Executive Summary

By William T. Eliason Joint Force Quarterly 74

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In a recent meeting I had with a senior military leader, the discussion turned to an assessment of where the Armed Forces are today. His view was that while we are ending a long period of combat that has engaged all the Services to varying degrees, we are not likely to return to any kind of peacetime period as in the past. We are more likely to see a far smaller force that is surging while in Phase Zero, or preconflict operations. Many see the Services, running on a wartime footing for longer than any period in U.S. history, as worn out both materially and psychologically to varying degrees—with the Army being in the poorest shape. Yet the remaining force remains highly active in terms of operations to maintain the Nation’s defense. Now with continuing budgetary pressures and declining resources from Congress, the Services are making hard choices about what they must do to preserve and evolve the military instrument of power.

As we go to press around Memorial Day, I am reminded of all the past conflicts and personal sacrifices made in defense of the United States. The men and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice deserve to be remembered by all Americans each year just as they have since the first Memorial Day in 1868. What I think about on this holiday is how to find ways to achieve our nation’s defense while doing all that can be done to prevent or at least minimize the loss of Servicemembers in future combat. Success, in my mind, is found in using the best of every Service’s capabilities working in concert for the same goal. In short, this is the definition of jointness. How we work together is something that other nations and groups envy and admire about the American military force. When we don’t, everyone asks why we didn’t.

What is important to learn is whether scarcer resources in government will result in a force that is less than capable of successfully performing a mission. Equally important is whether the individual Services will see this situation as an opportunity to better cooperate and leverage each other’s capabilities. Said another way, along with the ability of the individual Services to organize, train, and equip properly, jointness itself, which is at the heart of effective military power, is at risk. The degree of success going forward will rest not nearly as much in the power of our systems and technology as in the power of our young men and women to seek out new and innovative ways to work together in defense of the Nation. This issue offers a number of insights about how we will move forward even in this time of great strain on the joint force.

Secretary Hagel conducts news conference regarding Afghanistan and evolving crisis in Ukraine at NATO defense ministerial meeting (DOD/Glenn Fawcett)

Douglas C-47 Skytrain, known as Whiskey 7, flies over Germany, May 30, 2014. The C-47 came to Ramstein for one week to participate in base activities with its legacy unit, the 37<span class="char-style-override-10">th</span> Airlift Squadron, before returning to Normandy to recreate its role and drop paratroopers over the original drop zone in Sainte-Mere Eglise, France (U.S. Air Force/Jordan Castelan)

In the Forum, we bring you a number of important issues and national-level leaders to speak about them. As frequent JFQ readers are aware, we are honored to interview the most senior officers in the Department of Defense (DOD) from time to time. In my interview with Chief of Staff of the Air Force General Mark A. Welsh III, we discuss many of the most serious issues he is working to lead the Air Force and meet all of the needs of the joint force. Since knowing what the future will bring is difficult to predict even for a Service chief, Jeffrey Becker brings us a discussion of how to view future conflict and war and allows us to at least wrestle with what the world might look like. Michael Johnson and Terrence Kelley then outline what Joint Force 2020 needs to consider in terms of tailored deterrence as a strategy. As a part of the joint force, land power will continue to have a significant impact strategically no matter what conflict the force is engaged in. Kim Field and Stephan Parker provide a description of the use of land forces in the Asia-Pacific region as part of the ongoing shift to that theater. From the commander’s seat at Air Combat Command, General Mike Hostage next discusses the need to continue adapting our command and control of air and space forces in a way that best fits the challenges ahead and meets the needs of the joint force. A significant part of command and control of military forces is how we integrate our partner nations into our operations. As the Joint Staff is working hard to assist and keep our friends “in the loop” literally from a communications perspective, Martin Westphal and Thomas Lang discuss the key factors involved in how DOD has developed effective mission partner environments that support our multinational operations.

