July 24, 2019

Flanking the Crater

The Battle of the Crater, fought in 1864 during the US Civil War, is a successful example of tactical innovation except that it did not succeed. The idea was to alter the battlespace by tunneling under the enemy’s fortifications. The local commander made a quick feasibility study, and decided to utilize his soldiers’ skills as civilian miners. The authors use these events as a case study in innovation, particularly the role of mid-level leaders and propose a Joint Innovation Framework. Among their recommendations is appointment of a lead integrator who would help translate tactical opportunities into operational and strategic victories.

July 24, 2019

Ground Combat Overmatch Through Control of the Atmospheric Littoral

Atmospheric littoral operations—in the air between the buildings—exemplify how the inherent capabilities of unmanned systems and autonomy could enable overmatch, particularly for close combat in the land domain where many future conflicts are likely to be decided. A doctrine of exploiting control of the atmospheric littoral offers tactical advantages that provide a driving force for integrating robotic systems into ground combat. By pursuing a low-cost program of prototyping and experimentation, the US can lead the emerging combat capabilities offered by unmanned systems, avoid technological surprise, and lead the fight in three dimensions.

July 24, 2019

The Mayaguez Incident: A Model Case Study for PME

The seizure and rescue of the SS Mayaguez in 1975 serves as a case study in this fascinating article. Considered by many to be the last battle of the Vietnam War, the Mayaguez incident took place just two weeks before the final withdrawal of American troops from Vietnam. The author highlights the challenges created by a poor understanding of history, lack of awareness of the strategic situation, numerous communication failures and an inability to overcome groupthink. Although the Mayaguez operation was flawed, says the author, this case is a valuable teaching tool at every level of professional military education.

July 24, 2019

A Profession of Arms? Conflicting Views and the Lack of Virtue Ethics in Professional Military Education

Perceiving military service as an occupation rather than a profession creates a problem for professional military education (PME). From an occupational point of view, military service is a collection of technical skills. From a professional point of view, the profession of arms is rooted in internal trust shared with other members of the profession, and external trust demanded by society. The trust of one’s government is required for members of this profession, who in turn are granted relative autonomy. One goal of PME, therefore, should be to produce military professionals who are trustworthy in both their professional and private lives.

July 24, 2019

A Framework to Understand and Improve Defense All-Source Intelligence Analysis

This article proposes a framework to optimize the employment and career development of military and civilian intelligence analysts. The author’s framework identifies training gaps and interoperability issues within joint and strategic intelligence organizations. Military intelligence analysts are initially trained to operate at the tactical level, says the author, whereas civilian analysts are trained to operate predominately at the strategic level. In addition, there is a significant convergence of military and civilian personnel at the Defense Intelligence Agency, Joint Staff, combatant commands and service intelligence centers. The author’s framework facilitates discussion of professional development for analysts across the Department of Defense.

July 24, 2019

What’s Not to Like? Social Media as Information Operations Force Multiplier

Social media has enabled identity theft, targeted advertising, psychometric profiling, dissemination through bots and the creation of false personas. The same psychology that explains why social media is so credible and addictive also explains why social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are vulnerable to attack. As a case in point, Russia’s Internet Research Agency launched the “translator project” which hacked voter registration data, stole the identities of thousands of American citizens, and posed as interest groups and political activists. The result, says the author, is the most effective influence campaign in world history.

July 24, 2019

An Interview with Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy

General Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy, USAF, Commander of US Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command is interviewed by JFQ Editor-in-Chief Bill Eliason. Objective number one is defending the homeland, which means communicating and cooperating with every other combatant command, with the Department of Homeland Security, as well as global partners and non-traditional partners in the civilian and commercial sectors. When it comes to countering the threat from unmanned aerial systems, protecting critical infrastructure, or engaging adversaries in the cyber domain, says O’Shaughnessy, homeland defense and homeland security are inseparable.

July 24, 2019

Executive Summary

This June, the world observed the 75th anniversary of the Normandy landings, which marked the beginning of the end of Nazi control in Europe. In what was probably the last time veterans of that combined campaign could meet in company strength, victorious and liberated nations alike honored their service and sacrifice. We all were reminded of the terrible costs of war as well as our collective responsibility to remember such experiences in hopes they will not be repeated. The awesome power of those young warriors, many of them civilians fresh out of school just months before, shows how well-trained and well-led troops, draftees, and long-serving veterans can achieve strategic ends. A friend sent me a link to a CBS Reports video from 1964 that featured Walter Cronkite interviewing President Dwight D. Eisenhower in England, and later Normandy, about the operation.

July 23, 2019

Joint Doctrine Updates

Joint Doctrine Updates

July 17, 2019

The Enduring Relevance of the U.S.-Japan Alliance

For over six decades, the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security Between the United States and Japan and the U.S. forward-deployed military presence in Japan have served as the foundation of stability, prosperity, and security in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond. It is the basis of the U.S. Asia-Pacific strategy and is a central pillar of its global strategy. The ability to project power halfway around the world from Japan was critical to the allies’ success in the 1991 Persian Gulf War—the USS Independence was then homeported in Japan. The deployment of the Kitty Hawk from Japan to the Persian Gulf in support of Operations Southern Watch and Iraqi Freedom underscored the global significance of the U.S. presence in Japan and the U.S.-Japan alliance.