February 1, 2009  

In this issue

With pirates off the coast of Somalia grabbing ships and headlines, the Navy’s 5th Fleet in Bahrain has established a new command that will head up an international force of navies to conduct counterpiracy missions.

Announcing the establishment of Combined Task Force 151 in January, Vice Adm. Bill Gortney said the most effective measures against piracy were non-kinetic and defensive in nature.

In this month’s cover story, Cmdr. James Kraska and Capt. Brian Wilson describe how the fight against piracy must be an international, coordinated effort that involves not just warships but also the wider maritime community.

Mission creep is one of many unforeseen consequences of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Charles Ray, a former ambassador, believes it’s time to redefine the now gray areas of civil-military authority. Lt. Col. Reyes Cole, meanwhile, calls for better training of junior officers so that they are armed with diplomatic shrewdness as well as warfighting savvy.

Milan Vego proposes a plan to bridge the Navy’s gap in nuclear-powered attack submarines by buying a small force of advanced conventional submarines.

Joe Collins continues his transition strategy series, this month offering advice to the new president and the not-so-new SecDef on defense priorities and how to make hard-to-win defense budget dollars stretch further.

Among new programs that make sense when budgets are tight but threats are high, according to Mike Isherwood’s article, is the next-generation long-range strike bomber program.

Army Secretary Pete Geren has put operationalizing the Army Reserve on his top priority list for the new administration. Lt. Col. Mark Quartullo is on the task force assigned to managing that transition effort and describes its progress in this month’s perspectives column.

And there’s more good reading at www.armedforcesjournal.com, including continuing debate on the merits of effects-based operations and an analysis of the Army’s future options in the wake of its cancellation of the Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter program.