THROW AWAY THE BOX: RETHINKING LOGISTICS INTEGRATION BETWEEN SPECIAL OPERATIONS AND GENERAL PURPOSE FORCES
AIR WAR COLLEGE, AIR UNIVERSITY MAXWELL AFB
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The relationship between US General Purpose Forces GPF and Special Operations Forces SOF has been logistically challenging since SOFs various inception dates. The GPF and SOF organizational and cultural biases severely limit the effectiveness of both organizations and ultimately limit the ability to achieve our National interests more effectively. The overall intent of this paper is to critically examine the logistical relationship between the GPF and SOF over the last decade and into the future. The paper uses a historical and doctrinal approach to argue that the relationship between GPF and SOF must be optimized in the PrePost-conflict phases through logistic structure improvements continuous Joint logistics professional development and joint professional education. The benefits of improving GPF and SOF logistics integration far outweigh the cost of continuing the negative relationship dynamics of the past. The author critically examines the relationship, responsibilities, and requirements between GPF and SOF in order to maximize global effects into the future. The underlying intent is to ensure SOF readiness through improved integration while informing Special Operations Commands SOCOM and GPF logistics future design strategy. The evidence presents the phenomenal level of Joint logistical integration advancements of the last decade as specifically illustrated in OPERATIONS ENDURING FREEDOM and INHERENT RESOLVE. The author highlights the potential hazards which will occur if we fail to capture the positive advancements and the implications of a reversion back to the status quo prior to 2005. The paper proposes three core recommendations which could correct and overcome the institutional and cultural friction points of the last decade. Successful implementation will greatly enhance the overall effectiveness of the US Military in achieving National objectives.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics