Marcus Aurelius: Broader Role for Special Operations Forces in Peace and War — Reading Between the Lines — And White SOF/NATO Future?

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Marcus Aurelius
Marcus Aurelius

Military Sees Broader Role For Special Operations Forces, In Peace And War

By Thom Shanker

New York Times, 3 April 2013

EXTRACT

When assigned to their home bases, regional experts within Army Special Operations force would continue to support overseas operations by assisting in mission planning, organizing information campaigns and sifting through intelligence — but from the rear.

A challenge is to more effectively combine the tactical expertise of Special Operations forces in carrying out specific missions into the wider United States government effort to stabilize nations at risk and prevent crisis or war — a task that is far more complicated than simply targeting a terrorist leader or training an allied platoon.

“You need to have guys who understand not just the tactical level but also how to write campaign plans and put together multiple lines of effort over extended periods of time to achieve a strategic result,” General Cleveland said. “Who writes the campaign plan for Yemen? Where do you train that guy?”

His headquarters has picked up that challenge. Maj. Gen. Edward M. Reeder Jr., commander of the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School at Fort Bragg, which trains soldiers for Special Forces, civil affairs and military information support, together with the Army’s central school at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., is developing a new program to teach “special operations campaign arts.”

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Phi Beta Iota:  The US Government lacks a strategic analytic model with which to measure cause and effect, return on investment, and inter-related risk.  Neither the Central Intelligence Agency nor the Department of State, nor any other element of the US Government, is capable of doing much more than “observe and report,” generally incoherently and without a clue about the historical, cultural, or near-term and long-term whole systems true cost implications.  Everything called for in 1989 – 1994 is now clearly seen as needed, only we have wasted $1.5 trillion on the secret world side, and $6 trillion on the military-civilian operations side.  Creating a persistently present and competent White SOF is precisely what we should be doing, to the point of having a Deputy CINCSOC (White) co-equal to a Deputy CINCSOC (Black).  Done right — and this means in partnership with NATO and the new commanding general of NATO/SACEUR, this is an opportunity to reinvent how we do intelligence, how we do multinatinal decision-support, and how we do Whole of Government planning, programming, budgeting, and execution (PPBS/E).

01  White SOF needs to make a serious commitment to the regimental concept of region for life.

02  White SOF needs to make a serious commitment to integrated multinational planing, programming, budgeting, and execution.  Even if the USA provides most of the money, White SOF will not be successful absent a Coalition Coordination Center (CCC) capability that is heavy up on intelligence and logistics.

03  NATO