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Category: JFQ

July 27, 2022

Joint Doctrine Update

Joint Doctrine Update.

July 27, 2022

The Integrated “Nonwar” in Vietnam

The failure of U.S.-led forces to forge a stable Afghan state with robust security forces in a two-decades-long civil-military effort is only the most recent of a series of foreign policy failures that include the invasion and occupation of Iraq, intervention in Somalia, and reach back to the Vietnam War. A recurrent issue across time and geography is the discrepancy between American preconceptions of the operating environment and local reality. The inevitable result is that resources are misdirected. As one province chief in the Vietnam War, Tran Ngoc Chau, recalled, “Give me a budget that equals the cost of one American helicopter, and I’ll give you a pacified province. With that much money, I can raise the standard of living of the rice farmers and government officials can be paid enough so they won’t think it is necessary to steal.”

July 27, 2022

This is Not Propaganda: Adventures in the War Against Reality

Weaving together stories from his own life and interviews with journalists, scholars, and practitioners (Pavlovsky among them) in multiple countries, Pomerantsev has crafted, in This is Not Propaganda, a wide-ranging and readable account of how the post–Cold War promise of a global liberal democratic utopia came apart, first in Russia and then, increasingly, in the rest of the world—including the United States. While emphasizing the role of Putin’s Russia, Pomerantsev suggests that the current era of democratic malaise is extensive—and everywhere intractable.

July 27, 2022

Sandworm: A New Era of Cyberwar and the Hunt for the Kremlin’s Most Dangerous Hackers

Sandworm reads like a fiction crime thriller but raises the alarm about a looming nonfiction threat: unrestricted cyber war. Andy Greenberg, the author and a senior writer for Wired, cautions readers that the world is in the midst of a global cyber arms race. He forewarns that civilian critical infrastructure remains highly vulnerable to cyber attacks by aggressive state and nonstate actors. He identifies malicious cyber attacks, as part of a new tit-for-tat, with escalation mirroring that of the Cold War, with increasingly sophisticated cyber attack methods and capabilities constituting a new, modern arms race. He concludes with an ominous message: that the next cyber doomsday is not a matter of if but when.

July 27, 2022

AI at War: How Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning Are Changing Naval Warfare

There are many books and TED Talks about artificial intelligence (AI) these days, and most assert that this technology will revolutionize our politics, economy, and way of life. Futurists including Martin Ford, author of Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future (Basic Books, 2016), claim that AI and the various technologies that constitute both it and robotics will transform industries and rival the impact of electricity in our lives. A decade ago, one could be doubtful about the hype associated with AI, automation, and autonomous systems. Today, however, AI systems are increasingly used commercially and generate tangible advantages for those who master its applications and alter their operating methods appropriately.

July 27, 2022

Deterrence Without Escalation: Fresh Insights into U.S. Decisionmaking During Operation Earnest Will

The events of the so-called Tanker War in the Persian Gulf remain benchmarks in Iranian and U.S. military thinking and offer issues for U.S. senior leaders to reconsider should they again be faced with having to deter Iran in a fast-breaking crisis. Recently declassified material affords additional insights into the challenges of engaging Tehran during Operation Earnest Will, the U.S. Navy effort to escort and protect reflagged Kuwaiti tankers against potential Iranian attack, particularly during the war’s last years in 1987 and 1988. Earnest Will presented challenges in understanding Iranian decisionmaking, producing persuasive intelligence, messaging Iran, achieving deterrence without unintentional escalation, and discovering diplomatic offramps. Although decades have since elapsed, U.S. leadership might have reason to recall the following lessons from that operation should the United States face a bounded, but prolonged, conflict with the Islamic Republic.

July 27, 2022

U.S. Forces Korea’s Operation Kill the Virus: Combating COVID-19 Together and Sustaining Readiness

As we face one of the greatest public health threats in recent generations, joint military commands all over the world have been forced to develop operational strategies that maximize force health while sustaining combat readiness. Within the concept of a joint force, however, there remain ongoing struggles on how best to prepare for health crises and how well military commands can work together to handle new stresses of sustaining combat preparedness amid the ongoing pandemic. Among a continuum of uncertainties, how well a joint force works together, learns from each other, trusts each other, and leverages efficiencies will determine the outcome of its cooperative efforts against enemy threats, whether transnational or biological in nature.

July 27, 2022

Moving Past the Name: Focusing on Practical Implementation of the India-U.S. Strategic Relationship

Indispensable allies,” “natural allies,” “comprehensive global strategic partners,” “defining relationship of the 21st century.” These are a selection of ways American Presidents and Indian prime ministers have described the strategic bilateral relationship over the past dozen years. From the American side, there is concern about India’s “strategic promiscuity” as it retains strong relations with nations in its neighborhood and beyond (such as Russia) that are at odds with U.S. policy positions. At every instance of friction in bilateral relations, Indian analysts express suspicion about U.S. intentions and question the relationship’s reliability. Even the proper label for the relationship itself is a hotly contested topic, so we must ask whether the United States and India are transactional partners, strategic partners, or informal allies.

July 27, 2022

Insights on Theater Command and Control from the Creation of Allied Force Headquarters

This article explores the creation of Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Allied Force Headquarters (AFHQ) over the summer and fall of 1942 and seeks insights into the difficulties faced by any joint, combined, theater-level headquarters during the early stages of a large-scale war. While 80-years hence technology and practice have improved our ability to stand up a theater headquarters rapidly, the critical challenges faced by AFHQ remain relevant. In general, new joint task forces (JTFs) will face the same five general challenges that AFHQ had to overcome.

July 27, 2022

Ghosts of Tsushima or Kobayashi Maru? Japan’s Problematic Preoccupation with Decisive Naval Battles in World War II

Tsushima, the great naval victory for Japan, brought Russia to the peace table. However, the consequences of such overwhelming naval victories in the Russo-Japanese War ultimately led Japan’s military leaders to a debilitating preoccupation nearly 40 years later during World War II. As it relentlessly tried to replicate that victorious performance against the United States, Japan’s pursuit of another Tsushima resulted in strategic failures that contributed to its defeat in the Pacific, providing an excellent historical example of cognitive dissonance theory and demonstrating why it is important not to fight a current war with a previous war’s strategy.