Click here to read JFQ 106 →
Seventy-five years and counting of educating our military, and of late increasing numbers of government civilians and international military partners, have made an indelible mark on the ability of the U.S. joint force to fight and win our nation’s wars and every other mission assigned to it.
I offer that jointness must be constantly taught and never taken for granted or marked as “done.”
The Nation’s professional military education institutions have this joint requirement as an integral part of their missions. Each student at any staff or war college comes to the seminar table having accomplished many important qualifications and achievements. All have come from a Service, agency, or nation that has its own traditions, culture, missions, and history. Joint education does not seek to remove those thoughts or perceptions from the minds of the students. Quite the contrary, joint education is designed to show each student the value that he or she brings to the discussion. Even the most ardent supporter of one’s military Service cannot honestly assess warfighting today and show how that Service, or nation for that matter, can win a war by itself. Joint and combined operations lie at the heart of successful accomplishment of strategy that involves the military instrument of power. I welcome any author who can successfully challenge this fact. Services may be proponents of their operational concepts and budgets to bring capabilities to achieve those visions, but in the end, the way of war, as the United States has learned to fight it, rests clearly on our ability to work together for a common end. I offer that jointness must be constantly taught and never taken for granted or marked as “done.”
This edition’s Forum offers discussions on future cyber operations, learning within insurgent groups, and how law powerfully affects Great Power competition. In making the case that future cyber operations will be covert, Richard Manley sees the cyber advantage as being with weaker actors. In an interesting article especially for joint educators, Nicholas Dudek takes us inside the learning methods and practices used by al-Shabaab in recent conflicts in Somalia and Ethiopia that could be adopted by our education and training organizations. Law and warfare are a rising discussion area especially in the professional military education classroom, and Durward Johnson helps us see the nexus between international law and Great Power competition.
Commentary authors take us to the heart of classic discussions from World War II operations. Getting Allies to fight together has always had great advantages, especially in Europe, and these benefits find their way into how the war is controlled, as J. Bryan Mullins describes his insights on command and control at Eisenhower’s Allied Force Headquarters. Seeking to understand warfighting from the defeated enemy’s perspective is as ancient as war itself. Providing some useful insights to how contemporary challengers on the high seas might see events unfolding, Michael Major shows us how Japan’s military leaders viewed their options as they attempted to control their naval power.
Our Features section delivers on two important and timely topics. As the United States looks to balance its global security interests, Nicholas Melin suggests some practical steps to the continuing development of the U.S.-India relationship. For those who are looking at how other allies and partners dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic, Sharon Kim, Kenny Lee, Jason Tussey, Eric Dougherty, Derek Cooper, Douglas Lougee, Talib Ali, Michael Fea, Michael Cohen, Stephen Williams, Robert Abrams, and Clinton Murray team up to describe how U.S. Forces Korea worked with the Republic of Korea to assure U.S. readiness to “fight tonight” was maintained.
In Recall, we take you back to the 1980s for a different kind of operation in the Persian Gulf. Long before Iraq became a central stage of our nation’s wars, the Gulf region was the place where U.S. and our partners’ deterrence strategies were tested. Richard Mobley has done some important work taking us inside the U.S. decisionmaking of Operation Earnest Will, an operation to reflag and protect Kuwaiti tankers where the balancing act of using deterrence and preventing escalation to war played out. Going even further back in time to how operations in Vietnam could have been better adapted to conditions on the ground, Christopher Sims takes us into the details of the 1966 Program for the Pacification and Long-Term Development of Vietnam (PROVN) as a case study for future operations as discussed in Joint Publication 3-0, Operations. Tracking today’s Joint Doctrine developments is easy with our update and you will find three informative book reviews to help you dive deeper into the national security issues of the world today.
As always, we hope you have gained from what our authors have offered here, especially if it achieves our mission of helping the cause of jointness.
Click here to read JFQ 106 →
NDU Press produces Joint Force Quarterly in concert with ongoing education and research at National Defense University in support of the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. JFQ is the Chairman's joint military and security studies journal designed to inform and educate national security professionals on joint and integrated operations; whole of government contributions to national security policy and strategy; homeland security; and developments in training and joint military education to better equip America's military and security apparatus to meet tomorrow's challenges while protecting freedom today.