Jan. 17, 2019

Executive Summary

National service is the subject of this issue’s Executive Summary. JFQ Editor-in-Chief Bill Eliason pays tribute to the memory of Senator John McCain and President George H.W. Bush. As we honor the passing of these two giants of national service, we’re reminded of their courage and heroism in combat and their continued commitment to national service as civilians. This issue is full of articles, book reviews and commentary on a wide range of topics, all of which will help you think differently about national defense, air power, cyber warfare, joint education, managing complexity and minimizing chaos.

Jan. 2, 2019

Between Russia and Iran: Room to Pursue American Interests in Syria

President Donald Trump has underscored containing Iran’s sway as a key element in establishing a “strong and lasting footprint” in Syria as the United States moves toward bringing its Soldiers home. In pursuing this key American objective, this paper recommends that Washington take advantage of the “daylight” between Russia and Iran, and that it be American policy at all levels to work to expand it. This long-existing “daylight” was underscored in 2018 by calls in Moscow for Iran to withdraw its forces from some or all of Syria, and by Putin’s positive regard at the summit in Helsinki with President Trump for Israel’s security requirements.

Nov. 16, 2018

Joint Force Quarterly 91 (4th Quarter, October 2018)

What do you think about the joint force? Where do we need to adapt to meet the future as you see it? Where does leadership make a difference to you, and what does good leadership look like? When you think you have some answers, JFQ is here to help you reach out to the joint force and beyond.

Nov. 8, 2018

Winners of the 2018 Essay Competition

NDU Press is proud to support the annual Secretary of Defense, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and JFQ George C. Maerz essay competitions. NDU Press hosted the final round of judging on May 17–18, 2018, during which 29 faculty judges from 15 participating professional military education institutions selected the best entries in each category. The First Place winners in each of the three categories are published in the following pages.

Nov. 5, 2018

Joint Doctrine Update

Joint Doctrine Updates.

Nov. 5, 2018

Joint Publication 4-0, Joint Logistics

The Joint Staff has revised Joint Publication 4-0, Joint Logistics. This version focuses on five areas: warfighter readiness, competition below the level of armed conflict, global integration, innovation, and strengthening alliances. This version offers a framework for combatant commanders and subordinate commanders to integrate strategic, operational and tactical support efforts and facilitate movement of forces and materiel around the world. This version takes a big step toward alignment of the National Military Strategy, the Joint Strategic Campaign Plan and best practices used by combatant commands, all of which is essential to success.

Nov. 5, 2018

Building Joint Personnel Recovery Through Multinational Collaboration

The Multinational Capability Development Campaign is a Joint Force initiative, which focuses on conducting coalition and multinational operations associated with personnel recovery. This article shows how partner nations can effectively coordinate their military, diplomatic and civilian efforts to prepare for and execute the recovery and reintegration of isolated personnel. By developing a common lexicon and standardizing doctrine and policy, the Joint Force can improve interagency capabilities and solve this common problem affordably and effectively. However, partner nations must first underscore the importance of effective personnel recovery, and senior leaders must prioritize personnel recovery in all preparations and planning.

Nov. 5, 2018

The U.S. Government’s Approach to Civilian Security: Focus on Campaign Activities

The US has been involved in protecting civilians outside national borders for over a century. DOD policy emphasizes the protection of mission-related military and nonmilitary personnel, equipment, facilities, and infrastructure during military campaigns. Improving the conditions for effective local governance and minimizing the need for future or extended employment of US forces is central to US national security interests. Therefore, campaign activities should enhance efforts to improve civilian security and earn population support. Careful planning will reinforce viable security institutions, offer assistance to displaced or dislocated civilians, and protect people from torture, unlawful imprisonment and other human rights abuses.

Nov. 5, 2018

Staying the Course: October 1967 to September 1968

Erik Villard’s new volume casts clarifying light on stubbornly held myths about the conduct and strategy of America’s intervention in Vietnam. Even more than the preceding volumes in the Combat Operations series, Staying the Course incorporates the latest historiography, including extensive North Vietnamese sources and newly released Military Assistance Command–Vietnam (MACV) documents. By carefully linking American strategic thinking to MACV 1968 campaign goals and actual operations, Villard, a historian at the U.S. Army Center of Military History, uses careful analysis to dispel a variety of myths: that MACV was over-focused on attrition, that the American mission lacked a focus on counterinsurgency or population security, that the Army was overcommitted to “conventional” operations or “search-and-destroy,” or that American forces overlooked the need to build up the South Vietnamese military and do so in a sustainable way. The overall effect is to restore clarity and urgency to the Army’s efforts in Vietnam in that fateful year, as MACV’s leaders fought against the clock to shield and secure the population and build up the Republic of Vietnam and its armed forces against a thinking and reacting enemy with burgeoning plans of its own.

Nov. 5, 2018

Allies That Count: Junior Partners in Coalition Warfare

Years ago, when I was working on the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) desk in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, we were asked by both the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations to help persuade allies and partners around the world to contribute additional forces to the mission in Afghanistan. To their credit, many countries around the world did so. But shortly thereafter, operators on the ground began signaling that many such contributions were so difficult to integrate into the mission that it was distracting from ISAF’s ability to prosecute operations. Some states had caveats on their forces, others had interoperability issues, and still others approached the mission with wholly different strategic mindsets than many of their counterparts. In short, we were building the coalition to help us win the war in Afghanistan, but in so doing, we were distracting our warfighters from actually being able to do so. Why were we spending so much time and effort recruiting forces from allies without accounting for the significant operational strains that their incorporation into the ISAF force laydown might cause?