JPME Today continues to attract important articles that both describe advances in our education of the joint force as well as ideas that can fuel that education in the classroom and beyond. Last issue you heard from National Defense University on its transformation now under way. The U.S. Army War College has also been transforming for the last 2 years. Lance Betros discusses how Carlisle is meeting the Chief of Staff of the Army and Chairman’s visions for educating future senior leaders. Adding to the discussion of areas on the delivering of professional military education (PME), Joan Johnson-Freese, Ellen Haring, and Marybeth Ulrich raise the question of sexual diversity on the platforms of our military colleges. As jointness continues as the norm in our operational deployments, understanding what it takes to make joint operations successful earlier in an officer’s career is gaining advocacy. Rhonda Keister, Robert Slanger, Matthew Bain, and David Pavlik discuss ways to potentially add JPME to this part of the joint force. As combat operations in Afghanistan wind down, increasing emphasis on how to secure the peace there and around the world has led to the rise of a topic increasingly of interest, security cooperation. William Pierce, Harry Tomlin, Robert Coon, James Gordon, and Michael Marra add to JFQ’s discussion of this important topic by linking top-level defense guidance to this mission set.

Frequent contributors C.V. Christianson and George Topic lead off our Commentary section with a short guide to strategic planning, which should become an instant classic to those new to the topic and will no doubt receive knowing nods from the rest of us. From DOD Education Activity (DODEA), Carol Berry and Eurydice Stanley help us see the broader world of education for military members and their families. DODEA helps the joint force in ways both large and small that ultimately make us more capable through increased intellectual power. Returning to the important discussion of sexual assault in the military, Andreas Kuersten provides a deeper look into this issue across the Services with important recommendations that support current efforts. From the Institute for National Strategic Studies’ Center for Strategic Research, Nicholas Rostow presents his article on the legal, political, and strategy implications of the practice of targeted killing of terrorists.

Cyber-related topics continue to dominate JFQ submissions, and this edition’s Features section leads off with another excellent article on that topic. E. Lincoln Bonner describes how cyber capabilities can disrupt an enemy’s decision cycle and uses the Russia-Georgia war in 2008 as a case study. Next, the use of weapons in space has always been one of contention. Suggesting a way to deal with the inevitable use of space as a battleground, David DeFrieze offers suggestions on how to set up a regulatory structure to codify the rules of the road. On more traditional battlefields, the issue of how cultural property is treated has become headline news recently with the discovery of lost art in a Munich apartment, which is thought to have been collected by the Nazis in World War II. In more recent times, this issue is continuing to be an important feature of planning and operations in areas of conflict, and Joris Kila and Christopher Herndon provide us with an excellent overview of cultural property protection. Another operation of growing importance is the use of military and civilian medical services in regions of potential or actual conflict. Using their direct personal experiences in Iraq as a model, Aizen Marrogi and Saadoun al-Dulaimi map out how medical diplomacy should be further employed globally.

As with each edition, we bring you the latest thinking on joint doctrine as well as four important book reviews. In joint doctrine, the Joint Staff team of Brian Bass, David Bartels, Samuel Escalante, Dale Fenton, and Kurt Rathgeb provide their insights on how to overcome the continuing challenges in joint interoperability.

From medical diplomacy to better command and control, even in times of such pressure to deliver a capable joint force with decreasing resources to do so, new and interesting ways to meet the mission are constantly being developed. When these ideas are useful and engage people across nations, our government, DOD, the Services, and the teams who make the missions happen, seemingly impossible tasks get accomplished and in turn open up new possibilities for success. Whether the issue is defeating the latest cyber threat or improving how our force is educated, each of these efforts has a joint component that when seriously examined will show that the same power of teams that is fostered in each of our Services is what drives our joint force as well. We owe it to the memory of those who have gone before, to our teammates now, and to those who will follow to constantly seek to improve our ability to work together. That’s jointness. JFQ

William T. Eliason
Editor in Chief