Jan. 1, 2014

Biometric-Enabled Intelligence in Regional Command-East

Biometric-enabled Intelligence (BEI) has established its value throughout Regional Command–East even though the full potential of biometrics-related collections and applications remains unknown. Importantly, the concept has gained traction at the general government level as well as locally, where Afghan National Security Forces and allies and adversaries are seeing the forensic footprints insurgents leave behind being exploited to erase insurgent anonymity, which has served as a traditional hiding place. Arrests and warrants are up, and BEI operations have impacted insurgents' ability to lead their movement and lower-level cells' ability to function. The pressure grows as coalition and Afghan forces employ biometrically developed watch lists and "be on the lookout" messages as part of focused hunts for offenders.

Jan. 1, 2014

"Gallantry and Intrepidity": Valor Decorations in Current and Past Conflicts

The Nation and its military appear to be growing less generous with decorations for valor. Seventeen Medals of Honor were awarded for the 17 days of the Battle of Chosin Reservoir, while 11 have been awarded over the 11-year span of U.S. combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. No single factor accounts for the 20-fold reduction in the number of valor decorations in current operations. The most popular reasoning focuses on the changing nature of warfare and military culture, but that leaves gaps. The awards process is kept from public scrutiny, but some evidence suggests changes since Vietnam. The effects of the factors that can be isolated need further analysis to enable today's warriors to be awarded the decorations they earn.

Jan. 1, 2014

In Memoriam

Volunteering for the Army Air Corps shortly after Pearl Harbor, General Jones received his commission and pilot wings in early 1943. During the Korean War, General Jones flew more than 300 hours on combat missions against North Korea. In 1969, he served in the Republic of Vietnam as Deputy Commander for Operations and then as Vice Commander of the Seventh Air Force.

Jan. 1, 2014

From the Chairman

The Joint Force remains unrivaled. We deter threats, assure partners, and defeat adversaries. We are strong—and our nation is secure—because we commit to being the best led, best trained, and best equipped force as our non-negotiable imperative. You, the men and women of the Joint Force—all volunteers—are the Nation’s qualitative military edge. We are who we are because of your commitment and determination. The world is not getting any safer, but we are becoming more adaptable.

Jan. 1, 2014

Executive Summary

There was a time when “jointness” had no champions. There was a time when professional military education at the Service colleges offered little in the way of joint content. Joint military operations often revealed a lack of basic coordination, much less cooperation or cohesion. Despite examples in World War II of joint coordination in various operations, after the war, Army Chief of Staff General Dwight D. Eisenhower and Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Chester Nimitz committed their respective Services to work together to establish a joint military education effort 40 years before the Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986 required it.

Jan. 1, 2014

The Role of Professional Military Education in Mission Command

The military's new command system, known as mission command, requires that subordinate leaders at all levels are at once aggressive and disciplined in accomplishing the mission. Accordingly, the Chairman's "conduct of military operations through decentralized execution based upon mission type orders" calls for commensurate professional military education (PME), but the emphasis on relative autonomy has not been as pronounced as needed. Among areas where PME is found wanting is not allowing students time to think about what they are learning. Implanting civilian instructors with more experience in building in time for research and reflection, and requiring writing—an operations order a week is suggested—will help develop the critical thinking mission command demands.

Jan. 1, 2014

The Pen and the Sword: Faculty Management Challenges in the Mixed Cultural Environment of a War College

While the war colleges each Service maintains bow to their Services' cultures, and the National War College and Eisenhower School are joint, these institutions share certain commonalities in preparing lieutenant colonels and colonels and their Navy equivalents for the next level of responsibility. Seen from the perspective of an administrator, the war colleges should aim to be "intellectual centers of excellence with a mix of the best and brightest military and civilian faculty members." Properly resourced and staffed, the schools could serve as percolators for new and even counterintuitive thinking egged on by incisive research on impactful areas, and also as launching pads for the sorts of inquiring and innovative officers needed to confront the challenges of a fast-paced age.

Jan. 1, 2014

Putting "A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Sea Power" to Work: A Wargaming Perspective

Combatant commanders and their subordinates will need to act with allied forces under the umbrella of the Chairman's mission command system, meaning a commander's intent must be transparent to multinational forces. Interoperability between U.S. and UK forces, for instance, can be streamlined through resolution of cultural, doctrinal, and communication/information systems. Immediate steps include continuing exchange officer placement, combined training exercises, and standardized rules of engagement. NATO Allies and other partners can be drawn in as needed, and the Naval War College should continue to take the lead in following this Chief of Naval Operations directive.

Jan. 1, 2014

Godzilla Methodology: Means for Determining Center of Gravity

Commanders unable to decide what constitutes the enemy center of gravity may find deliverance in the Godzilla Methodology. This fabulous creature symbolizes which force must be neutralized to achieve the objective. Godzilla dispatches each force from the list of critical strengths until deletion of a particular force prevents the objective from being achieved. The methodology is simple and effective, and identification of the center of gravity allows friendly forces to proceed with dismantling resistance by removing those forces that most decisively frustrate achievement of friendly political/military objectives. Moreover, friendly centers of gravity can be identified and protected and perhaps enhanced.

Jan. 1, 2014

Improving DOD Adaptability and Capability to Survive Black Swan Events

Black swan events have no historical precedent to warn us to be prepared; yet, as seen in the 9/11 attacks, they are not entirely unforeseen and general preparation is possible even though their rarity makes it difficult to gather widespread support. Military culture is particularly inoculated against accepting that anything cannot be prepared for, or if it does catch us by surprise, that it cannot be recovered from. Yet even the military is awakening to the growing probability of such events as chemical or biological or other attacks. Low-cost and adaptive measures must not be overlooked as DOD strives to be ready to respond to a broad range of possibilities rather than keying in on anything specific.