Austerity Cloud Hovers Over Pentagon Wish List for Guerillas and Climate

Austerity Cloud Hovers Over Pentagon Wish List for Guerillas and Climate by Walter Pincus - The Cipher Brief

… Tucked into the Senate measure is language that Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said would provide Special Operations Command (SOCOM) “new authority designed to support the ability of our special operators to work with partners to counter irregular warfare, or so-called gray zone challenges, posed by our adversaries.”

A 2014, Joint Service publication on Special Operations doctrine defined irregular warfare as having two elements: Counterinsurgency through which the U.S. military offers support to “a nation state against an insurgency, resistance or terrorists;” or Unconventional Warfare in which support is offered to “an insurgency or resistance movement against a nation state.”

It described Unconventional Warfare operations as having objectives such as “supporting the insurgency/resistance movement so it can influence, coerce, disrupt, or foster a change in governing authority.”

The document recognizes the “sensitive nature” of Unconventional Warfare operations so that they require not only “coordination, deconfliction and integration” across the U.S. government, but also “potential strategic risk and diplomatic and/or political sensitivity” of such operations if they become public.

In short, Unconventional Warfare is much like covert operations undertaken by CIA, although they not only require a Presidential Finding but also reporting to Congress in a timely manner.

At a May 4, Senate Armed Services hearing, Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI), the ranking Democrat on the panel, asked Gen. Raymond A. Thomas III, SOCOM commander, whether he needed the same kind of authority he already had to justify aiding a country dealing with its counterterrorism problem when it came to the “gray areas of unconventional warfare,” meaning assisting those opposing their own government’s leadership…

Read on.

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The three quoted items I offer below; these are provided so as to form a possible foundation -- this, for addressing that part of our article above which discusses, shall we say, "The Pentagon Wish List for Guerillas:"

First, from our article above:

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… Tucked into the Senate measure is language that Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said would provide Special Operations Command (SOCOM) "new authority designed to support the ability of our special operators to work with partners to counter irregular warfare, or so-called gray zone challenges, posed by our adversaries."

END QUOTE

Next, from Major General Linder, and his co-authors', recent paper entitled: "The Battlefield of Tomorrow Fought Today: Winning in the Human Domain:"

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Differing from the previous Tsarist regional empire and the Soviet globalist one, the new Russian foreign policy has a more pragmatic goal. It aims to build different types of buffer zones against NATO encroachment to the West and U.S. counter-terrorism efforts in Central Asia.

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http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/the-battlefield-of-tomorrow-fought-... (See the first paragraph under the major sub-heading: "How We Fight: Shape, Deter, Defeat.")

Last, from the United States Army Special Operations Command's "Special Operations Support to Political Warfare White Paper:"

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To prove successful, C-UW must be strategic in conception and scope.

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https://info.publicintelligence.net/USASOC-CounterUnconventionalWarfare.pdf (See the beginning of Chapter 3, near the top of Page 9.)

Thus:

a. The seemingly relevant question, which appears to be: What is the "strategic context" within which the matters above, to wit: "The Pentagon's Wish List for Guerillas" (and, thus, C-UW also ?) might best be discussed and understood? And

b. The seemingly appropriate answer, which appears to be:

(1) The "expansionist" efforts, made by the U.S./the West today (for example: see NATO expansion and counter-terrorism in Central Asia, as discussed by MG Linder, et al., above); these, designed to allow that the U.S./the West might gain greater power, influence and control throughout the world. And

(2) The "countering"/"containing"/"roll back" efforts, being made by various states (for example: Russia -- again, see MG Linder, et al.'s thought above) and societies (consider our non-state actor opponent's efforts in this light also?); these, all undertaken so as to thwart the U.S./the West's such "expansionist" designs.

Bottom Line Thought and Question -- Based on the Above:

MG Linder, and his co-authors' above; they appear to suggest that the "strategic context" -- within which both we and our opponents are operating today -- this is rather the opposite of that which was present in the Old Cold War.

If, indeed, this is the case, then might this such now-identified (in consideration of the Old Cold War) opposite "strategic context" -- and, specifically, the apparent "role-reversals" related to same -- might these, in any way, shape or form, help to explain why some "new authority, designed to support the ability of our special operators to work with partners to counter irregular warfare, or so-called gray zone challenges posed by our adversaries;" why this such "new authority" might now be considered necessary?