From the Editor

From Parameters,  Spring 2008, pp. 2-4.

In this Issue . . .

Since its inception more than 30 years ago our journal has provided a forum for the presentation of contemporary issues and contending ideas from within the defense community, academe, and the media. In this issue we are indeed fortunate to be able to present an eclectic array of articles supporting that tradition. The diversity of topics and subject matter experts provides an opportunity to address a number of pressing defense and security issues; chief among which are the principles supporting successful leadership of America’s military in the twenty-first century. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates’s “Reflections on Leadership” draws on the experiences of such military legends as Generals George Marshall, Dwight Eisenhower, and Fox Conner to provide today’s leaders with three guiding axioms. The Secretary expands on Conner’s three principles of war to develop a realist approach to the challenges faced by leaders at every level of national service. The author provides examples of leaders exercising the proper use of candor, credibility, and dissent in an effort to inspire and instill today’s military and civilian leadership with those guiding principles. I would be remiss if I did not highlight the author’s endorsement of professionals presenting their innovative critiques of America’s military in professional journals. Secretary Gates’s commitment to the exercise of a responsible and healthy dialogue is refreshing and encouraging.

Administrator of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), Ms. Henrietta H. Fore provides readers with an insightful look at her agency’s attempts to align “soft” and “hard” power in today’s challenging security environment. The article addresses the importance of collaboration between American development agencies and the US military as it relates to the role of “development” in achieving national security objectives. The author highlights how security has evolved and influenced the agency’s ability to accomplish its mission in the fragile and failed states around the globe. This security perspective has led to the organization of several new offices and innovative methodologies for conducting business within and outside the agency. Perhaps one of the most critical of these new initiatives is USAID’s support and membership on Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) in Iraq and Afghanistan. USAID has become a leader in the rigorous training program for interagency personnel being assigned to PRTs. The Administrator provides the reader with insight into an ever-growing number of projects, programs, and organizations designed to bridge the culture gap between the military and civilian worlds. Ms. Fore concludes with a vision challenging the military and the nation’s chief development agency to maintain and enhance this essential partnership.


J. Boone Bartholomees sets the stage for the following thematic presentation with his “Theory of Victory.” The author argues that too much attention and ink have been devoted to “how to win wars,” ignoring the more important issue, what does “victory” really mean. The author espouses a thesis based on the belief that most existing theories pay scant attention to what victory really is and why one side is declared a winner. He cites a number of renowned theorists and strategists to support his call for a “theory of victory.” Bartholomees focuses the reader on the fact that winning a war is a political condition, distinct from simply winning battles or campaigns. But he cautions that such an understanding is still not sufficient to fully comprehend victory. The author walks the reader through various levels of success, decisiveness, and achievement in an attempt to formulate characteristics reflective of winning. He concludes that victory in war is about breaking the opponent’s will. The fact that war is about winning does not mean it is about victory. One may win without achieving victory, especially in wars with limited objectives. A contradiction leading the reader back to the question of will.

Our thematic feature “The Future of War” captures the works of four visionaries in an attempt to confront and understand the critical issues facing the military of today and tomorrow. Dr. Kenneth Payne presents the first article, “Waging Communication War.” Payne, a former BBC journalist and adviser to the British government on communication issues, is well qualified to pen this analysis of the role played by communication in future war. The author is critical of US attempts to incorporate what he calls “communication war” into its latest doctrine. He notes that although supporting manuals go into some detail regarding what should be achieved in the information domain, guidance on how to achieve these goals is lacking. The fact that so many actors and variables are involved, with few under the direct control of the military, complicates the achievement of these objectives even more. Payne ends with the warning that effective communication cannot by itself win wars, but it will be impossible to win without it. Our second article in this feature is “Making Revolutionary Change: Airpower in COIN Today” by Major General Charles J. Dunlap, Jr., USAF. The author takes this opportunity to continue his criticism of the Army and Marine Corps’ new Field Manual (FM) 3-24, Counterinsurgency, and its counterinsurgency (COIN) doctrine for being airpower “lite.” General Dunlap believes the new doctrine guides the military to what he terms a “kinder and gentler” form of COIN. He admits that FM 3-24’s ground-centric approach could work, but cautions it will take a large number of “boots on the ground” over extended periods to be effective. The author advocates a greater use of airpower in the application of COIN doctrine, relying on the integration of capabilities inherent in “precision and persistence.” Dunlap does not reserve his criticism for only the Army and Marine Corps, but extends it to his own service’s lack of vision in the execution of COIN warfare. His call for a proper blend of ground forces supported by “high-tech precision and persistence-enabled airpower” is certain to draw the attention of a number of doctrinaires and strategists. “Collaborative Strategic Planning and Action: A New Approach” is Fred T.


Krawchuk’s demand for a new systemic approach for developing long-term solutions and policy changes in the global security environment. The author advocates a new methodology based on the integration of private-sector innovation, academic efforts, and military needs. Krawchuk outlines an organization integrating the capabilities of human terrain teams at the operational and strategic levels, the Integral Collaboration Team (ICT). These ICTs will assume a more holistic approach to problem-solving, addressing elements found in the social, political, and cultural landscapes. The author cautions that building this capability (systems approach) is critical if the military is to remain relevant in today’s rapidly evolving security environment. Looking to the past is a technique favored by military historians to predict the future. Following that methodology is Robert M. Chamberlain’s “With Friends Like These: Grievance, Governance, and Capacity-Building in COIN.” Chamberlain challenges an emerging trend within today’s military to develop a standardized template for counterinsurgency. Specifically, that portion of the template that assumes enhancing the power of the state will make the population less likely to support insurgents. In developing a rationale for arguing against such a template the author applies the doctrine outlined in FM 3-24 to the 1980-91 insurgency in El Salvador. He believes the lessons gained from an insurgency that ended some 17 years ago provide a valuable guide for leaders dealing with the contradictions inherent in the Long War. Chamberlain concludes that while the American military has made significant strides in the tactical and operational aspects of counterinsurgency, it faces great challenges in the strategic realm.

For the past 60 years, every President, with the exception of President Carter, has used the analogy of Munich and the “appeasement” of Adolf Hitler to inflate national security threats and demonize dictators. In “Retiring Hitler and ‘Appeasement’ from the National Security Debate” Jeffrey Record calls for an end to this predilection. He believes the use of the analogy is not only wrong, but that it has been systematically distorted, often in an attempt to mobilize a public for war. More recently, he sees neoconservatives using “appeasement” to brand those who might advocate the nonviolent resolution of potential conflicts. Record emphasizes that retiring such inflammatory rhetoric from the national security debate does not mean that America should negotiate with all its enemies. It does mean, however, that the continued use of this false analogy will only impede sound strategic thinking related to our national security.

Our final article in this issue is Josh Kerbel’s “Lost for Words: The Intelligence Community’s Struggle to Find its Voice.” The author outlines a thesis based on the belief that the intelligence community still does not “know itself,” at least its analytical component does not. The author sees little understanding or agreement on the fundamental question of analytic identity: What exactly is intelligence analysis? Kerbel uses the analogy between medicine and intelligence to call for a new intelligence lexicon; one absent the traditional mechanical terminology; a vocabulary taking into account both the art and science components of intelligence analysis. — RHT

Go to Summer issue Table of Contents.

Go to Parameters home page.

Reviewed 14 July 2008. Please send comments or corrections to