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Category: JFQ Articles

March 30, 2021

Design Thinking

Iraq, Afghanistan, and, to an extent, Syria are all recent examples of situations where U.S. military involvement “solved” some elements of perceived problems but consequently created other issues. Following the invasion of Iraq in 2006, when the initial assessments seemed wrong and the situation was deteriorating simultaneously in Afghanistan, the Army began investigating alternative approaches to conceptual planning. Design methodology, now validated in joint doctrine, is the result of that inquiry. Using the methodology will not guarantee a successful outcome and is not a panacea for solving pandemics or complex problems. It does, however, provide a general framework, supported by an underlying logic, for discussing problems and developing approaches.

March 30, 2021

Deter in Competition, Deescalate in Crisis, and Defeat in Conflict

The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM), both located in Colorado Springs, Colorado, are two distinct commands, bound together and united in a common purpose—charged with the resolute mission of defending North America. NORAD defends the United States and Canada against threats in the air domain and provides aerospace and maritime warning. Founded in 2002 in the wake of 9/11, USNORTHCOM defends the United States against threats across all domains, conducts cooperative defense activities with our allies and partners in North America, and, when required, supports Federal, state, and local agencies with unique military capabilities to conduct defense support of civil authorities.

March 30, 2021

Executive Summary

In 1993, General Powell encouraged members of the joint force to “Read JFQ. Study it. Mark it up—underline and write in the margins. Get mad. Then contribute your own views.” What do you think? How do you read JFQ? How can we make it better suited to the world you find yourself in? We are soon posting up a way for you to provide us more feedback. Watch this space. In the meantime, read on!

March 19, 2021

“GeoEconomics and the Emerging World Order: The Power of the U.S. Dollar”: Interview with the Honorable Jacob J. Lew

Let me start with the positive—being the world’s reserve currency gives us enormous capacity to support our own fiscal and trade objectives in a way that strengthens our economy and our country. One of the reasons that the United States has the ability to borrow as much as it needs to at a moment like this—during a pandemic, when other countries might not have such easy access—is that when you have the world’s reserve currency, there is depth and liquidity in the markets for your securities unavailable to other currencies.

Feb. 17, 2021

From the Chiefs of the Joint Staff

The American people have trusted the Armed Forces of the United States to protect them and our Constitution for almost 250 years. As we have done throughout our history, the U.S. military will obey lawful orders from civilian leadership, support civil authorities to protect lives and property, ensure public safety in accordance with the law, and remain fully committed to protecting and defending the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

Feb. 17, 2021

Military Health System Preparedness in Humanitarian Action

The Department of Defense (DOD) will continue to have a more prominent and active role in support of disaster relief operations due to the increasing frequency and severity of disasters worldwide.The need for defense support to civil authority (DSCA) in domestic disasters is occurring in increasingly complex circumstances, along with analogous humanitarian assistance and disaster relief activities overseas.

Feb. 17, 2021

Behind Enemy Plans: A Process-Tracing Analysis of Germany’s Operational Approach to a Western Invasion

Sixty-four years after Moltke’s observation, two mid-level German commanders, faced with the herculean task of changing the course of history on an early June 1944 morning, failed in their duties. In using structured and qualitative analysis to examine German strategy and operations in the events leading up to and on D-Day, the loss can be traced to Admiral Theodor Krancke, commander of Naval Group West, and Field Marshal Hugo Sperrle, commander of Luftwaffe Third Air Fleet. Infighting, conflicting authorities, and lack of warfighting capabilities clearly hampered German command and control of operations on the Normandy coast. The Germans did have a plan, however, and Krancke and Sperrle proved to be the weak links: Both failed to execute when facing an Allied invasion on the Western Front.

Feb. 17, 2021

Multidomain Ready: How Integrated Air and Missile Defense Is Leading the Way

The U.S. military’s dominance in the traditional domains of land, sea, and air has been a key advantage that has greatly helped ground forces succeed in recent conflicts. However, strategic competitors have begun to challenge U.S. dominance in these domains with advanced surface-to-air missiles, antiship cruise missiles, tactical ballistic missiles (TBMs), antisatellite weapons, mobile sea mines, drones, electronic warfare, and cyber/electronic warfare. Along with these new technologies, new tactics, such as the use of Russian paramilitaries in Ukraine1 and of Chinese fishing boats to enforce territorial claims in the South China Sea,2 have further challenged U.S. military dominance.

Feb. 17, 2021

A New Look at Operational Art: How We View War Dictates How We Fight It

The War of 1812, the Banana Wars, World War I, Korea, Vietnam, Bosnia, Somalia, Iraq, and Afghanistan all saw brilliant battlefield victories with limited strategic success. These failures are not a product of the American intellect, spirit, ingenuity, or will. They are a failure of the American view of war and a failure of our model for operational art. The current method by which the United States views the interplay of the levels of war is insufficient to translate tactical victories into strategic and political successes, requiring a new way of viewing operational art and warfare.

Feb. 17, 2021

Modernizing the Operational Design of the Medical Readiness Training Exercise

Each year, the U.S. military deploys hundreds of medics to see patients in direct patient care training exercises throughout the Americas, Asia, and other regions around the world. “More patients mean better training” is the mantra of mission planners, commanders, and public affairs teams. Only cursory efforts are made during these missions toward building partnerships and host-nation institutional capacity. Geographic combatant commanders, however, expect to leverage these operational readiness training exercises, funded by humanitarian and civic assistance (HCA) dollars, to promote regional security and stability, while host nations want to improve their populations’ health, health systems, and institutional legitimacy. At great cost in money and opportunity, the legacy health fair–style medical readiness training exercise (MEDRETE) and its thousands of patients seen grossly underdeliver on all counts.