Accession Number:

AD1045957

Title:

Strategic Choice: United States Special Forces' Comparative Advantage in Irregular Warfare

Descriptive Note:

Technical Report,01 Mar 2017,01 Mar 2017

Corporate Author:

NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA MONTEREY United States

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2017-03-01

Pagination or Media Count:

79.0

Abstract:

Over the last 100 years, strong state actors have struggled to achieve policy goals when involved in conflicts with weaker actors. Irregular Warfare has become the tool of choice for weak opponents to wage war against strong actors such as the United States. Weak actors are achieving more frequent success against powerful opponents by using indirect strategies. This thesis examines the conflict interaction between weak and strong actors. For the strong actor, this thesis identifies that when there is limited political maneuver space, limited resources, and the importance of the objective is less than vital to national security interests, an indirect strategy becomes the most practical approach to combat a weaker opponent using an indirect approach. Using the aforementioned methodology, this thesis concludes that U.S. Army Special Forces have a comparative advantage over conventional forces to provide the National Command Authorities with a means to address indirect threats from weaker actors.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
  • Military Forces and Organizations

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE