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Tag: JPME Today

Jan. 1, 2016

Building Joint Capacity Within the Reserve Component

We should expect increased dependency on the Reserve Component (RC) due to post-sequestration, post–Operation Enduring Freedom force reductions within the Active Component (AC), and simultaneous plans to increase regional alignment throughout the RC.1 RC contribution to all echelons of combatant command planning and execution will expand to allow “military department apportionment of larger Reserve Component formations . . . to Combatant Commander OPLANs [operation plans].”2 Joint force presentation, planning, and administration will, by necessity, be a Total Force endeavor. This prompts inquiry into the current state and future sufficiency of joint competencies within the RC.3 After reviewing the constellation of laws, policies, and practices designed to produce joint qualified officers (JQOs), I believe the current system is serving the AC well but has unintentionally limited the joint potential resident in the RC officer corps to the detriment of the Department of Defense (DOD). In this article, I argue that “joint,” as defined by law and implemented within DOD, has become largely an AC competency and that national security would be better served by developing a new vision for joint competencies as component-neutral.

Jan. 1, 2016

The Fourth Level of War

Civilization began because the beginning of civilization is a military advantage.”1 This observation by Walter Bagehot is not far off the mark. Warfare certainly matured along with civilization as a violent expression of political will and intent. We currently view the art of warfare in three levels—tactical, operational, and strategic—but it was not always so. In the beginning, there were strategy and tactics. Strategy outlined how and to what purpose war might be used to achieve political objectives. Tactics directed how the violence was actually applied on the battlefield. For most of military history, tactical art was able to achieve strategic objectives as tribes, forces, and armies marshaled on the battlefield to destroy the enemy’s ability to resist their master’s political will. Although much debated, operational art was born at the end of the 19th century when the size of armies, made possible by the development of the nation-state, rendered tactics unable to bring about political results. Civilization has moved on. From a doctrinal, theoretical, and practical point of view, it is now time to consider a fourth level of war—the theater-strategic level of war.