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Feb. 17, 2021

Joint Force Quarterly 100 (1st Quarter, January 2021)

Whether you are on the ground halfway around the world or standing point here at home in Washington, DC, whether you are in uniform or civil service, in defending our Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic you are defending both a way of life and a precious set of values all freedom-loving people around the world believe in. Your team here at NDU Press supports your efforts and wants to hear from you as you work the difficult issues and tasks in the days and months ahead. Stay safe.

Feb. 17, 2021

From the Chiefs of the Joint Staff

The American people have trusted the Armed Forces of the United States to protect them and our Constitution for almost 250 years. As we have done throughout our history, the U.S. military will obey lawful orders from civilian leadership, support civil authorities to protect lives and property, ensure public safety in accordance with the law, and remain fully committed to protecting and defending the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

Feb. 17, 2021

Military Health System Preparedness in Humanitarian Action

The Department of Defense (DOD) will continue to have a more prominent and active role in support of disaster relief operations due to the increasing frequency and severity of disasters worldwide.The need for defense support to civil authority (DSCA) in domestic disasters is occurring in increasingly complex circumstances, along with analogous humanitarian assistance and disaster relief activities overseas.

Feb. 17, 2021

Behind Enemy Plans: A Process-Tracing Analysis of Germany’s Operational Approach to a Western Invasion

Sixty-four years after Moltke’s observation, two mid-level German commanders, faced with the herculean task of changing the course of history on an early June 1944 morning, failed in their duties. In using structured and qualitative analysis to examine German strategy and operations in the events leading up to and on D-Day, the loss can be traced to Admiral Theodor Krancke, commander of Naval Group West, and Field Marshal Hugo Sperrle, commander of Luftwaffe Third Air Fleet. Infighting, conflicting authorities, and lack of warfighting capabilities clearly hampered German command and control of operations on the Normandy coast. The Germans did have a plan, however, and Krancke and Sperrle proved to be the weak links: Both failed to execute when facing an Allied invasion on the Western Front.

Feb. 17, 2021

Multidomain Ready: How Integrated Air and Missile Defense Is Leading the Way

The U.S. military’s dominance in the traditional domains of land, sea, and air has been a key advantage that has greatly helped ground forces succeed in recent conflicts. However, strategic competitors have begun to challenge U.S. dominance in these domains with advanced surface-to-air missiles, antiship cruise missiles, tactical ballistic missiles (TBMs), antisatellite weapons, mobile sea mines, drones, electronic warfare, and cyber/electronic warfare. Along with these new technologies, new tactics, such as the use of Russian paramilitaries in Ukraine1 and of Chinese fishing boats to enforce territorial claims in the South China Sea,2 have further challenged U.S. military dominance.

Feb. 17, 2021

A New Look at Operational Art: How We View War Dictates How We Fight It

The War of 1812, the Banana Wars, World War I, Korea, Vietnam, Bosnia, Somalia, Iraq, and Afghanistan all saw brilliant battlefield victories with limited strategic success. These failures are not a product of the American intellect, spirit, ingenuity, or will. They are a failure of the American view of war and a failure of our model for operational art. The current method by which the United States views the interplay of the levels of war is insufficient to translate tactical victories into strategic and political successes, requiring a new way of viewing operational art and warfare.

Feb. 17, 2021

Modernizing the Operational Design of the Medical Readiness Training Exercise

Each year, the U.S. military deploys hundreds of medics to see patients in direct patient care training exercises throughout the Americas, Asia, and other regions around the world. “More patients mean better training” is the mantra of mission planners, commanders, and public affairs teams. Only cursory efforts are made during these missions toward building partnerships and host-nation institutional capacity. Geographic combatant commanders, however, expect to leverage these operational readiness training exercises, funded by humanitarian and civic assistance (HCA) dollars, to promote regional security and stability, while host nations want to improve their populations’ health, health systems, and institutional legitimacy. At great cost in money and opportunity, the legacy health fair–style medical readiness training exercise (MEDRETE) and its thousands of patients seen grossly underdeliver on all counts.

Feb. 17, 2021

Fight Tonight: Reenergizing the Pentagon for Great Power Competition

From General Ulysses S. Grant and the Wilderness Campaign to General Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Normandy invasion, war planning has long been considered central to the study of U.S. military history. But due to a confluence of political circumstances and a series of unique demands placed on the U.S. military from the end of the Cold War through the war on terror, the Pentagon’s bureaucratic capacity for strategic planning gradually eroded, eventually giving way to an overreliance on operational plans and grand tactics in Iraq and Afghanistan. Circumstances have changed, however. As Russia and China espouse revisionist aims and U.S. global hegemony comes increasingly into question, it is more important than ever for the Department of Defense (DOD) to reenergize its war-planning apparatus and prepare for what will likely be a prolonged era of Great Power competition (GPC).

Feb. 16, 2021

The Myths of Lyme Disease: Separating Fact from Fiction for Military Personnel

No one is immune to, and there is no cure for, tickborne diseases. Just one tick bite can destroy a person’s career. Given the dire health consequences, the poor diagnostic tools, the effects of climate change in increasing tick habitats, and the endemic nature of the disease in geographical areas where the military lives, works, and plays, Lyme should be a serious concern for the entire joint force.

Feb. 16, 2021

Restoring Thucydides: Testing Familiar Lessons and Deriving New Ones

Thucydides’s The History of the Peloponnesian War offers national security pundits a plethora of persuasive “dead man quotes.” However, they and their audiences have rarely digested, and infrequently understood, the context and history surrounding the phrases they employ. Professors Andrew Novo and Jay Parker of the National Defense University provide an insightful remedy for students of history and strategy in Restoring Thucydides.