May 19, 2020

The Geo-Economic Dimension of Great Power Competition

This faculty seminar was held on Wednesday, May 6, 2020 and focused on the fundamentals of geo-economics and the drivers or dimensions of geo-economic competition. This seminar features two distinguished subject matter experts on China and geo-economics, and is part of a series that looks at modern great power competition and how to prepare national security leaders for the associated challenges. The discussion was led by Carolyn Bartholomew ( and William Overholt ( ), and moderated by PRISM Editor Michael Miklaucic.

April 1, 2020

Joint Force Quarterly 97 (2nd Quarter, April 2020)

This issue of JFQ shows the way ahead for the Joint Force. In our Forum and JPME Today sections, we discuss emerging battlespace technologies. In Commentary, authors propose the development of a new global engagement cycle. In our Features section are articles about the need to adapt the Joint Force command and control structure, about dealing with Iran as a rival nation-state, and addressing A2/AD threats in the Indo-Pacific region. In Recall, we see how General Ulysses Grant learned the art of joint operations in the Civil War. Finally, we review Andrew Marble’s biography of former CJCS General John Shalikashvilli.

April 1, 2020

Putting the “FIL” into “DIME”: Growing Joint Understanding of the Instruments of Power

When developing strategy, the US military considers all instruments of power (IOP) in planning activities that require a whole-of-government approach. Recently, newer IOPs such as financial, intelligence and law enforcement have emerged. The National Defense Strategy and a doctrine note on strategy mention the new IOPs, but there is no guidance on how they could be applied in a competitive environment. A better understanding of these new IOPs could mitigate the gap in doctrine and joint planning, say the authors, by defining the terms, identifying key mission partners, and detecting potential applications for each new instrument.

April 1, 2020

Airbase Defense Falls Between the Cracks

Locating US overseas airbases far from the enemy used to be sufficient to protect the airbases. Now that our enemies are better organized and technologically equipped, distance is unlikely to provide refuge from the reach of these increasingly capable adversaries. This paper considers two types of threats to overseas airbases. The first is direct and indirect attacks by special operators, and the second is attacks by theater ballistic and cruise missiles. To improve the protection of airbases against enemy forces, say the authors, the concept of a base security zone should be incorporated in joint doctrine.

March 31, 2020

Countering A2/AD in the Indo-Pacific: A Potential Change for the Army and Joint Force

Amphibious training is unusually significant in the Indo-Pacific region due to the nature of troop dispositions and geography. Seventy years ago, this was the assessment of General Douglas MacArthur. Today, the Joint Force’s ability to deploy and maneuver ground forces in a contested maritime-centric region is limited to transit through the land and air domains. Redeveloping the Army’s forcible-entry amphibious capability would give the Joint Force flexibility to deploy ground forces through maritime corridors controlled by the Navy. This, says the author, would increase the cross-domain synergy of US forces in a potential anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) campaign in the Indo-Pacific.

March 31, 2020

Disciplined Lethality: Expanding Competition with Iran in an Age of Nation-State Rivalries

The 2018 National Defense Strategy (NDS) identifies Iran as a long-standing threat to US strategic interests and a source of instability in the Middle East. This article examines the prospects of expanding strategic competition with Iran, and argues the US could outcompete Iran without resorting to the US’s traditional overmatch strengths. The best way to defeat Iran’s attempts to undermine American power and influence is by defining acceptable behavior, setting expectations, and laying ground rules for competition. This disciplined lethality, says the author, would allow for success in the gray zone while keeping competition beneath large-scale combat.

March 31, 2020

Transforming DOD for Agile Multidomain Command and Control

Advances in artificial intelligence and autonomous systems offer enhanced military capabilities to nations who adopt and operationalize these technologies. How might the Joint Force change policy and leadership structures to maximize the benefits of such technologies? In this article, data science concepts are applied to the historical example of the Department of Defense (DOD) 2003 data strategy to yield insights into the changes the Joint Force should make to improve the agility of command and control structures. Making these changes would enable the Joint Force to make better decisions, says the author, and conduct more effective multi-domain operations.

March 31, 2020

Joint Doctrine Updates

Joint Doctrine Updates.

March 31, 2020

The Russian Understanding of War: Blurring the Lines Between War and Peace

Mariya Omelicheva reviews The Russian Understanding of War: Blurring the Lines between War and Peace by Oscar Jonsson. This book helps the reader understand an adversary that has embraced a form of conflict at odds with Western notions of war and peace. It is a must read for Russia-watchers and all national security analysts and strategists in the Joint Force.

March 31, 2020

To Build a Better World: Choices to End the Cold War and Create a Global Commonwealth

Walter Hudson reviews To Build a Better World: Choices to End the Cold War and Create a Global Commonwealth by Philip Zelikow and Condoleezza Rice. Zelikow and Rice write not only as scholars but also as actors who played parts in history. This book is valuable to policymakers, warfighters, and students of strategy throughout the Joint Force.