Tactical Integration of Special Operations and Conventional Forces Command and Control Functions
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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This monograph addresses the question, Is the 1999 edition of FM 100-25, Doctrine for Army Special Operations Forces, adequate to integrate the actions of special operations forces SOF and conventional forces on the contemporary battlefield Operations in Afghanistan in 2001 and operations in Iraq in 1991 showed two different degrees of physical integration between SOF and conventional forces on the battlefield. Forces in Afghanistan routinely conducted operations in close proximity to each other, measured in meters. This proximity required close, tactical-level cooperation between SOF and conventional forces. Forces in Iraq in 1991 however, rarely operated in close proximity to each other. Instead, SOF forces supported operational objectives, operating in areas physically separated from conventional forces by hundreds of kilometers. Evidence presented in this monograph shows that although the degree of physical integration was different, the method used to integrate the C2 functions of the two forces was similar, emphasizing a SOF centric approach to command and control of SOF forces. This monograph examines the integration of command and control C2 functions of SOF and conventional forces in two case studies. Focus is placed on describing the relationships between physical integration of SOF and conventional forces on the battlefield, the command structure used to control the respective forces, and the methods used to integrate the C2 functions between SOF and conventional forces. This monograph concludes that effective integration between SOF and conventional force C2 was not observed in Afghanistan. A root cause of this ineffectiveness was that the doctrine that governs SOF and conventional force C2 integration, FM 100-25 dated 1999, was inadequate.
- Military Forces and Organizations
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics