal and oil—into our analysis.

July 1, 2021

Military Power Reimagined: The Rise and Future of Shaping

The belief that the U.S. military finds itself in a “complex environment”—one in which conventional war is rare, but Great Power competition has returned, coupled with the persistent threat of violent nonstate actors—is so commonplace that it can now be considered a truism. This article better conceptualizes a type of military operation that is often misunderstood and understudied and that has the potential to become one of the most frequent tools of interstate competition in the coming decades.

July 1, 2021

Improving the Battle Rhythm to Operate at the Speed of Relevance

The art and science of decisionmaking begin with the establishment of an effective, efficient, and agile battle rhythm. Combat and stability operations throughout the past 20 years have enabled commanders and staffs to execute real-world operations based on established battle rhythms. Unfortunately, current operational-level exercises to evaluate joint force commands and their components in the U.S. Armed Forces and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization increasingly observe battle rhythms that do not effectively provide the commander and subordinates with timely information to make decisions.

July 1, 2021

Fighting as Intended: The Case for Austere Communications

Modern command and control (C2) systems depend on connectivity to collect information, issue orders, detect changes in the environment, and exploit successes. While the United States focused on counterinsurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan, competitors invested in technologies that can neutralize that connectivity.

July 1, 2021

Executive Summary

In many parts of joint warfighting, getting the right situational awareness (SA) is essential to success, especially to those of us in a position of military or civilian leadership. I must admit to a lack of SA in recent years as I, like many, have been drawn into an information cycle centered around less-traditional media sources. Because I live and work in the Nation’s capital area, I fully accept that I live in a “bubble,” where I may not have an accurate picture of events. But in recent years, with the rise of social media platforms—including active disinformation campaigns, both foreign and domestic—getting and keeping good SA is increasingly difficult. Where does one scan to find an objective view? As always, we look forward to hearing from you about what you think we need to do in the years ahead.

March 31, 2021

Joint Doctrine Update

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

March 31, 2021

U.S. Joint Doctrine Development and Influence on NATO

In order to be adaptable and better support allies, the U.S. joint doctrine community must refine its policies and streamline its procedures to address these and other challenges and overcome status quo tendencies. To reinforce both Alliance purpose and unity, the United States agrees to abide by certain NATO policies and procedures and participates in the allied joint doctrine development process. The following groupings provide an overview of U.S. and NATO systems and processes as well as potential efficiencies.

March 31, 2021

Strategic Humanism: Lessons on Leadership from the Ancient Greeks

At some point between the legendary Greek siege of Troy and the infamous defeat of Athens at Syracuse, the philosopher Heraclitus rather astutely discerned that Êthos anthrôpôi daimôn (Character is fate). His assertion might be thought of as a pithy distillation of the practical wisdom of ancient Greece. In Strategic Humanism, Claudia Hauer urges leaders to engage with this tradition; military officers and defense policymakers stand to gain not only theoretical insights from an attentive reading of the Greek classics, but also a way of perceiving the world and its conflicts as beyond total human mastery and yet shaped by the virtues and vices of human character.

March 31, 2021

Losing the Long Game: The False Promise of Regime Change in the Middle East

Few authors are more qualified to write on U.S.-sponsored regime change in the Middle East than Philip Gordon, who worked as Special Assistant to President Barack Obama for the Middle East (2013–2015) and as Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs (2009–2013). His book, Losing the Long Game, is elegant, thoroughly researched, and comprehensible; it belongs on the syllabus of every war college and policymaker’s desk.