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Category: JFQ

April 1, 2017

Toward a Unified Metric of Kinetic and Nonkinetic Actions: Meaning Fields and the Arc of Effects

There is a critical need for new thinking on how the United States can better meet the full spectrum of kinetic and nonkinetic 21st-century security challenges. Revolutionary changes in information technologies, communications, and the composition of both nation-state and nonstate actors necessitate a change in our approach toward national security. Though emerging cyber capabilities tend to dominate current defense dialogues, technological advances in the traditional domains of land, sea, air, and space also demand a concept for holistically assessing the reality of our national security environment and the effects of actions we take toward those ends. In short, we need a unified cognitive approach for assessing and measuring kinetic and nonkinetic actions.

April 1, 2017

Information Warfare in an Information Age

In the past week, how many devices have you used that were connected to the Internet or relied on an algorithm to accomplish a task? Likely, the number is upward of 10 to 15, and most of those devices are used daily, if not hourly. Examples may include a Fit-Bit, cell phone, personal computer, work computer, home monitoring system, car, Internet television, printer, scanner, maps, and, if you are really tech savvy, maybe your coffee pot or refrigerator.

April 1, 2017

The Rise of the Commercial Threat: Countering the Small Unmanned Aircraft System

The Small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS) is a disruptive commercial technology that poses a unique and currently undefined threat to U.S. national security. Although, as with any new technology, the parameters of the capabilities regarding military use have yet to be fully discovered, recent events highlight the potential danger. In September 2013, an unarmed sUAS hovered near the face of German Chancellor Angela Merkel while she delivered a campaign speech. In January of 2015, an sUAS defied restricted airspace and landed, initially undetected, on the White House lawn. And more recently, in August of 2016, at least five sUASs disrupted wildfire fighting efforts near Los Angeles, grounding helicopters for fear of mid-air collisions. Likewise, sUAS altercations with law enforcement are increasing, as the Federal Aviation Administration now receives over 100 adverse UAS reports per month.4 These examples emphasize the intrusive, undetectable, and potentially lethal nature of this emerging technology.

April 1, 2017

Forensic Vulnerability Analysis: Putting the “Art” into the Art of War

Is warfare art or science? The debate, touched upon by Sun Tzu in the 6th century BCE, is still raging today. Most scholarly literature states that war is a combination of both art and science. Many military scholars side with the argument that the planning and execution of warfare are art, but the tools used to wage war are science. However, in this technology-centric era of large data collection, asymmetric adversaries that employ emerging technologies, nation-states that leverage technology superior proxies, weapons that evoke a Star Wars familiarity, and a generation of warfighters that is more comfortable around instantaneous data flows than long-term incremental research, science is taking a more prominent role in warfare. For example, watch the current Department of Defense (DOD) recruiting videos. Except for the Marine Corps, which is still looking for The Few, The Proud, most if not all Service recruiting videos focus on technology (for example, jet fighters, cyber warriors, and space warriors).

April 1, 2017

Operational Graphics for Cyberspace

Symbols have been part of military tactics, operations, and strategy since armies became too large for personal observation on the battlefield. In joint military operations, it is crucial to have a set of common symbols familiar to all users. The inability of cyber warriors to easily express operational concepts inhibits the identification of cyber key terrain, development of tactics and strategies, and execution of command and control.

April 1, 2017

The Need for a Joint Support Element in Noncombatant Evacuation Operations

The U.S. Government’s first duty is to protect and defend the citizens of the Nation. Loss of confidence in the government’s ability and willingness to safeguard citizens can shift the public narrative and may even compel policymakers to alter strategic direction. Noncombatant evacuation operations (NEOs) from threatened areas overseas are therefore an important strategic matter, particularly in today’s world of viral videos and globalized travel.

April 1, 2017

Policing in America: How DOD Helped Undermine Posse Comitatus

With the recent events of police shootings and domestic terrorism, many are calling into question whether our law enforcement strategies are standing up to the ideals that police everywhere are known to follow—aptly, to protect and to serve. Claims of lingering societal racism and police brutality are under constant scrutiny by social and police reform activists and media coverage.1 Other studies state these claims are myths being reported daily as facts and are, sadly, finding their way into changing public policy.2 Tension between these arguments was succinctly stated best as “if you’re pro–Black Lives Matter, you’re assumed to be anti-police, and if you’re pro-police, then you surely hate black people.”3 But why should this concern the Department of Defense (DOD)?

April 1, 2017

The U.S. Government’s Approach to Health Security: Focus on Medical Campaign Activities

The U.S. Government plans, conducts, supports, and participates in activities that reinforce national interests. These interests perpetuate an international order underpinned by stable democratic governments and regional security. One critical component of national stability is the capability to protect citizens from internal and external threats. This capability normally requires a nation to draw upon its citizenry to populate internal forces responsible for providing security; therefore, a healthy populace is a necessity. With the U.S. Government’s increasing responsibility as a security provider and its political emphasis on health security, the U.S. military will undoubtedly be expected to have a larger role in support of health security objectives. While natural or manmade threats to human health can lead to illness or injury, illness transmitted by proximity between humans remains among the foremost dangers to human health, international stability, and the global economy. In other words, health security is crucial to U.S. national security.

April 1, 2017

The Advent of Jointness During the Gulf War: A 25-Year Retrospective

It has been three decades since the passage of the Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986, a piece of legislation that changed how the Department of Defense (DOD) functions and how the military conducts operations. By adopting the concept now known as “jointness,” it restricted the Services to an administrative and organizational role as force providers, while combatant commanders held operational authority with a chain of command leading directly to the Secretary of Defense and the President.1 The intent of the legislation could be compared to that of the Constitution supplanting the Articles of Confederation, which drew the relatively independent states into a more closely centralized political body.

April 1, 2017

Mission Failure

Reactionary, expansive, naive: these are the themes that Michael Mandelbaum alludes to most often in his extensive look at U.S. foreign policy since the end of the Cold War. Mandelbaum examines foreign policy from the end of the George H.W. Bush Presidency through the Barack Obama administration, highlighting the mix of wishful thinking and lack of focus that prevailed as the United States found itself unchecked on the global stage following the decline and eventual dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. Mandelbaum assesses several notable foreign policy failures: the North Atlantic Treaty Organization expansion and the bungled rapprochement with Russia; the failure to instill democracy in China; Bill Clinton’s interventions in Bosnia, Haiti, and Somalia; and the mixed record on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and U.S. attempts at nation-building in Iraq and Afghanistan. Mandelbaum paints a picture of a foreign policy apparatus beset by lack of interest and political cohesion, demotion in importance to domestic policy, and a repeated failure to understand key aspects of the societies in which the United States chose to intervene.