Celebrating 50 years, USAWC quarterly, Parameters, remains a thought leader in the national security community

By Elena PattonJanuary 12, 2022

Celebrating 50 years, USAWC quarterly, Parameters, remains a thought leader in the national security community
USAWC quarterly celebrates 50 years as a thought leader in the national security community. (Photo Credit: Elena Patton) VIEW ORIGINAL

For 50 years, the us army war college quarterly, Parameters, has been a thought leader in the national security community.

Parameters’ current edition looks to the future, with fresh ideas about defeat mechanisms and all-domain operations; about choices for Taiwan; and insights the Afghan way of war and U.S. lessons from counterinsurgency in El Salvador. the essays include recommendations about Sino-Indian border disputes.

Find these and more essays at https://press.armywarcollege.edu/parameters/ -- or listen to the companion podcasts at https://ssi.armywarcollege/decisive. Or, download through your favorite podcast app.


The latest issue of Parameters published in November includes topics on Afghanistan, COIN, China, Taiwan, Ladakh, India, Modern Warfare, Air Littoral, US Air Force, Strategy, US Army, Grand Strategy, Civil War, William Tecumseh Sherman, Pacific, and book reviews.

Todd Greentree, who served as a brigade political adviser in Afghanistan, outlines “What Went Wrong in Afghanistan?” In this article, Greentree draws on his experience as a Foreign Service officer in El Salvador, Angola, to argue that the Afghan war was unwinnable the way it was fought and posits an alternative based on the Afghan way of war and the US approach to counterinsurgency in El Salvador during the final decade of the Cold War.

Two editors of the Journal of Indo-Pacific Affairs advocate for a tailored approach to deterring China from invading Taiwan that goes beyond either fighting over Taiwan or abandoning it. In “Broken Nest: Deterring China from Invading Taiwan,” the authors consider China’s strategic thinking and culture to envision such a strategy. Dr. Jared McKinney is the chair of the Department of Strategy and Security Studies at the e-School of Graduate PME at Air University, and Dr. Peter Harris is an associate professor of Political Science at Colorado State University.

The June 2020 clash between the People’s Republic of China and India in the disputed Ladakh border area resulted from the strategic expansions of both powers. Roman Muzalevsky, who has written extensively on the geopolitical and strategic trends in Eurasia and Indo-Asia-Pacific, explains how the expansions precipitated the incident and might exacerbate border disputes in the future and offers recommendations in “Sino-Indian Border Disputes in an Era of Strategic Expansions.”

Dr. Frank Hoffman, distinguished research fellow at the National Defense University in D.C., explores the current debate about service and Joint operating concepts in “Defeat Mechanisms in Modern Warfare.” Starting with the Army’s multi-domain operations concept, Hoffman argues for adaptations to an old operational design technique—defeat mechanisms; updates to Joint and service planning doctrine; and discipline regarding emerging concepts.

Col. Maximilian Bremer & Dr. Kelly Grieco assess threats to the air littoral & explore the consequences of domain convergence, specifically for the Army and Air Force’s different concepts of control in “The Air Littoral: Another Look.” Bremer is the director of the Special Programs Division at the Air Mobility Command, and Grieco is an assistant professor of military and security studies ACSC.

For many years, the memoirs of Civil War General William Tecumseh Sherman were overlooked. In his essay “Sherman and His Historians: An End to the Outsized Destroyer Myth?” Mitchell Klingenberg examines Sherman’s legacy and literature. Klingenberg is a postdoctoral fellow at USAWC.

To end the 51st edition of Parameters, Brian McAllister Linn, a former USAWC visiting professor, responds to David M. Finkelstein in "On 'The US Army and the Pacific: Challenges and Legacies'."

This past year, Parameters celebrated a publishing milestone—its 50th Anniversary, 1971-2021. The celebratory issue displays the breadth of topics and perspectives the publication includes giving the most comprehensive views of various national security issues. The issue includes a series of Prospectives on the future of the Army, civil-military affairs, and national strategy penned by leading professionals; and a series of Retrospectives by contemporary scholars and practitioners evaluating articles published in the journal's first year, 1971.

Parameters is a peer-reviewed publication specializing in contemporary strategy and Landpower issues. By enabling senior military officers, government officials, and scholars to share their expertise, the journal enhances the educational and professional development of future senior leaders and informs the public on essential aspects of national security affairs.