November 1, 2010  

In this issue

An army might march on its stomach, but it moves on fossil fuels.

Indeed, hydrocarbons permit our armed forces to drive, fly, sail, fight, train and operate. And while all of the services are striving to increase their use of renewable and alternative energy sources, more than three-quarters of the fuel that the Pentagon purchases to power its weapons systems is petroleum.

In this month’s cover story focusing on energy, John Nagl and Christine Parthemore argue that a strategy is needed now to ensure all Defense Department systems can operate on nonpetroleum fuels by 2040.

Lt. Col. Glen Butler and Col. Robert Rice drill down into one alternative, nuclear energy, and examine its potential for powering military installations.

With the retirement of Lt. Gen. David Deptula in October, the Air Force loses a stalwart champion of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. The voice and the passion remain resolute, however (and, of course, newly independent.) So he makes here an energetic case for why the Pentagon, intelligence agencies and even Congress need to change the way they think about and approach ISR.

Lt. Col. Paul Darling, who recently served as the Provincial Lead Mentor with the Afghan National Police in Zabul, and Lt. Justin Lawlor, a Navy Reserve officer attached to Strategic Command, offer fixes for what they contend are doctrinal and structural flaws in how close-air support is conducted in counterinsurgency wars.

Joe Collins returns to AFJ this month to critique a new report on Afghanistan; he challenges its argument that doing less militarily will allow us to do more diplomatically and economically.

Gene Myers analyzes how our strategic deterrence must change if it is to effectively deter a new breed of nonstate, ideological enemies.

And Bob Killebrew, another AFJ regular, looks at the SecDef’s decision to close down Joint Forces Command and concludes that while Congress won’t let the gates of Jointdom fall without a fight, a separate command for joint thinking is an idea whose time has past. Or, as the British author and World War I officer Robert Graves would have put it … goodbye to all that.