Small Wars Journal

special operations

"Indo-Pacific Terrorism, Special Operations, and the Coronavirus"

Wed, 07/01/2020 - 6:12pm

Indo-Pacific Terrorism, Special Operations, and the Coronavirus

Dr. Zachary Abuza (National War College), COL(r) David Maxwell (Foundation for Defense of Democracies), and Commander Alexander Bein (US Special Operations Command) discussed current terrorism and Special Operations Forces (SOF) dynamics for the Indo-Pacific region in the era of the coronavirus. The webinar was moderated by DKI APCSS Professor Lumpy Lumbaca.

USAJFKSWCS Needs New Nerds: Dungeons and Dragons, SCI-FI/Fantasy Writers, and an Unconventional Way to Consider Irregular Warfare Training

Sat, 02/01/2020 - 6:43am
For Pineland to come alive and deliver the dynamism students should receive requires creativity beyond the Pentagon and the Ivy Leagues. This submission is not intended to be the final word on this. This is a question, or a series of questions to be considered. I look forward to a robust, conversation with others to transform the way we train influence, and transform ARSOF more broadly.

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The Role of Police and Military Special Forces in Counter-terrorism Efforts in Cities

Sat, 11/02/2019 - 11:15am
Given the heightened terrorist threat, the police forces of global cities are beefing up their special forces units by adopting more militarised approaches in weaponry, tactics, culture, and organisation even as they increase the level of cooperation with the state’s armed forces. This civil-military integration in homeland security is present in Singapore where the police force and the army are conducting more joint patrols in public places besides key installations (KINS), and the Army is training more soldiers for peacetime operations.

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Unconventional Warfare: Think Outside the G-Base

Sat, 06/08/2019 - 11:36am
The Green Berets are in danger of self-inflicted irrelevancy because of shortcomings in their training. Most current Unconventional Warfare (UW) training events take the Unconventional Warfare template from Robin Sage and simply impose it on other environments and threat situations. This trend has persisted despite the lack of modern UW examples that resemble Robin Sage. Green Berets should be considering other models of UW that may be more relevant today.

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The Hyper-Enabled Operator

Thu, 06/06/2019 - 9:56am
Recent technological, socio-economic, and geopolitical trends, coupled with the reemergence of great power competition, complicate the future environment in which U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF) must operate. SOF professionals will need to operate not only across traditional physical domains such as land, air, and sea but also in the virtual and cognitive domains. In particular, achieving cognitive dominance over adversaries will be essential to the success of future SOF missions.

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Operationalizing the Science of the Human Domain in Great Power Competition for Special Operations Forces

Sun, 04/14/2019 - 7:31am
Special Operations Forces (SOF) must continue to build capability and capacity to scientifically understand, accurately interpret and effectively influence human behavior. It is the SOF operator who will be on the ground early, working with an indigenous populace, learning to understand a given situation in order to provide critical context to both civilian and military leadership. SOF must be able to navigate complex social systems and operate at a speed that creates critical decision space while ensuring their actions don’t make matters worse.

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The Niger Ambush and Leadership Accountability

Mon, 12/17/2018 - 12:51pm
This paper addresses my concerns about issues raised by news media publicity surrounding the 2017 ambush in Niger that killed four Americans - members of U.S. Special Operations Forces (USSOF) Team OUALLAM - and the perceived mishandling of the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) investigation results by U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM).

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Special Forces at the Lion’s Tail: Managing Risk in the Use of Special Operations Forces and the Application of Law

Tue, 10/30/2018 - 9:24am
The 2017 NSS allows undue risk. A parsing of the NSS strategy toward Africa helps make the point: the NSS defers to ends and means and leaves ways unclear. The Lykke model of military strategy (ways to apply means to ends) is brilliant in its simplicity. But this model fails as a construct of national strategy.

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Defying Stereotypes: The Untapped Potential of Integrating Female Reconnaissance Operators Into Small State NATO SOF

Mon, 10/29/2018 - 2:41pm
This paper is based on a qualitative study of NORSOF. In the study, twelve high ranking officers in NORSOF and the Norwegian military were interviewed according to an interview template, thereby ensuring consistency in the research. The interviewees participating in this research generated original primary source data, enabling unique insight to the subject. The sample group consists of some of the most experienced people in Scandinavia with regard to SR, in addition to the central leadership in NORSOF. There are no existing publications with such a comprehensive sample group looking into this subject, thus the qualitative data that will be presented in this paper provides a notable insight.

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SOF Futures: Pathways Through the Transition

Mon, 09/17/2018 - 12:32am
Special operations forces (SOF) will once again find itself out ahead of others, operating in ambiguity and uncertainty as the world’s players compete to establish new rules and new structures. One of the key challenges for SOF is that, rather than just being tactical, this time the ambiguity and uncertainty is strategic. If SOF is to continue to be effective during this time of transition, then they must rely on their collective ability to perceive weak signals and adapt more rapidly than our competitors.

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