Jedburghs get instructions from Briefing Officer in London,  England, ca. 1944. (Office of Strategic Services/U.S. National Archives and Records Administration)

Force Integration in Resistance Operations: Dutch Jedburghs and U.S. Alamo Scouts

Joint special operations forces (SOF) integration with conventional forces (CF) is a difficult undertaking in missions ranging from humanitarian to combat, yet all future military operations against peer adversaries will require the close cooperation of SOF and CF for success. This axiom is especially true for liberation operations entailing collaboration with national resistance groups in occupied territories, where the latter will be engaged by U.S. SOF formations as part of their unconventional warfare mandate.

Falcon 9 Starlink L24 rocket successfully launches from SLC-40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida, April 28, 2021 (U.S. Space Force/Joshua Conti)

Cyber Threats and Vulnerabilities to Conventional and Strategic Deterrence

Scholars and practitioners in the area of cyber strategy and conflict focus on two key strategic imperatives for the United States: first, to maintain and strengthen the current deterrence of cyberattacks of significant consequence; and second, to reverse the tide of malicious behavior that may not rise to a level of armed attack but nevertheless has cumulative strategic implications as part of adversary campaigns. The Department of Defense (DOD) strategic concept of defend forward and U.S. Cyber Command’s concept of persistent engagement are largely directed toward this latter challenge.

Tank driver, at Fort Knox, Kentucky, June 1942 (Library of Congress/Alfred T. Palmer)

Hydrocarbons and Hegemony

There is a widespread notion today that the United States inherited from Great Britain and defended a liberal world premised on the free exchange of goods and capital (particularly by sea). This article suggests we can better understand the origins of this system and its possible future by integrating hydrocarbons—specifically coal and oil—into our analysis.

JFQ 102

Joint Force Quarterly 102 (3rd Quarter, July 2021)

In many parts of joint warfighting, getting the right situational awareness (SA) is essential to success, especially to those of us in a position of military or civilian leadership. I must admit to a lack of SA in recent years as I, like many, have been drawn into an information cycle centered around less-traditional media sources. Because I live and work in the Nation’s capital area, I fully accept that I live in a “bubble,” where I may not have an accurate picture of events. But in recent years, with the rise of social media platforms—including active disinformation campaigns, both foreign and domestic—getting and keeping good SA is increasingly difficult. Where does one scan to find an objective view? As always, we look forward to hearing from you about what you think we need to do in the years ahead. 

SELFRIDGE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Mich.-- Tech Sgt. William Kaufmann, from the 127th Civil Engineer Squadron's Emergency Management office, conducts training in chemical, biological, radiological, & nuclear safeguarding measures, here on June 9, 2021.

This hands-on training allows members to maintain readiness by learning ways to safely operate in contaminated environments. The ability to conduct war-fighting operations in threatening conditions gives Airmen a competitive edge in the fight. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Drew Schumann)

Toward Nuclear and WMD Fluency in Professional Military Education

As the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s designated focal point for WMD education in Joint Professional Military Education, CSWMD convened its first WMD Educators Forum in April 2021 to provide a venue for dialogue and serve as an accelerator for teaching methods and learning outcomes for WMD across the DoD.  This article is one of the first products of this effort.  I encourage you to read what Mr. Paul Bernstein and Dr. Amy Nelson have written on the Chairman’s latest PME guidance and the implications for developing curricula.  The article draws on recent experience in creating benchmarks for education on nuclear capabilities and concepts, and suggests how this can be done for other critical aspects of the WMD challenge.

EAST CHINA SEA (April 24, 2021) Cryptologic Technical Technician 2nd Class Brandon Gibson, from Sacramento, Calif. and Cryptologic Technical Technician 3rd Class Isais Zepeda, from Anthony, N.M., stand the Electronic Warfare Supervisor watch aboard the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Barry (DDG 52) during routine operations. Barry is assigned to Task Force 71/Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15, the Navy’s largest forward deployed DESRON and the U.S. 7th Fleet’s principal surface force. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Justin Stack)

How to Enable Trust in the Digital Age

Information manipulation and covert influence campaigns have long been tools of sub-threshold strategic competition used to try to influence arms race dynamics, arms control decisions, and the enforceability of compliance and verification regimes. During the Cold War, such massive covert operations were only feasible by great powers. Today, not only are there more actors with potential stakes in arms control decisions, but global connectivity and digitization combined with a panoply of new Digital Age tools make it easier to obfuscate, deny, and manipulate the information environment around arms control.

Cyber Threats and Weapons of Mass Destruction

Cyber Threats and Weapons of Mass Destruction

For two decades, U.S. policymakers, military leaders, and analysts have drawn connections between cyber threats and WMD that demand attention from experts who work in both fields. While recognizing there are a variety of definitions for WMD in use today, the WMD Center does not believe classifying cyber threats as WMD is warranted or advantageous for the United States at this time.

Strategic Perspectives 35

Russia and Saudi Arabia: Old Disenchantments, New Challenges

The Joseph Biden administration can manage its recalibration of relations with Saudi Arabia without unwarranted fear that Riyadh will view Russia as a safe-harbor alternative to the United States on a myriad of state-to-state interactions that are most important to the Kingdom. While Russia’s transactional approach to foreign partners has at times given it advantages in some areas over the more value-based framework of U.S. foreign relations, there clearly have been limits to the Russian style of dealing with Saudi Arabia in this century.