Jan. 1, 2014

Strategy for Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance

Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) is reassuring to its customers and accordingly leads to competition over resources. Yet successful ISR strategy demands trust and collaboration among organizations. ISR strategy should therefore focus attention on optimal directions and create a common context that entices ISR initiatives more toward problem-solving than production. CJCS correctly asserts that clearly expressing intent is the right way to go about it. Says the author, "Intent must guide the enterprise and joint force toward achieving specific ISR objectives that support campaign goals." Intelligence and operations must be integrated to balance ends, ways, and means. Joint ISR doctrine must evolve accordingly and reflect that ISR should be led rather than managed or it will fail in battle.

Jan. 1, 2014

The Joint Stealth Task Force: An Operational Concept for Air-Sea Battle

Overcoming antiaccess/area-denial (A2/AD) requires having sensor and weapons density at range without relying on forward bases or carriers, which urges a return to Air-Sea Battle basics. What is called a joint stealth task force concept is emblematic of the new pluralism regarding platforms. Budget and research agility are needed to address such deficiencies as inadequate range capacity in the air capability, undersea payload capacity, and insufficient development of unmanned systems and hypersonic research. Networking technology is in a comparatively good position to support the concept discussed here. Warfighters need to consider, debate, wargame, and jointly test the stealthy airborne and undersea platforms and the new technologies and operational concepts needed to defeat A2/AD and achieve Air-Sea Battle objectives.

Jan. 1, 2014

Unifying Our Vision: Joint ISR Coordination and the NATO Joint ISR Initiative

As revealed by Unified Vision 2012, joint intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (JISR) must fill a number of operationally applicable needs. JISR integration requires the technical linking of data sources, operational integration, command and control, and optimal tactical employment of ISR capabilities, which cannot be done without mature doctrine, refined tactics, techniques, and procedures, and training for operators. The NATO Allies must have an accessible and dependable apparatus for finding and striking targets that are often mobile and asymmetric; and the Alliance must be able to deploy it despite reduced U.S. financial and other inputs. JISR operators must be organized, trained, and equipped to interface with all allied assets using the appropriate tactics, techniques, and procedures.

Jan. 1, 2014

Cut Defense Pork, Revive Presidential Impoundment

Congress builds unnecessary costs into the defense budget by considering employment and contract issues in congressional districts ahead of actual needs. In the face of expenditures beyond what DOD requests, the President should aggressively reenter the fray by jumpstarting the contest between "the powers of the purse versus that of impoundment." There are steps the President can take to "revive his impoundment authority" within constitutional bounds. If a legislative compromise is unobtainable, the President might select a salient example such as the 280 M1 tanks that were produced without being requested and are now candidates for cold storage. With Supreme Court and congressional support, the Commander in Chief may be able to block wasteful or strategically unsound procurement.

Jan. 1, 2014

Strategic Implications of the Afghan Mother Lode and China's Emerging Role

China has the technology, know-how, and capital to exploit Afghanistan's mineral resources and capitalize on its location, which could make it a transportation hub; concurrently, Beijing sees the risks of dealing with a country with corruption at all levels and with the further problems of primitive infrastructure, low education and expertise levels, potentially hostile neighbors, scarcity of water, and forbidding terrain. Afghan analysts themselves see the need to build economic and social stability as trumping other security and military needs. Meantime, U.S. and NATO forces are spending trillions to prepare Afghanistan for China and other countries to reap the benefits. This outcome, while controversial, may be the easiest way for Kabul to rise above its disorder and poverty.

Jan. 1, 2014

Improving Safety in the U.S. Arctic

The Arctic's resources and transportation possibilities are drawing increased activity from many nations, and Washington should act at once to bolster what the Coast Guard can do. The lead agency will be the Department of Homeland Security with the Coast Guard as its operational arm, ideally with adequate funding and a seasonal search-and-rescue base at Barrow, Alaska, and at least two new icebreakers to maintain an Arctic presence, protect safety interests from cruise ships and other activities, and respond to environmental calamities.

Jan. 1, 2014

Forging a 21st Century Military Strategy: Leveraging Challenges

Exercises are helping determine optimal military capabilities for the future. The Bold Alligator series saw the Navy–Marine Corps team leading a joint and coalition attempt to shape a flexible insertion force and identify the kind of command and control, and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance resources that will be most helpful going forward. The exercise revealed the importance of the ability of coalition forces to "craft greater capability to transfer the deconfliction of air tasks to integrated data systems." Deconflicting strike and air assets/tasks will call for greater coordination and automation and determining the appropriate nuclear tip. Finding the right policy agenda requires understanding the interactive nature of warfare and anticipating tomorrow's needs rather than relying on outmoded technologies.

Jan. 1, 2014

Learning and Adapting: Billy Mitchell in World War I

Aviation guru Billy Mitchell could have seen any number of reversals as dismal failures, but each setback seemed to place him at the right place and time. Apparent demotions were actually opportunities to step back to think, write, and learn. Accordingly, when the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) was swinging into action, even his long-time rival Benjamin Foulois admitted Mitchell was the best candidate to command the AEF's final operations. Mitchell frequently did not see advantages in the making as he was clubbed into less prestigious assignments; yet he persisted, and however mean his assignments were, he processed his experience by writing and analyzing them daily, enabling him to develop an aerial expertise far in advance of his American peers.

Jan. 1, 2014

Foreign Powers and Intervention in Armed Conflicts

The book is best read by political science, international relations, international political economic, and security studies scholars. It may also be of interest to military historians, foreign policy designers, and those generally interested in why and how states get involved in the armed conflicts of others.

Jan. 1, 2014

The Tender Soldier: A True Story of War and Sacrifice

On November 4, 2008, Paula Loyd, a social scientist with a relatively new U.S. Army program, the Human Terrain System (HTS) and its deployed Human Terrain Teams, was on task in Maiwand, Afghanistan. Deployed to study the sociocultural nuances of the Afghan people and help commanders better understand the host population, this day would lead to Loyd’s death. The Tender Soldier: A True Story of War and Sacrifice, by journalist and Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism Professor Vanessa M. Gezari, is a well-researched and deeply personal narrative of the events of that day and the controversies surrounding the program that deployed Loyd into the field.