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Tag: JFQ-80

Jan. 1, 2016

Enhancing Security Cooperation Effectiveness: A Model for Capability Package Planning

Developing key capabilities of partner nation militaries is an important pillar of U.S. national defense strategy. In critical missions, such as military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, building armed forces from the bottom up occupies a central role in overall campaign strategies. Elsewhere, the United States is seeking to develop the capabilities of select partner militaries to help them conduct or support distinct missions, such as counterterrorism or counterproliferation, to diminish risks to U.S. security. Enabling collective action through partner capacity-building plays as a leitmotif throughout President Barack Obama’s 2015 National Security Strategy, which asserts that “in addition to acting decisively to defeat direct threats, we will focus on building the capacity of others to prevent the causes and consequences of conflict to include countering extreme and dangerous ideologies.”1 The strategy expresses U.S. commitment to strengthening the capabilities of partners to fight terrorism, support peacekeeping missions, deter aggression, prevent conflict, and respond to regional crises.

Jan. 1, 2016

Advising the Afghan Air Force

Successful advising requires skill in a broad range of competencies that includes political-military relations, operations, and acquisitions. Advising the Afghan air force’s airlift mission seeks to strengthen the legitimacy of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan as part of the counterinsurgency strategy of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). Training at the U.S. Air Force’s Air Advisor Academy supports the initial qualification of students as air advisors, while additional lessons are gleaned from studying the Soviet experience in Afghanistan in the 1980s. Finally, developing effective advising postures can be guided by a conceptual model that incorporates ideas outlined in Colonel John Boyd’s essay “Destruction and Creation”1 and by systems engineering techniques. This article breaks down the essential components of a successful air advising posture, applies it to the mission in Afghanistan, and concludes with a summary of key points and suggested areas for improvement.

Jan. 1, 2016

Eight Signs Our Afghan Efforts Are Working

As the defense attaché tasked with reopening the U.S. Defense Attaché Office in Kabul, Afghanistan, beginning in late 2014, I had the opportunity to watch “fighting season 2015” unfold from a proximate vantage point.1 I returned with the impression that Afghanistan is better than it might have been—and stable enough to warrant continued investment. In this article, I contend that the high level of American (and Western) pessimism regarding Afghanistan’s security status deserves reexamination. I offer some thoughts on why pessimism has come to dominate policy debates on Afghanistan, as well as observations on the realities of Afghanistan in 2014–2015 that merit balanced reassessment. I then conclude with eight observations that provide some basis for optimism for 2016 and beyond.

Jan. 1, 2016

Executive Summary

As we publish this 80th issue of Joint Force Quarterly, we mark the transition of two of our biggest supporters and best commentators, the 18th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin E. Dempsey, and the Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Sergeant Major Bryan B. Battaglia, USMC. Each provided us with important insights about the joint force and should take great credit for and pride in stewarding two important and popular NDU Press books, Lessons Encountered: Learning from the Long War (2015) and The Noncommissioned Officer and Petty Officer: Backbone of the Armed Forces (2013). We wish them well in their future lives as we welcome the 19th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr., and the Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman, Sergeant Major John W. Troxell, USA, to the front of the joint force and JFQ team.

Jan. 1, 2016

From the Chairman

During my first 90 days as Chairman, I have engaged Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, Airmen, and Coast Guardsmen at all levels. I am confident that our nation has the most professional and capable military in the world. The Joint Force has proved effective and resilient throughout years of combat, kept the homeland safe, and advanced our national interests across the globe. Every day, in every task, our men and women in uniform deliver. But we should expect no credit tomorrow for what we did yesterday.

Jan. 1, 2016

The Aegis Warship: Joint Force Linchpin for IAMD and Access Control

Under defense strategic guidance, U.S. combatant commanders have been rebalancing joint forces along the Asia-Pacific Rim with recalibrated capabilities to shape the regional security environments in their areas of responsibility. The mission of what the 2012 guidance calls “Joint Force in 2020” is to project stabilizing force to support our allies and partners, and to help maintain the free flow of commerce along sea lines of communication in the globalized economic system.

Jan. 1, 2016

Violent Nonstate Actors with Missile Technologies: Threats Beyond the Battlefield

During the summer of 2014, three overlapping crises involving violent nonstate actors (VNSAs) with missile technologies captured the world’s attention.1 First, for 50 days in July and August, Israel engaged in a major conflict with Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and other VNSAs that fired more than 4,500 rockets and mortars from the Gaza Strip at Israel.

Jan. 1, 2016

The Criticality of Collaborative Planning

In both 2011 and 2012, the Barack Obama administration announced a pivot to the Asia-Pacific region. One of the factors necessitating this pivot was the strained relationship between China and Japan, as well as the U.S. bilateral agreement with Japan to provide security for it. Furthermore, recent disputes over the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea have placed a premium on how the United States postures to meet its obligations politically and militarily. President Obama confirmed that the U.S.-Japan bilateral security pact applies to the islands. The asymmetric nature of this situation demands a dynamic and flexible planning capability—not one focused only on military operations, but one that also integrates diplomatic, information, military, and economic dimensions of power into a coherent strategy.

Jan. 1, 2016

The American Wolf Packs: A Case Study in Wartime Adaptation

To paraphrase an often ridiculed comment made by former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, you go to war with the joint force you have, not necessarily the joint force you need. While some critics found the quip off base, this is actually a well-grounded historical reality. As one scholar has stressed, “War invariably throws up challenges that require states and their militaries to adapt. Indeed, it is virtually impossible for states and militaries to anticipate all of the problems they will face in war, however much they try to do so.”1 To succeed, most military organizations have to adapt in some way, whether in terms of doctrine, structure, weapons, or tasks.

Jan. 1, 2016

Book Review: Fighting the Cold War

As the Cold War fades from memory, it is essential that we study its course and absorb its lessons. In that spirit, General John “Jack” Galvin, USA (Ret.), who commanded U.S. Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) and U.S. European Command (USEUCOM), wrote a memoir, published several months before his death in September 2015, that is both an important lesson in history and a tutorial in strategic leadership. Written by a general who was also a prize-winning author and scholar, it is a delight to read. The real Galvin—son of Boston, family man, soldier-scholar, mensch—comes through on every page.