The Role of Special Operations Forces in Global Competition
Center for Naval Analyses Arlington United States
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Nations have a variety of options for exerting influence, such as through diplomatic, military, or economic means. In recent years, some nations have shifted to more ambiguous activities for exerting global influence, in attempts to achieve benefits normally obtained through conventional war, but without triggering such a war. In this report, we explored a different way of thinking about these ambiguous activities and their implications, which suggested a need to shift U.S. focus away from preparing to win tomorrow and toward winning today. From this shift, we described a different approach to U.S. activities in such competitive environments. We also identified the unique qualities of U.S. Special Operations Forces SOF as the military force having the best alignment with these different activities.
- Military Forces and Organizations