Shared History, Shared Missions, Maximized Interoperability: Best Practices for USSOF and the CIA
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA MONTEREY United States
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Since the Global War on Terrorism began, United States Special Operations Command USSOCOM and the Central Intelligence Agency CIA have been engaged in a collaborative partnership within United States Country Teams. With a shared history, including shared successes, the two organizations have experienced mission overlap, with United States Special Operations Forces USSOF sometimes participating in intelligence collection, and the CIA on occasion conducting more kinetic operations. Opportunities for operational overlap have helped both organizations, allowing increased mission success through increased location access, augmented numbers, shared resources, and other benefits that aid their performance. However, areas of friction also exist, including in communications platforms, Title 10 and Title 50 authorities, and lack of awareness of each others organizational norms. This thesis details the shared history starting before World War II, examines the policies that uphold both, and conducts interviews with USSOF and CIA personnel, including those at the Naval Postgraduate Schools Defense Analysis Department. This thesis finds several positive benefits from USSOF and CIA collaboration and identifies key areas of potential friction so as to document best practices for maximized interoperability that support national security interests.
- Unconventional Warfare
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics