Aug. 14, 2022

Crossing the Strait: China’s Military Prepares for War with Taiwan

Both the U.S. and Chinese militaries are increasingly focused on a possible confrontation over Taiwan. China regards the island as an integral part of its territory and is building military capabilities to deter Taiwan independence and compel Taiwan to accept unification. Based on original research by leading international experts, Crossing the Strait: China’s Military Prepares for War with Taiwan explores the political and military context of cross-strait relations, with a focus on understanding the Chinese decision calculus about when and how to use force, the capabilities the People’s Liberation Army would bring to the fight, and what Taiwan can do to defend itself.

Aug. 9, 2022

Lawfare in Ukraine: Weaponizing International Investment Law and the Law of Armed Conflict Against Russia’s Invasion

This paper explores Ukraine’s innovative use of international investment law to hold Russia financially liable for damages arising out of its 2014 invasion and occupation of Crimea, and how this use of “lawfare” strategy can be further leveraged considering Russia’s renewed military invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

Aug. 1, 2022

Joint Force Quarterly 106 (3rd Quarter, 2022)

As we drop the third quarter edition of JFQ, we hope you enjoy what our authors have to offer. Highlights of 106 include discussions on future cyber operations, learning within insurgent groups, and how law powerfully affects Great Power competition. We encourage you to join in the conversation by weighing in on the articles.

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.