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March 31, 2021

Joint Force Quarterly 101 (2nd Quarter, April 2021)

In 1993, General Powell encouraged members of the joint force to “Read JFQ. Study it. Mark it up—underline and write in the margins. Get mad. Then contribute your own views.” What do you think? How do you read JFQ? How can we make it better suited to the world you find yourself in? We are soon posting up a way for you to provide us more feedback. Watch this space. In the meantime, read on!

March 31, 2021

Joint Doctrine Update

Joint Publications (JPs) under revision and signed within the past six months.

March 31, 2021

U.S. Joint Doctrine Development and Influence on NATO

In order to be adaptable and better support allies, the U.S. joint doctrine community must refine its policies and streamline its procedures to address these and other challenges and overcome status quo tendencies. To reinforce both Alliance purpose and unity, the United States agrees to abide by certain NATO policies and procedures and participates in the allied joint doctrine development process. The following groupings provide an overview of U.S. and NATO systems and processes as well as potential efficiencies.

March 31, 2021

Strategic Humanism: Lessons on Leadership from the Ancient Greeks

At some point between the legendary Greek siege of Troy and the infamous defeat of Athens at Syracuse, the philosopher Heraclitus rather astutely discerned that Êthos anthrôpôi daimôn (Character is fate). His assertion might be thought of as a pithy distillation of the practical wisdom of ancient Greece. In Strategic Humanism, Claudia Hauer urges leaders to engage with this tradition; military officers and defense policymakers stand to gain not only theoretical insights from an attentive reading of the Greek classics, but also a way of perceiving the world and its conflicts as beyond total human mastery and yet shaped by the virtues and vices of human character.

March 31, 2021

Losing the Long Game: The False Promise of Regime Change in the Middle East

Few authors are more qualified to write on U.S.-sponsored regime change in the Middle East than Philip Gordon, who worked as Special Assistant to President Barack Obama for the Middle East (2013–2015) and as Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs (2009–2013). His book, Losing the Long Game, is elegant, thoroughly researched, and comprehensible; it belongs on the syllabus of every war college and policymaker’s desk.

March 31, 2021

Adaptation Under Fire: How Militaries Change in Wartime

In the 1970s, the late Sir Michael Howard cautioned military leaders that they would inevitably fail in predicting the conduct of the next war. What really mattered, he opined, was not getting it right, but not being “too badly wrong” and having the individual and institutional wherewithal to adapt to the new or revealed conditions of conflict in time to avoid defeat and ultimately prevail.

March 31, 2021

Accelerating Adaptation on the Western Front and Today

In wars, militaries rarely start out perfectly suited for the challenges they will encounter. Their organization, tactics, and weapons are not optimally matched to their environment or their enemies. The ability to adapt more quickly than an adversary gives a force a significant advantage. The growing role software plays in military technology could augment the speed of adaptation, but to capture such advantages, the joint force must invest in its digital workforce and infrastructure.

March 31, 2021

Embracing Asymmetry: Assessing Iranian National Security Strategy, 1983–1987

The success of Iran’s asymmetric warfare in advancing its objectives in Iraq in the 2000s likely reinforced the wrong lessons about the coercive power of asymmetric warfare and colored the country’s analysis of the Iran-Iraq War. Given the lasting impact the war has had on Iran’s military actions, examining the country’s experience during the conflict offers a unique window into Iranian decisionmaking today.

March 31, 2021

Sustaining Relevance: Repositioning Strategic Logistics Innovation in the Military

Military organizations tend to think about their overarching strategy in two ways: how their organization will remain relevant and which future operations they must be able to conduct. In the information era, military organizations struggle with the “design capabilities that will offer . . . credible strategic options and then the ability to win, through fighting smarter.” Building on the revolution in military affairs programs, a new era of digital innovations in the commercial realm underpins the U.S. National Defense Strategy and Third Offset Strategy to explore the use of new technologies for the military. While new operational concepts such as hyper war and kill webs are emerging, attention to the strategic element of innovation seems difficult to realize regarding military logistics. Strategic innovation concerns processes of proactive and systematic thinking about gaps that an organization can fulfill by developing new game plans.

March 31, 2021

The Future Joint Medical Force Through the Lens of Operational Art: A Case for Clinical Interchangeability

The joint health enterprise (JHE)—commonly referred to as the military health system (MHS)—has been key in driving recent combat casualty rates to the lowest in the Nation’s history. However, with the advent of a new, uncertain future security environment, the JHE faces potentially overwhelming obstacles that threaten a reversal. It therefore must contemplate national strategic redirection through novel and innovative means.