Article Critique: Rethinking America’s Joint Force: Strength and Credibility in a Constrained Fiscal Environment
Include what you believe to be the author’s thesis. (2-3 sentences)
– Include a proposed Threaded Discussion Question from the article.
– Include bullet statements explaining how this question explores joint issues or emerging concepts – 3 – 5 bullet statements.
– Include bullet statements explaining likely directions the actual discussion might take – 3 – 5 bullet statements.
Suggested Sources: EXAMPLE:
Thesis: Wilson, using historical examples in support, contends that the dramatic nature of nuclear weapons has created a lasting over-estimation of their effectiveness, both as a deterrent measure and as a practical weapon of war. Further, he offers the “military perspective” as a way to properly assess the utility of nuclear weapons.
Proposed Threaded Discussion Question: Wilson, in his article “Military Wisdom and Nuclear Weapons,” provides numerous historical examples that he believes illustrate the lack of efficacy of nuclear weapons. Select one of his examples – describe it and explain why it is valid – or not. If you agree with Wilson’s contentions, overlay the explanations on current events and formulate a broad “way ahead” for US nuclear weapons. If you do not agree with Wilson’s contentions, explain why Wilson’s supporting rationale is not applicable to current events. In all cases fully support your answer.
This question relates to joint issues or emerging concepts in the following ways:
• The Joint Forces course introduced STRATCOM which has the nuclear mission.
• The USAF, due to recent “missteps” is focused on the nuclear enterprise.
• The nuclear enterprise, perhaps more so than other aspects of the military is very expensive and pending/ongoing budget cuts may force a change to perceptions about nuclear weapons efficacy.
• Nuclear deterrence is losing authority as rogue, irrational, non-state actors enter the equation.
A discussion based upon the proposed question would likely explore the following sub-topics.
• Discussion of budget aspects of the nuclear mission.
• Discussions of deterrence or dissuasion theory.
• Disagreement with Wilson’s contentions.
• Discussions of current “nuclear problems” – North Korea, Iran, nuclear terrorism, etc.
• Discussions of civil-military relations – more specifically, how to integrate “military realism” into thinking of senior policy makers.
Rethinking America’s Joint Force: Strength and Credibility in a Constrained Fiscal Environment
Porter and Mykleby assert that the country’s economic strength, credible influence, and values play an equally important role in the development of national security as military power. As such, they argue that even as the country focuses on forging partnerships with other actors, it requires the support of the Congress, the service chiefs, and the combatant commanders for the creation of an efficient military. Additionally, they outline the concepts, the form, and the function the Joint Force must pursue in the promotion of national security in accordance with the National Security Strategy.
Proposed Threaded Discussion Question
In the article, the authors argue that there is a need for the U.S. to focus on the achievement of its national interest through the application of its credible influence and economic strength in line with the national values. The efficient application of the economic strength and credible influence would promote national prosperity and security and guarantee smart power abroad. For instance, Porter and Mykleby argue for flexible and agile application of resources from different sectors to ensure that the tools of development, defense, and diplomacy are used functionally. I agree with the authors that efficiency in the application of the economic strength and influence of the country will guarantee national security and prosperity while maintaining global power and influence. This threaded question relates to the joint issues and emerging concepts in the following ways:
- It reveals that the achievement of prosperity without security will be unsustainable. Therefore, it is essential to prioritize national interests, prosperity and security concurrently.
- The only way of developing a strong and efficient force is through investment in technology, professional military education, training and the necessary equipment.
- The success of the Joint Force is largely based on coordination and cooperation between the parties and thus partnerships and credible influence are critical.
- Flexibility, agility, innovation, trust, and adaptability are critical components for the success of the Joint Force.
Porter, Wayne, and Mark Mykleby. “Rethinking America’s Joint Force: Strength and Credibility in a Constrained Fiscal Environment.” American Foreign Policy Interests, 34, 2012: 57–68.
 Porter, Wayne, and Mark Mykleby. “Rethinking America’s Joint Force: Strength and Credibility in a Constrained Fiscal Environment.” American Foreign Policy Interests, 34, 2012: 57.
 Porter, Wayne, and Mark Mykleby. “Rethinking America’s Joint Force: Strength and Credibility in a Constrained Fiscal Environment.” American Foreign Policy Interests, 34, 2012: 57–68.