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Winners of the 2012 Writing Competitions

Secretary of Defense National Essay Competition

In 2012, the 6th annual competition was intended to stimulate new approaches to coordinated civilian and military action from a broad spectrum of civilian and military students. Essays were to address U.S. Government structure, policies, capabilities, resources, and/or practices and to provide creative, feasible ideas on how best to orchestrate the core competencies of our national security institutions. The NDU Foundation awarded the first place winner a generous gift certificate from Amazon.com.


LTC Joseph B. Berger III, USA
National War College
“Covert Action: Title 10, Title 50, and the Chain of Command


Maj Ryan P. Allen, USMC
Marine Command and Staff College
“The 600-Pound Gorilla: Why a Smaller Department of Defense Is in the Best Interest of the United States”


LTC Lawrence T. Brown, USA
U.S. Army War College
“Restoring the ‘Unwritten Alliance’: Brazil-U.S. Relations”

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Strategic Essay Competition

This annual competition, in its 31st year in 2012, challenges students at the Nation’s joint professional military education institutions to write research papers or articles about significant aspects of national security strategy to stimulate strategic thinking, promote wellwritten research, and contribute to a broader security debate among professionals. The first place winners in each category received a generous Amazon.com gift certificate courtesy of the NDU Foundation.

Strategic Research Paper

Lt Col Andrew C. Foltz, USAF
Air War College
“Stuxnet, Schmitt Analysis, and the Cyber ‘Use-of-Force’ Debate”


Mr. Marc Koehler, Department of State
National War College
“The Effects of 9/11 on China’s Strategic Environment: Illusive Gains and Tangible Setbacks”


Maj Eric Dill, USMC
Marine Command and Staff College
“Lashkar-e-Taiba: A Global Threat Today, A Threat to Pakistan Tomorrow”

Strategy Article


Mr. Gregory Macris, Department of State
National War College
“A Focus on Costs, Not Benefits, Dampens Koreans’ Desire for Reunification”


Lt Col Houston R. Cantwell, USAF
National War College
“Controversial Contrails: The Costs of Remotely Piloted Foreign Policy”


COL Diana M. Holland, USA
U.S. Army War College
“Democracy Promotion in Oman”

The NDU Foundation is proud to support the annual Secretary of Defense, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Joint Force Quarterly writing competitions. NDU Press hosted the final round of judging on May 15–16, 2012, during which 22 faculty judges from 15 participating professional military education institutions selected the best entries in each category. The First Place winners in each of the three categories are published in this issue of Joint Force Quarterly.

Joint Force Quarterly Kiley Awards

Each year, judges select the most influential articles from the previous year’s four issues of JFQ. Three outstanding articles were singled out for the Kiley Awards, named in honor of Dr. Frederick Kiley, former director, NDU Press:

Best Forum Article

“Whose COIN?”
Amitai Etzioni, The George Washington University

Best Feature Article

“Why Unmanned”
Paul Scharre, Office of the Secretary of Defense

Best Recall Article

“Decisiveness in War”
Colonel Phillip S. Meilinger, U.S. Air Force (Ret.)

NDU Foundation

The NDU Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization established in 1982 to support and enhance the mission and goals of the National Defense University, America’s preeminent institution for military, civilian, and diplomatic national security education, research, outreach, and strategic studies. The Foundation promotes excellence and innovation in education by nurturing high standards of scholarship, leadership, and professionalism. It brings together dedicated individuals, corporations, organizations, and groups that are committed to advancing America’s national security and defense capabilities through the National Defense University. The Foundation provides NDU with privately funded resources for:

  • Education, Research, Library, and Teaching Activities
  • Academic Chairs, Faculty Fellowships, and Student Awards
  • Endowments, Honoraria, Seminars, and Conferences
  • Multicultural, International, and Interagency Programs
  • National Security and Homeland Defense

Distinguished Judges

Twenty-three senior faculty members from the 15 participating PME institutions took time out of their busy schedules to serve as judges. Their personal dedication and professional excellence ensured a strong and credible competition.

Distinguished Judges

Left to right: Dr. Bill Eliason, Editor, Joint Force Quarterly; Dr. Donna Connolly, Naval War College; Dr. Peter Thompson, College of International Security Affairs; CAPT Bill Marlowe, USN (Ret.), Joint Forces Staff College; Professor Douglas Hime, Naval War College; Dr. John M. Schuessler, Air War College; Dr. Nathan W. Toronto, Army Command and General Staff College; CDR Youssef Aboul-Enein, USN, Industrial College of the Armed Forces; Dr. Richard L. DiNardo, Marine Corps Command and Staff College; Dr. James A. Mowbray, Air War College; Lt Col Dennis Adams, USAF, Air Command and Staff College; Dr. Benjamin (Frank) Cooling, Industrial College of the Armed Forces; Dr. Kathleen Mahoney-Norris, Air Command and Staff College; Professor Colton Campbell, National War College; COL Greg Cantwell, USA, U.S. Army War College; Dr. Wray Johnson, Marine Corps School of Advanced Warfighting; Dr. Larry D. Miller, U.S. Army War College; Col John Paul, USAF, Joint Forces Staff College; COL Vince Dreyer, National War College; Professor Charles C. Chadbourn III, Naval War College; and Dr. Nicholas E. Sarantakes, Naval War College

Not shown: Dr. David A. Anderson, Army Command and General Staff College; Dr. James Lacey, Marine Corps War College; and Dr. John Sheldon, School of Advanced Air and Space Studies

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