May 2, 2019 —
What good is looking back? Fifty years ago, one of the key people behind the Apollo Moon missions was a computer scientist named Margaret Hamilton. Like many young people in those days, I was all about becoming an astronaut and going to the Moon. While the early astronauts were all men, not everyone involved was, as proved all too well in the movie Hidden Figures. Until that movie, I had no idea who programmed the computers that made the mission possible—and I read everything I could in the Space Race days of the 1960s. Why did I not know that story? It was a different time—no Internet, only three major television networks, and people of color and women were often excluded from the frontlines of many parts of society. Our view of the world was far more restricted than it is today. I suspect most of our readers have a hard time imagining a past where such boundaries existed or, more likely, why some still exist even if laws removed them long ago.
Now that Joint Force Quarterly has served the joint force for over a quarter of a century, I thought a look back might offer a few insights about how jointness has affected the U.S. military since the early days of the Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986, when Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Colin Powell’s idea for JFQ originated. Our first edition was published in the summer of 1993 after the Joint Staff and National Defense University developed and executed General Powell’s initial vision. The history of JFQ’s founding has been recounted in this column in JFQ 85, with assistance from General Powell and others. Key in that recounting was the fact that as Chairman, General Powell had the vision to see the need for this journal as a part of a larger effort that continues today: to find ways to better integrate the military Services into a coherent joint force capable of winning the Nation’s wars and every other mission the military would be called on to accomplish.
The inaugural JFQ reflected where the Joint Chiefs were on the journey to jointness and their Services’ roles in that effort some 7 years after the landmark Goldwater-Nichols legislation. That issue had some 13 articles and 3 book reviews, in addition to General Powell’s remarks and a column from my predecessor in this chair, Alvin Bernstein. You can access this first issue online, and I think you would find each article of value, some 92 issues later. Here is what I saw by looking back.
In the first section, readers learned that each Service chief had a vision for his Service to follow, which reflected his Title 10 responsibilities to organize, train, and equip as his predecessors had done—but at least with a tip of the hat to becoming part of the joint force. In 1993, the Soviet Union had dissolved and the “Peace Dividend” was the focus of many in the policy circles of governments in the West. We were just three summers after Operation Desert Storm, but Saddam was still in power. The Joint Chiefs’ views reflected this new reality: Army Chief of Staff General Gordon Sullivan summed up the moment by stating, “International issues require a broader appreciation of the threat—from the unitary and relatively predictable adversary we knew in the Cold War, to the diverse, ambiguous threats that we confront today.” He accepted the harsh reality of a reduced force in coming years but in spending that would keep pace with the economy. General Sullivan fully supported the idea of jointness and made it clear where the Army was headed, “There is unmatched power in the synergistic capabilities of joint operations.” He saw the need for joint operations to “be the norm at every level of command.” Those of you with recent field experience will know if that has happened.
Admiral Frank Kelso wrote about the Navy’s shift in strategies from open ocean combat “toward joint operations from the sea.” The admiral noted that “[after] Desert Storm the Navy has taken steps to improve its ability to work in the joint arena in operations, planning, procurement, and administration and to improve communications between the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations and the Joint Staff and between the Department of the Navy and the Department of Defense.” He recognized the fiscal realities of the end of the Cold War as well but took the challenge to refocus the budget by moving $1.2 billion ($2 billion in 2019 dollars) in the Navy and Marine budgets “to support the new naval strategy and joint warfighting operations.”
General Carl Mundy, the 30th commandant of the Marine Corps, stated the clear definition of jointness of that period as he saw it, “Future military success will also depend on maintaining a system of joint warfare that draws upon the unique strengths of each service, while providing the means for effectively integrating them to achieve the full combat potential of the Armed Forces.” The commandant would place the Marine Expeditionary Unit and Marine Air Ground Task Force at the center of capabilities that the Marines were ready to provide in the integrated strategy of the Navy and the joint force.
