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Oct. 14, 2021

How to Lose the Information War: Russia, Fake News, and the Future of Conflict

In a time with both a global pandemic and a U.S. Presidential election characterized by manipulated narratives, a fresh perspective contemplating disinformation—false information knowingly shared to cause harm—is both timely and important. A book, however, about how to lose the information war, as framed by author Nina Jankowicz, is exactly the perspective needed to highlight the high stakes and growing threat of disinformation.

Oct. 14, 2021

Wartime Innovation and Learning

The following case study details how one leader effectively integrated new operational concepts with a novel technological device to generate a capability in a combat theater. A collection of adaptations produced a new military innovation that was developed and tested incrementally and then applied in wartime. It is a great example of the integration of the research and development community operating forward in time of war to improve a new technology. A few insights regarding leadership and JPME can be drawn from this example. There are no detailed blueprints that we can draw upon for how to best exploit new technologies in every case, but history remains our best source for generating the right questions in the future.

Oct. 14, 2021

History of the Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

How the senior enlisted advisor to the Chairman (SEAC) position developed mirrors how other such senior enlisted advisor positions began and reflects the evolution of jointness.

Oct. 14, 2021

Green Fields of France: Mortuary Affairs in a Peer Conflict

Commanders must integrate realistic casualty expectations into their formations and institute plans that will minimize the impact of high-casualty conflicts on their ability to accomplish objectives. They can achieve this goal in three key ways. First, to lessen the blow of casualties sustained in a peer conflict, accurate casualty expectations must be part of formations’ training and organizational culture. Second, mortuary affairs cannot be a “hand wave” during training exercises; it must be exercised as a crucial function in maintaining a unit’s operational effectiveness in combat. Finally, planners must specify organic mortuary affairs capabilities within their organization that can be flexed to fulfill a need beyond what modern experience has demonstrated. Recent history has shown the implications of high-casualty events, and it is essential that American forces are prepared mentally and organizationally to win in the face of tragedy.

Oct. 14, 2021

Understanding the Vulnerabilities in China’s New Joint Force

This article analyzes PLA reforms and identifies vulnerabilities in China’s new joint force. The first section analyzes the changes to the Central Military Commission (CMC), the highest level of the PLA, set in the context of China’s model of national decisionmaking and civil-military relations. The second section considers the restructuring of the PLA, focusing particularly on its new Strategic Support Force (SSF) and revised theater-level organization. The third section explores the measures that could disrupt and defeat this new joint force via targeting the vulnerabilities identified in sections one and two.

Oct. 14, 2021

Specialized Analytic and Targeting Study: A Methodology and Approach for Conducting Faster Full-Spectrum Targeting

JP 3-60 provides broad guidance on targeting but fails to connect its effects-based approach to the true rhythm of operations. Doctrine in fighting coalition war is sufficient, but comprehensive doctrine in preparing for war lacks focus. In time- and resource-constrained environments, flexible and even ad hoc approaches are used to examine the target environment and achieve desired objectives. The targeting model needs to evolve, and as such the integration of intelligence that feeds that model must likewise evolve. Establishing and moving to a more agile kill-chain affords the warfighter and war planner an adaptable model that solves challenges inherent in broad spectrum, cross-domain operations.

Oct. 14, 2021

Educating Senior Service College Students on Emerging and Disruptive Technologies

In a constrained 10-month master’s degree program that must meet and excel at the tasks stipulated in the joint professional military education (JPME) program for the Process of Accreditation of Joint Education requirements, an outcomes-based military education has no room for extraneous material. Senior Service college (SSC) curricula are a delicately balanced mix of subjects, discussions, applied thinking and exercises, and student evaluations. The unfortunate reality is that adding important topics or material to the SSC curriculum requires removing equally important material—and often upsets the delicate balance that has built over time.

Oct. 14, 2021

Realizing Energy Independence on U.S. Military Bases

Near-peer competitors such as Russia and China are working to exploit our aging infrastructure to gain advantage in possible future conflict and destabilize day-to-day operations. This article focuses on domestic military bases and the energy vulnerabilities associated with local grids. As energy technologies evolve, now is the time to invest future funding to reduce vulnerability of domestic military bases to attack and ensure energy independence.

Oct. 14, 2021

Degrading China’s Integrated Maritime Campaign

The past decades have witnessed the rise of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) as a Great Power and its orchestration of an integrated maritime campaign using Irregular warfare—for example, economic coercion, diplomatic intimidation, lawfare, and hacking of information technology systems—to control the South China Sea (SCS). This essay examines this maritime campaign’s IW tactics and describes how the United States can launch an effective countercampaign to reestablish order in the SCS by creating a surveillance network and strengthening regional security institutions.

Oct. 14, 2021

Reading the Tea Leaves: Understanding Chinese Deterrence Signaling

This essay seeks to illuminate Beijing’s deterrence signaling by reviewing key concepts in Western deterrence theory to provide a foundation for discussion. With this foundation laid, the essay then contrasts these concepts with historical PRC deterrence practice to identify nuances and trends. Finally, the essay illustrates China’s unique approach to deterrence signaling, using the ongoing Sino-Indian Ladakh border crisis as a case study.