Special Operations


Materials arranged chronologically.

Lamb, Christopher J., and Martin Cinnamond. "Unified Effort: Key to Special Operations and Irregular Warfare in Afghanistan." Joint Forces Quarterly 56 (1st Quarter 2010): 40-53.

The Obama administration "has taken important steps to improve unified effort among the diverse actors working to promote stability and defeat the Taliban insurgency. Even so, more needs to be done.... [T]he record to date demonstrates that special operations serve conflicting objectives in Afghanistan. We offer an explanation for this incongruity to underscore just how difficult unity of effort is to achieve, and to establish some baseline requirements for remedial action. We then make recommendations designed to improve unity of effort in military operations, civil-military cooperation, and among international and Afghan partners."

Olson, Eric T. [ADM/USN] "U.S. Special Operations: Context and Capabilities in Irregular Warfare." Joint Forces Quarterly 56 (1st Quarter 2010): 64-70.

The author is Commander, U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). "[T]his article outlines what makes SOF 'special' in the operational environment, and explains how USSOCOM and SOF fit into the integrated whole of military forces tasked to defend U.S. and partner interests." See also, David H. Gurney [COL/USMC (Ret.)] and Jeffrey D. Smotherman, "An Interview with Eric T. Olson," Joint Forces Quarterly 56 (1st Quarter 2010): 60-63.

Robeson, Mastin M. [MGEN/USMC] "Forging Marine Special Operators." Joint Forces Quarterly 56 (1st Quarter 2010): 85-88.

The author is Commander, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command (MARSOC). Established 24 February 2006, MARSOC is "still in the process of growing [its] force to its authorized structure. [It is] currently at 82 percent of [its] Marine build, 94 percent of [its] Navy build, and 75 percent of [its] civilian build.... [It hopes] to become fully mission capable during fiscal year 2012."

Winters, Edward G. [RADM/USN] "Adapting Across the Spectrum of Conflict: The Role of Naval Special Warfare." Joint Forces Quarterly 56 (1st Quarter 2010): 76-79.

The author is Commander, U.S. Naval Special Warfare Command. "The U.S. Naval Special Warfare (NSW) Command ... has changed to move faster and more precisely against th[e] new enemy. There are no longer operations and intelligence; instead, we face 'intelligence-operations' or 'operations-intelligence.' Additionally, there is no single organization that can defeat this enemy; it requires joint intelligence operations at a level that surpasses anything we have done previously."

Wurster, Donald C. [LTGEN/USAF] "The Air Force Special Operations Command." Joint Forces Quarterly 56 (1st Quarter 2010): 80-84.

The author is Commander, U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command. "U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command, [is] the air component of U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM).... Tomorrow's security challenge will likely have less focus on nation-state peer competitor conflict, and more of an emphasis on irregular challenges and issues at the subnational level.... Not only will AFSOC continue to provide USSOCOM with the MQ–1 Predators, but also, as of July 31, 2009, with the standup of the 33d SOS [Special Operations Squadron] at Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico, the advanced MQ–9 Reaper joined the inventory."

DeYoung, Karen, and Greg Jaffe. "U.S. 'Secret War' Expands Globally as Special Operations Forces Take Larger Role." Washington Post, 4 Jun. 2010, A1. []

According to senior military and administration officials, "the Obama administration has significantly expanded a largely secret U.S. war against al-Qaeda and other radical groups.... Special Operations forces have grown both in number and budget, and are deployed in 75 countries, compared with about 60 at the beginning of last year.... The Special Operations capabilities requested by the White House go beyond unilateral strikes and include the training of local counterterrorism forces and joint operations with them.... Obama has asked for a 5.7 percent increase in the Special Operations budget for fiscal 2011, for a total of $6.3 billion, plus an additional $3.5 billion in 2010 contingency funding."

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