Accession Number : AD1042559

Title :   Thinking Dangerously: Imagining United States Special Operations Command in the Post CT-World

Descriptive Note : Journal Article


Personal Author(s) : Ellis,David C ; Black,Charles N ; Nobles,Mary A

Full Text :

Report Date : 07 Dec 2016

Pagination or Media Count : 19

Abstract : Imagine if there were no United States Special Operations Command (SOCOM) and the Department of Defense (DOD) needed to create a new military entity to provide non-traditional military capability to support U.S. national security interests now and into the future. Escaping from the bonds of past experience and organizational identity, would todays SOCOM be envisioned or would it be something much different in terms of mission space, operational approach, organization, and culture? The thought exercise above is intended to be provocative and uncomfortable for a command still actively fighting on multiple fronts. History, with all its successes, is not a predictor of future success and is but one factor to inform judgments about the future. A journey of innovation to keep pace with change is easily sidetracked with too much emphasis on past events. This article addresses the possibilityindeed likelihoodthat a rebalancing of direct and indirect special operations forces (SOF) approaches and supporting core activities is essential for improving SOCOMs resiliency against unpredictable, black swan2 events and for preventing it from becoming a fragile organization. Because the active fight continues and the commands bureaucratic machine still churns on the direct counterterrorism (CT) mission, concerns are here raised about how SOCOM sees itself and its strategic role in protecting national interests now and tomorrow.

Descriptors :   international relations , national security , unconventional warfare , united states special operations command , military organizations , counterterrorism , military personnel , political movements , political systems , special forces , foreign policy , counterinsurgency , unconventional warfare

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

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE