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Category: JFQ

May 4, 2023

Cyber Deterrence Is Dead! Long Live “Integrated Deterrence”!

The demands that Congress, some strategists, and many academics make of cyberspace deterrence are unrealistic in the extreme.1 Many want the Department of Defense (DOD) to freeze adversary military or influence operations or the theft of American intellectual property (IP) entirely through the simple threat of interfering with adversary computer code, presumably imperiling the function of either adversary military systems or civilian infrastructure. Such strategic thinking is hopelessly naïve because such threats are insufficiently credible to deter malicious cyberspace activities, which generally fall below the level of armed conflict.2

May 4, 2023

A Mission Assurance Assessment of Threats to Missions and Force Protection Planning

After the Cold War, the United States enjoyed such an uncontested or dominant superiority in every domain that the Department of Defense (DOD) could deploy forces when it wanted, assemble them where it wanted, and operate them as it wanted. Perhaps because of this history, combined with the objectives in the 2018 National Defense Strategy (NDS), DOD components have focused on the development of new offensive and lethal capabilities and concepts with the unstated assumption that, once developed, these capabilities would be available. The following scenario describes how these assumptions can adversely affect DOD force projection capabilities.

May 4, 2023

Napoleon Revisited

Since Napoleon Bonaparte’s death, in 1821, he has continued to command the fervent interest of many admirers. Military thinkers persist in the search for the secrets of his success. Countless books and articles have been written in an attempt to unlock his astonishing abilities.

May 4, 2023

Executive Summary

I offer these thoughts to stimulate your thinking on where the joint force needs to be in the years ahead. Technology is important, but it is not the answer to issues of human nature or culture. Effective leadership must be achieved through training, education, enforcement of standards, effective and appropriate promotion policies, and focusing on respect for everyone who serves. As you experience success in your own lives, be sure to lead with enough humility to help those around you share in that success.

March 10, 2023

Poland's Threat Assessment: Deepened, Not Changed

Polish-Russian relations are traditionally difficult, shaped by geostrategic locations in Europe and shared history. Russians have stereotypes about Poland that color their perception of Polish issues. This, combined with ongoing political and economic disputes, creates a situation where hopes for improvement are slim.

Jan. 18, 2023

The Joint Force Remains Ill-Prepared to Consolidate Gains

A popular policy myth remains rooted in the U.S. mindset: that the military’s mission in combat is complete when the coalition is militarily successful in large-scale combat operations (LSCO) and that once the former regime’s forces have left the battlefield, civilian agencies can immediately move in and begin leading the difficult task of stabilizing the defeated nation. A study of history demonstrates the fallacy of this myth. Yet national policy and joint doctrine enable it to endure. Until joint doctrine incorporates consolidation of gains, the joint force will remain ill-prepared to translate fleeting military successes into long-term U.S. strategic victories

Jan. 18, 2023

The Age of AI: And Our Human Future

To fully appreciate The Age of AI: And Our Human Future, one must overlook its nebulous description of a decades-old issue and suspend any expectations for a well-researched and thorough account of this vital topic. The authors, who represent major policy, industry, and academic heavyweights, stumble in their attempt to raise awareness and often fail to provide meaningful insights. The analysis and research manifested here leave so many things unanswered. Still, the book is not without merit; some may find it a good starting point for a deeper dive into the subject of AI and public policy.

Jan. 18, 2023

Is Remote Warfare Moral? Weighing Issues of Life and Death From 7,000 Miles

The lessons of Joseph O. Chapa’s Is Remote Warfare Moral? Weighing Issues of Life and Death From 7,000 Miles are applicable beyond the remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) community upon which he focuses most of his attention. For a joint force charged with fighting from a distance—competing across oceans, planning against adversaries’ antiaccess/area-denial threats, and employing artificial intelligence (AI) to make rapid sense of complex situations a world away—Chapa’s book constitutes an important advance in the professional ethics of remote warfighting.

Jan. 18, 2023

War Transformed: The Future of Twenty-First-Century Great Power Competition and Conflict

War Transformed is strongly recommended as a guide to improve one’s ability to navigate our uncertain future. Not everyone is a “surf rider,” but this book will stretch minds and force readers to reassess longstanding assumptions and dated ideas. Its strength is in its synthesis of the ideas of many others, which makes War Transformed comprehensive and an excellent foundation for a security studies course. Supplemented by key articles for greater depth on competing ideas or specific technologies, it would be a superb text for a class on the changing character of warfare at either the undergraduate or graduate level.

Jan. 18, 2023

British Successes in 19th-Century Great Power Competition: Lessons for Today’s Joint Force

It is no accident that many of our nation’s finest military minds were avid readers of history. Former Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis’s suggestion that “history lights the . . . path ahead” has proved accurate time and again. As the U.S. security establishment pivots from a focus on counterterrorism to one of countering peer adversaries in new domains of conflict, history may again serve as a guide. As this pivot is under way, the country finds it is no longer the clear global hegemon but rather is operating in a multipolar global power structure. How do we navigate this transition? In the decades after the American Revolution, Britain not only maintained its vital interests despite the loss of the American colonies, but it also successfully navigated a multipolar power structure to strengthen its position in the international community. This article explores 19th-century British strategies to maintain and expand global power that might offer helpful insight to today’s joint force.