Small Wars Journal

special operations forces

Unconventional Warfare: Think Outside the G-Base

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

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 SWJED 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.

Is the OSS Contribution to Special Forces a Result of Disinformation?

It pained me to read the latest issue of the USASOC Historian Office's publication Veritas and it pains me even more to have to write these words. You might not be familiar with Veritas because it is not published on line, only in an expensive high gloss print publication. The specific article in the recent edition is “The OSS Influence on Special Forces.”

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SOF Futures: Pathways Through the Transition

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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How the Rangers Got into SOF - Barely

Today, the Army Rangers are a key component of the US Special Operations capability. Their participation in world-wide SOF operations, as portrayed in “Blackhawk Down”, highlights their employment in this role. It was not always so, and its transition to SOF was bitterly resisted by many within the Army structure. It was only due to force deficiencies in Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta (SFOD-D) during the planning phase of the Iran rescue attempt, that forced their inclusion. From that, all else has flowed. Inclusion, now taken for granted, was a hard and bumpy road.

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The Dark Arts: Application of Special Operations in Joint Strategic and Operational Plans

With a better understanding of the Dark Arts that TSOCs and SOF planners bring to Joint Force Planners along with a clear understanding of desired effects, the more effective strategic and operational plans will be in competing and defending our nation’s national interests.

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Military Assistance in Support of Negotiations, Defense Security Sector Reforms and Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration Processes

This article presents potential Military Assistance concepts of operations in support of specific security policy objectives, and proposes feasible new concepts in MA operations.

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