Dec. 29, 2021

The Women, Peace, and Security Act: Implementation Strategies for a Modern Department of Defense

Peace negotiations are more likely to succeed and achieve longer lasting results when women are involved in the process. Women’s civil society groups and the first all-woman United Nations (UN) peacekeeping team were notably active in the peace process following Liberia’s civil conflict. The Graduate Institute in Geneva conducted an in-depth analysis of 40 post–Cold War peace processes, revealing that negotiators reached an agreement more often when women’s groups had a prominent role in the negotiation process. Acknowledging the benefit of female involvement, the UN passed Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325). Subsequently, more than 80 nations, including the United States, have developed their own National Action Plans on Women, Peace, and Security (WPS). The U.S. National Action Plan makes a statement on policy related to WPS and identifies objectives, actions, and reporting criteria for Federal agencies and departments. Approximately a year after the U.S. National Action Plan was published, the Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development created formal implementation plans, including integration strategies and planned actions to accomplish national objectives.

Dec. 29, 2021

Competing Regionally: Developing Theater Strategy

The past two decades have been tough for strategists. Large-scale efforts in Central Asia and the Middle East did not bring the successes policymakers demanded, despite considerable blood and treasure expended, and though free of U.S. combat casualties, the record in both Europe and the Indo-Pacific is not much better. U.S. attempts to reset relations with Russia did not prevent invasions of its neighbors or stop significant Russian intelligence operations in cyberspace. The U.S. military buildup in the Indo-Pacific and clear redlines did not deter the People’s Republic of China (PRC) from militarizing the South China Sea, undermining U.S. alliances in the region, or from using the power of trade to reinforce China’s national security positions. In Latin America and the Caribbean, both Russia and the PRC made inroads with their traditional partners, muting efforts to unify the region’s commitment to democracy, cooperation, and transparency. And in Africa, U.S. and European efforts to squelch terrorism, aid developing economies, and become the partner of choice ran up against alternative proposals from Moscow and Beijing, as they continue to strengthen their positions beyond their regions. The limits of the United States’ ability to preserve its hegemony and restrain competitors have compelled the national security community to refocus on Great Power competition to inform strategy development at the regional level.

Dec. 29, 2021

Challenges to Creative Thinking: Identifying Officer Background Beliefs in Limited Information Environments

The nature of the current threat environment presents a challenge to U.S. national security that necessitates creative thinking by military officers. In 2020, the Joint Chiefs of Staff released a guidance document stating that the “profound and rapidly changing character of war and conflict” requires “the development of strategically minded joint warfighters who think critically and can creatively apply military power to inform national strategy.” This article conveys the results of the first empirical analysis of the background beliefs, or operative theories, that officers employ when applying military power to inform national strategy. It then outlines the implications of these findings and recommends ways to develop strategically minded military officers.

Dec. 29, 2021

Misleading a Pandemic: The Viral Effects of Chinese Propaganda and the Coronavirus

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the world, including strained diplomatic ties and blurred perceptions of who or what is responsible for its origins. In response to allegations, China crafted an intricate social media campaign to clear its name. Social media propaganda toward Western countries has become increasingly complex, systematic, and effective. The joint force should examine this campaign as an opportunity to better understand the changing character of war and the deliberate weaponization of social media among Great Power competitors.

Dec. 29, 2021

Design Thinking at the Enterprise Level: Integrating Defense All-Source Analysis

There is no shared understanding within the Defense Intelligence Enterprise about how all-source analytic organizations at different echelons should collaborate to support civilian and military decisionmakers. Although leaders within the enterprise and the broader Intelligence Community (IC) have taken steps to enhance horizontal integration between all-source analytic organizations, insufficient focus on the vertical integration of analysis throughout the Department of Defense (DOD) persists. A design thinking framework applied at the enterprise level should mitigate this problem and encourage the informed interactions necessary to integrate all-source analysis across DOD.

Dec. 29, 2021

Analyzing the Potential Disruptive Effects of Hypersonic Missiles on Strategy and Joint Warfighting

There are conflicting assertions about the implications of the United States, Russia, and China developing and deploying high-speed maneuvering weapons delivery systems—more commonly referred to as hypersonic missiles to conduct warfare. The often hyped and much-anticipated technical promise of hypersonic missiles raises questions that go to the heart of long-held U.S. operational and strategic assumptions. To better understand military operations featuring hypersonic missiles, DOD should initiate a campaign of experimentation, “a process of discovery about new military operational concepts and capabilities.”

Dec. 29, 2021

In Memoriam: General Colin Powell Photo Retrospective

In 1993, as the first Black Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Colin Powell founded this journal, Joint Force Quarterly—or simply JFQ, and introduced its inaugural issue that summer. His vision was to create a dynamic publication that would educate and inspire current and future military leaders serving across the joint force and “to provide for a free give-and-take of ideas among a wide range of people from every corner of the military.” Nearly 30 years later, and with over 100 JFQs published, our editorial team and contributing authors have consistently strived to carry forward his integrity, leadership, and steadfast commitment to our county’s warfighters. We offer this photo retrospective in honor of an extraordinary hero whose vision and determination shaped this journal and our nation.

Dec. 28, 2021

Executive Summary

After nearly 2 years of loss in the pandemic, it seems hard to see where we are, where we have been, and certainly where we are going. For the team that publishes this journal, the loss of General Colin Powell was personal. Without his simple tasking in 1993, Joint Force Quarterly would not exist. Having been the editor in chief now for 11 years, General Powell was on my shoulder every day in spirit, and his vision for what he saw as an important component of jointness has been our team’s guiding force.

Nov. 22, 2021

PRISM Vol. 9, No. 3 (November 2021)

PRISM Vol. 9, No. 3 (November 2021)

Nov. 18, 2021

Anti-American Terrorism

This year (2021) the counterterrorism campaign that started out as the Global War on Terrorism is 20 years old. It has not ended, but with the death of Osama bin Ladin in 2011, the operational neutralization of the al-Qaeda core in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, it has moved on to other battle- fronts. It is time for a long-term retrospective and reckoning for the counterterrorism fight. The two volumes reviewed here are the start of that process.