Accession Number : AD1042557

Title :   The SOF Experience in the Philippines and the Implications for Future Defense Strategy

Descriptive Note : Journal Article


Personal Author(s) : Robinson,Linda

Full Text :

Report Date : 07 Dec 2016

Pagination or Media Count : 17

Abstract : United States special operations forces (SOF) have engaged in a number of long-duration missions around the globe in the last 15 years. One of those, Operation Enduring Freedom-Philippines (OEF-P), epitomized the type of partnered, light footprint approach that recent defense strategy guidance has called for as a way to defend U.S. national security interests and promote global stability without incurring the crushing cost or unwanted side effects of large scale military interventions. The requirements for success through this approach, and the limits of its application, have been a matter of ongoing debate. Some skepticism derives from doubts about the will, probity and/or basic capability of the host or partner nations that the United States has tried to buttress. Another source of skepticism has been the apparent inefficacy of the U.S. approach to building partner capacity, as illustrated most prominently by the Iraqi armys disintegration in 2014 after more than $20 billion in U.S. assistance from 2003-2011, and by the difficulties the Afghan army has encountered in taking on the Taliban as the U.S. forces have drawn down. An exception in both of these cases has been the Iraqi and Afghan special operations forces, which have demonstrated notably greater capability and fortitude. These elite units were intensively trained, advised, and assisted by U.S. and coalition special operations forces over the course of a decade, which suggests that there may be some valuable and possibly fungible lessons to learn from the way in which SOF approaches this mission.

Descriptors :   warfare , national security , afghanistan conflict , civil affairs , special operations forces , training , combat operations , contingency operations (military) , military operations , security , command and control , doctrine , counterterrorism

Subject Categories : Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
      Military Forces and Organizations

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE