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Category: JFQ Articles

Feb. 10, 2021

Joint Doctrine Updates

Joint Doctrine Updates.

Feb. 10, 2021

Beyond Bean Bags and Rubber Bullets: Intermediate Force Capabilities Across the Competition Continuum

Nonlethal weapons technological advancements could provide a variety of counterpersonnel and countermateriel effects without destruction. Could this new generation of capabilities provide senior leaders and operational commanders intermediate force options that support the full spectrum of military objectives? If so, how do they fit in the Department of Defense’s (DOD’s) focus on increased lethality?

Feb. 10, 2021

Harnessing the Power of Information: A Better Approach for Countering Chinese Coercion

China has implemented an incremental approach toward coercive activities in the Indo-Pacific region, placing the United States and its allies in a deteriorating position to counteract Beijing effectively. An information-centric strategy offers the best opportunity to counter Chinese influence and advance U.S. interests in the region without a greater risk of military conflict.

Feb. 10, 2021

The Evolution of Special Operations as a Model for Information Forces

U.S. special operations forces (SOF) writhed from perennial neglect before a dedicated combatant command—U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM)—was created, an assistant secretary was appointed, and major force program funding was allocated. This article draws an analogy between historical SOF and contemporary information forces and suggests that the history and evolution of SOF could serve as a possible model and provide cautionary lessons for the future development of information forces.

Feb. 9, 2021

Executive Summary

Whether you are on the ground halfway around the world or standing point here at home in Washington, DC, whether you are in uniform or civil service, in defending our Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic you are defending both a way of life and a precious set of values all freedom-loving people around the world believe in. Your team here at NDU Press supports your efforts and wants to hear from you as you work the difficult issues and tasks in the days and months ahead. Stay safe.

Nov. 19, 2020

Command: The Twenty-First-Century General

Command is two loosely connected books. One book is about generalship in combat in the 21st century with a focus on hybrid conflicts. The second is about imagining generalship as a collective enterprise and the challenges of employing a division of differently sized units with unique capabilities. A division might be limited to units that shoot and destroy and heavy in units that simply collect and process information with such speed that no single commander could possibly make timely decisions. Drawing on his prior work on unit cohesion and military culture as a British army contractor, Dr. Anthony King offers an updated look at generalship and division command for an increasingly complex battlefield.

Nov. 19, 2020

Divided Armies: Inequality and Battlefield Performance in Modern War

Why armies win wars or suffer battlefield defeats has long piqued the curiosity and interest of military historians, war planners, and strategists alike. Theorists commonly attribute military effectiveness (or not) to force ratios, firepower, technological superiority, material/resourcing advantages, or exceptional leadership (possibly aided by surprise or dumb luck). Jason Lyall, however, advances a groundbreaking analysis for understanding who wins, who loses, and why. In the process, he suggests equality as a key element in better designing military forces positioned for battlefield success.

Nov. 19, 2020

Shadows on the Wall: Deterrence and Disarmament

Despite pretentions to the contrary, the academic mind rarely makes room for discussions of first principles—those basic assumptions taught in first-semester undergraduate classes that undergird any given discipline. Instead, the traditional path for the aspiring academic is to obtain a terminal degree, carve out an esoteric research niche, and demonstrate talent by identifying the nuances of the niche. This approach, which the academy has taken ever since there was such a thing as a “terminal degree,” is not without merit. The academy does aim to create new knowledge, some of which turns out to be useful. On the other hand, it also breeds cottage industries churning out new, nuanced knowledge for new, nuanced knowledge’s (and tenure’s) sake in a way that can obscure first principles. As a result, once in a while, someone needs to come in with a chain saw and lop off all the undergrowth that conceals the forest floor. It is that much-needed task that Keith Payne undertakes in Shadows on the Wall in the long-established cottage industries surrounding nuclear deterrence and disarmament.

Nov. 19, 2020

Winners of the 2020 Essay Competitions

NDU Press virtually hosted the final round of judging in May 2020, during which 26 faculty judges from 14 participating professional military education (PME) institutions selected the best entries in each category. There were 72 submissions in this year’s three categories. First Place winners in each of the three categories appear in this issue.

Nov. 19, 2020

Differentiating Kinetic and Cyber Weapons to Improve Integrated Combat

Warfare, with a history as old as humanity itself, has been predominantly conducted through the application of physical force to disrupt, degrade, or destroy physical assets. That long history has led to well-developed doctrine and principles for shows of force, deterrence, proportionality, and rules for warfare that rely on predictable and repeatable characteristics of the physical weapons employed. The advent of cyber warfare in the modern era, however, has illustrated that the assumptions used for the employment of kinetic weapons do not necessarily apply to the employment of cyber capabilities. For example, unlike a physical missile or bomb, it is difficult to predict the precise effects, measure the resulting proportionality, or estimate the collateral effects attendant to the use of a computer virus. As we discuss, the differences between kinetic weapons and cyber weapons are discernible, manageable, and have far-reaching implications for strategic military doctrine, planning, and operational employment in both power projection and defense.