As the often quoted Chinese proverb says, we do indeed live in interesting times. As this edition goes to press, the fiscal difficulties of the government remain unresolved, along with the question of how this situation will impact the Armed Forces. A number of senior military officer mistakes have grabbed the headlines. A brief but violent exchange of lethal fires between Israel and Hamas resulted in death and destruction on both sides. A ceasefire negotiated by the participants with involvement by the United States seems to be holding. The People’s Republic of China held its once-a-decade swap out of national leadership. These are indeed interesting times.
U.S. Coastguardsman with Hurricane Sandy Pollution Response Unified Command assesses environmental effects of hurricane
DOD (Andrew Ksenzulak)
As editor of JFQ, I find myself well positioned to help readers sort through these events and other related issues. We receive a fairly large amount of submissions for review. Given that these authors have taken the time to discuss both well-known and not-so-well-known issues, selecting the best work both in terms of writing and content is often difficult but necessary. To make these hard choices, I am networked with a large number of experts in a wide range of fields who readily offer their opinions and advice on what issues to keep an eye on. From our faculty, students, and researchers here at the National Defense University to our Editorial Board members and experts from across academia and the U.S. Government, we receive world-class support identifying and delivering the best available writing on issues that matter to the joint force.
One solid indicator of the quality of our articles is that Google Scholar recently identified JFQ as the 13th most quoted national security journal in the last 5 years. At the heart of this journal is our team here at NDU Press. While we may be “resource challenged” in the months and years ahead, the dedication and professionalism of the folks you see on our masthead will not fail to produce the Chairman’s journal, JFQ.
This issue’s Forum offers four important topics at the strategic level. Returning contributor Stephen Cimbala goes beyond the seemingly emotionally charged discussion of missile defense in Europe where he explores Russian thinking and presents an important data analysis on this strategic issue. In a time when everything related to national security is being viewed through the lens of shrinking budgets, Ward Wilson next offers an alternative historical interpretation of the events at the end of the war in the Pacific: the decision to drop atomic weapons on Japan and the resulting logic that placed nuclear weapons at the center of the international security system. Mr. Wilson asks the reader to reconsider the value of nuclear weapons to our security. In a different time and circumstance in Japan, the United States was on scene to help our ally respond to a different kind of mass casualty event. Capturing significant lessons for future disaster relief efforts, Suzanne Basalla, William Berger, and C. Spencer Abbot provide a detailed look into how security assistance was used to respond to Japan’s needs following the 2010 “triple disaster” of an earthquake, tsunami, and catastrophic failure of a nuclear facility. Responding to the Chairman’s White Paper on Mission Command, Kathleen Conley lastly suggests how the military can effectively shape this theory into actual capability focusing on command and control issues.
Our Special Feature presents a group of articles that highlights potential options to deal with defense reform in light of ongoing budgetary challenges and suggests how best to adapt to emerging innovative capabilities in cyber and human terrain intelligence. Placing second in the 2012 Secretary of Defense National Security Essay competition, Ryan Allen identifies the need to reduce the Department of Defense (DOD) to balance national elements of power and to prevent strategic overreach. Continuing the theme of how to address austerity going forward (echoing 2011 Defense Business Board recommendations), Jon Sunderland discusses the need to reform military pensions. With reduced resources, military staffs—which John Price next suggests have seen little change from Napoleon’s time—will have to seek improvements in how they are organized to deal with future challenges effectively. Adding to our continuing discussion on cyber, Jan Kallberg and Bhavani Thuraisingham then provide an interesting suggestion on how our universities can better support the national security challenge of cyber defense.
Marine with Combined Anti-Armor Team looks through rifle combat optic during satellite patrol along poppy field in Marjah, Afghanistan.
U.S. Marine Corps (David A. Perez)
In Commentary, John Mattox offers a means to critically evaluate DOD and Service value statements and their continuing importance. Reed Bonadonna then takes us back to one of the seminal military professional handbooks for the post–World War II era, the 1950 version of The Armed Forces Officer. He wrote his review far in advance of several high-profile senior officer ethical falls from grace, but now provides a useful discussion of the basic “rules of the road” for military professionals. Next, placing second in the 2012 Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Strategic Article competition, Houston Cantwell draws a line from reduced risks of traditional lethal force that drone strikes offer through the negative impact that the strikes have on U.S. foreign policy. Looking back on the conflict in Libya that ousted Muammar Qadhafi, W.A. Brown and Brent Coryell detail important aspects of the logistics support from both U.S. and international allies and partners that made the operation successful.
Three ongoing challenges in the strategic environment are examined in Features. As the drawdown of U.S. forces in Afghanistan approaches, John O’Connell outlines the issues that need to be analyzed in order to achieve a regional solution to the conflict after more than a decade of U.S. operations. Helping us widen our global scan of security issues, Chang Kwoun Park and Victor Utgoff reaffirm the value and outline steps to enhance U.S. extended deterrence for the Republic of Korea. Taking second place in the 2012 Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Strategic Research Paper competition, Marc Koehler provides an in-depth review of the impact of the events and aftermath of 9/11 on the People’s Republic of China.
In examining a particular episode in what is probably the largest conflict in terms of loss of life and displaced populations since 1945, this issue’s Recall takes us to 1998 Africa. Detailing military operations some 4 years after the horrendous events we all remember in Rwanda, James Stejskal recounts the initial successes and eventual failure of a bold operation led by the Rwandan army aimed at regime change in neighboring Congo.
To close out this issue, we have an interesting article on joint planning. Dale Eikmeier revisits operational design and the problematic concept of center of gravity as presented in Joint Publication 5-0, Joint Operation Planning. Along with this doctrine discussion, we offer three valuable book reviews that should help enhance your professional reading and education.
One of the enduring lessons I have from my early military career is the fact that every issue or challenge, whether new or enduring, presents an opportunity to overcome and move ahead. Each new or enduring challenge will be interesting until it is overcome. JFQ will do its best to continue to identify both challenges and potential solutions as long as we live in interesting times. JFQ
—William T. Eliason, Editor