Picking up directly on the idea of a “cool and lively debate,” as General Powell offered as JFQ’s focus in his opening column, Air Force Chief of Staff General Merrill McPeak offered that “the Cold War was a contest of ideas and, in the end, freedom won out.” General McPeak, ever an iconoclast, took this opportunity to suggest topics that aspiring authors should write about in JFQ, a unique call from among the chiefs’ articles. Unlike the other Joint Chiefs, he did not discuss any specific Air Force strategy; instead he asked questions about how the military did business in 1993. He strongly believed in the power of divesting the military of functions that he believed would be best accomplished by civilian industry. Presaging a soon-to-convene commission that would review the relationships of the Services to each other, General McPeak suggested a revisit of the roles and missions and the centralization of support in Defense agencies. Decentralization from how the Air Force operated to the logistics of the support of the Armed Forces should be examined in his view. His title “Ideas Count” could be the unofficial motto of JFQ.
Following the Service chiefs, the second Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Admiral David Jeremiah, saw a world of growing regional conflicts with the demise of what we seem to be headed back into—great power competition. He saw the beginning of a shift away from the Cold War experience, that is, multilateral and bilateral security agreements based primarily on the bipolar world until the demise of the Soviet Union. Admiral Jeremiah remarked on the exploding world population and the resulting lack of resources resulting in competition for food, water, and safe places to live. Interestingly, he commented on the responsibility of the world community to deal with “genocidal crimes, such as those committed by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. . . . The right to national sovereignty ought not to be absolute in cases of genocide any more than child abuse carried out in a private home should be beyond the reach of criminal law.”
Additionally, Admiral Jeremiah saw the need to combine technological advancement with “organizational adaptability,” or, as he called it, “learning curve dominance.” He defined this requirement as “the ability to develop the tactics, organizations, training programs, and warfighting doctrines to exploit new technology effectively.” Reflecting the rising view of warfare in the post–Desert Storm period, the admiral suggested that the joint force now could operate in such a way that would leverage new technologies. While the debates over this balance of human and technological prowess continue today, the admiral noted that due to the world’s best military education system, our advantage would always be in our “[military] officers who, while well trained in their technical specialties, can also calmly gaze into the eye of the tiger when it comes to problems of international politics, grand strategy, force modernization and restructuring, or the complex consequences of future technology.” I can attest to the strength of the continuing debate on this point in our professional military education classrooms a quarter of a century later.
The rest of the inaugural JFQ lineup was and remains impressive for the range of military scholars, policy experts, and senior officers, including two theater commanders, former defense officials, and research experts. Looking at the table of contents, the titles themselves show the valuable range of ideas even in that early time. Here are some highlights.
Steven Peter Rosen discussed the issue of whether Service redundancies were wasteful or value added. Colonel Robert Doughty, USA, then leading the History Department at West Point, discussed the value of joint professional military education, stating that even though “jointness must permeate the curricula of the intermediate and senior Service colleges, it should not do so at the expense of ignoring instruction on individual Service perspectives which remain fundamental to understanding joint warfare.” Former Principal Deputy Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict Seth Cropsey wrote about the limits of jointness as he saw the concept as defying definition. His article deserves another look as a compass check on our current joint status. In an excerpt of their work from a RAND study, Rear Admiral James Winnefeld, USN (Ret.), and Dana Johnson walked our readers through that epic application of coalition airpower followed by a massive combined arms attack on Saddam, removing the Iraqis from Kuwait. In the last article, then-Major Richard Hooker, USA, and Second Lieutenant Christopher Coglianese provided an outstanding precedent for Recall. It also created a precedent for allowing fairly junior officers, in comparison to the others I have mentioned, to be published in JFQ.
In this edition of JFQ, our Forum leads off with an interesting article from Viva Bartkus that discusses the world of “right of bang,” where a business proposition between the military and industry led to effective execution of the by-with-through concept in Honduras. Looking to integrate the physical domains within the cyber domain, Jennifer Phillips provides us with the requirements to best advantage the joint force today. Even if the military were to succeed in integrating all its efforts in all domains, David Blair, Jason Hughes, and Thomas Mashuda help us see that recruiting, hiring, and retaining the right people to work cyber is just as essential as any other specialty but presents specific challenges in today’s highly competitive commercial information technology world.
