Accession Number:

AD1053299

Title:

Unconventional Restraint: Obstacles to Army Special Operations Forces Employment in Support to Resistance Operations

Descriptive Note:

Technical Report

Corporate Author:

NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA MONTEREY United States

Report Date:

2017-12-01

Pagination or Media Count:

179.0

Abstract:

Despite ever-increasing political support to U.S. Army Special Operations Forces ARSOF in the 21st century, enduring obstacles continue to limit the execution of support to resistance movements as a viable strategic policy option for the United States. When both diplomatic and conventional military options prove too costly andor reach an impasse, the National Command Authority is left with two options do nothing or force a change by supporting elements of the indigenous opposition. Recent history provides several examples of presidential decisions to leverage U.S. military support to resistance movements STR to, as outlined in Joint Publication 3-05, Special Operations 2014, coerce, disrupt or overthrow a government or occupying power in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and most recently, Syria. Yet the efficacy of this core activity remains constrained by legal, political, and organizational challenges. This thesis explores both the causes and depths of these obstacles to the employment of ARSOF elements in support to indigenous resistance activities and identifies feasible means to overcome these hurdles. Ultimately, recognition and alleviation of these obstacles will optimize ARSOFs activities and arm national policymakers with the ways and means to achieve long-lasting policy ends.

Subject Categories:

  • Unconventional Warfare
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
  • Government and Political Science

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE