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Jan. 16, 2023

Choosing Your Problems

Current best practices motivate decisionmakers and planners facing complex competitive environments to focus energetically on problem elimination. Practitioners are inadvertently encouraged to frame their goal as an endstate—a set of desired conditions without problems—and to conflate endstate with vision. This problem-elimination thinking creates a situation where real outcomes are confused with idealistic vision. Shining light on cognitive bias in decisionmaking and pushing back against problem-elimination thinking may help decisionmakers avoid the costly decisions and unproductive pendulum swings famously plaguing strategic and policy decisions.

Jan. 16, 2023

The Narrative Policy Framework in Military Planning

It has been stated that in the modern operating environment, whose narrative wins is more important than whose army wins. Additionally, it is posited that now, more than in the past, and especially since the end of the Cold War, “political struggles occur over the creation and destruction of credibility.” If these claims are true, how do planners understand, analyze, and derive successful narratives and incorporate them into military plans?

Jan. 16, 2023

Havana Syndrome: Directed Attack or Cricket Noise?

Havana syndrome cases have been investigated by the CIA, the State Department Medical Branch, the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and DOD, among others. There has been less than total information-sharing across the agencies involved. Until there is consensus as to the precise cause of and methods to prevent or treat Havana syndrome, it will likely remain an enigma and health concern for diplomatic, intelligence, and military personnel globally.

Jan. 16, 2023

Assessing the Trajectory of Biological Research and Development in the Russian Federation

In this troubling environment, it is important to understand the range of advanced biological research and current biotechnology investments by the Russian Federation in legitimate areas of biological research and biotechnology development in order to inform an assessment of the sophistication of Russia’s alleged biological weapons program.

Jan. 16, 2023

Executive Summary

The joint force recently lost a quiet giant who not only was one of our nation’s most decorated fighter pilots and generals but also a lifelong learner and teacher of national and international strategy. Founding Joint Advanced Warfighting School Strategy Department Chair, Lieutenant General Charles “Chuck” Cunningham, USAF (Ret.), DBA, flew west, as we aviators say, in November. I am proud to say I was one of Chuck’s wingmen as I throw a nickel on the grass in honor of him.

Dec. 22, 2022

Averting Escalation and Avoiding War: Lessons from the 1995–1996 Taiwan Strait Crisis

This study assesses information-sharing, communication, and policy coordination between U.S. and Taiwan decisionmakers in the 1995–1996 Taiwan Strait Crisis, derives key lessons, considers the implications for a future crisis, and makes recommendations to policymakers.

Dec. 21, 2022

The Inevitable U.S. Return and the Future of Great Power Competition in South Asia

More than a year after America’s painful Afghanistan withdrawal, the future of U.S. and Western security interests in South Asia no longer relates mainly to the terrorism threat from Salafi jihadism, which has receded and reoriented there to be most menacing toward Pakistan and China. Instead, American security interests now require the proper posture for long-term Great Power competition (GPC) with China. Such a posture in South Asia requires patient, persistent growth in the slowly maturing, overt strategic security partnership with India and a quiet regeneration of a transactional one with Pakistan.

Dec. 21, 2022

Dangerous Alliances: Russia’s Strategic Inroads in Latin America

Russia’s growing strategic presence in the U.S. near abroad empowers anti-U.S. populist authoritarian regimes while gaining potentially important access points for Russia in the Western Hemisphere. Understanding and developing a comprehensive response to this asymmetric threat should be a hemispheric priority as the United States faces numerous strategic challenges with waning influence in the region. The response should include ongoing proactive engagement in the media and on social platforms to create a fact-based counternarrative to Russian propaganda as well as coordination with regional allies to expose and counter Russian activities and the threats they pose.

Dec. 21, 2022

Priorities for NATO Partnerships in an Era of Strategic Competition

This study evaluates how select NATO partner states in Europe and the Indo-Pacific region see the strategic value of cooperating with as the Alliance adapts for strategic competition, and it assesses the prospects for future cooperation.

Oct. 26, 2022

Joint Force Quarterly 107 (4th Quarter, 2022)

With this 107th edition of the Chairman’s journal, we invite you to comment on war, peace, and the in-between, as that is where you will always find the joint force.