JPME Today provides two excellent articles from faculty members engaged in advancing the education proposition in ways that meet former Secretary James Mattis’s challenge in the National Defense Strategy. As information continues to dominate our thinking in joint doctrine and warfighting, Charles Pasquale and Laura Johnson describe how covert action is used to support intelligence as a part of our national information instrument of power. While Bloom’s Taxonomy has long been at the core of theories on how best to provide education to any group of students, Douglas Waters and Craig Bullis offer suggestions on how to augment this framework in order to help those students who learn in different ways than Bloom anticipated.
A JFQ noted alumna, Mary Raum, returns with an excellent review of women in combat that addresses a true blind spot in our staff and war college curriculums. Her discussion is much in line with my personal discoveries on the space program mentioned above. After a bit of a delay, Daniel McGarrah, the first noncommissioned officer to win the Secretary of Defense Essay Competition, highlights a number of issues that should be addressed in how we treat wounded women in combat. Following up on our recent discussion of the by-with-through approach, William Stephens discusses the nuts and bolts of how to support the approach with a simple but effective tool. Recounting the value of tactical operations in advancing theater security cooperation plans, David Zelaya and Joshua Wiles discuss exercise Garuda Shield 17, where the authors were engaged in making new partnerships happen.
Leading off Features, another alumna—with the unofficial record for most viral online JFQ article—Lindsay Rodman, returns to help us understand the issues involved at the nexis of military justice, command authorities, and responsibilities, particularly in the area of sexual violence. Looking at the impact of “dark money” on the governments of Africa, William Hawkins and Brenda Ponsford offer a new U.S. Africa Command approach to helping our partners in the region. Closer to home, Cindie Blair, Juliana Bruns, and Scott Leuthner describe how Joint Task Force North is developing innovative training that enhances combat readiness while accomplishing missions on the U.S. Southwest border.
As we look back in Recall, returning to the Great War of a century ago, Patrick Naughton takes us deep into the Gallipoli Campaign in April 1915, one which Winston Churchill fought in as a young man, to show us how this multidomain operation is a valuable case study for today’s joint planners. Rounding out this issue are three outstanding book reviews on works that use the past as a means to inform future operations. Joint Doctrine has an important article from the team of John Pelleriti, Michael Maloney, David Cox, Heather Sullivan, J. Eric Piskura, and Montigo Hawkins that discusses problems with current irregular warfare doctrine. Helping see the potential disagreements after the September 2018 release of Joint Publication 3-60, Joint Targeting, J. Mark Berwanger suggests this debate falls into the definition of “fires” among the Services. And, as always, we provide you with the latest update of joint doctrine development.
In future columns, I will be looking into other editions in that first year of JFQ because I think those perspectives offer us a good view of how our joint views have evolved and how some remain very well in place. As one comparison to consider, that first issue had no women authors or issues related to them. This issue presents 31 authors of which 8 are women. I believe we are all made better for hearing from a range of views. As General Powell said in the inaugural issue, JFQ’s “purpose is to spread the word about our team, to provide for a free give-and-take of ideas among a wide range of people from every corner of the military.”
I stand in awe of how well our inaugural issue was constructed and how durable the format seems to have been. After 25 years, even with different editors in chief, changes in staff, and the styles of the presentation, plus having added a virtual and very successful online version of the journal, I believe Joint Force Quarterly continues to meet the mission General Powell gave us in 1993. I am proud of our accomplishments and am equally proud of my teammates who work behind the scenes to make JFQ happen. We promise you that our team here at the National Defense University, Joint Staff, Defense Media Activity (that hosts our Web site), and Government Publishing Office will continue to support the cool and lively debate of issues that matter to the joint force, just as General Powell hoped we would. All we need is you to bring us the ideas to make that conversation continue. JFQ
William T. Eliason
Editor in Chief