Accession Number:

ADA433677

Title:

The Role of Special Operations Forces in U.S. Homeland Security and Homeland Defense

Descriptive Note:

Strategy research project

Corporate Author:

ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2005-03-18

Pagination or Media Count:

34.0

Abstract:

The purpose of this paper is to analyze and suggest possible roles for special operations forces in homeland security and homeland defense. The paper reviews the obstacles to the use of military forces in the domestic environment under the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 and then introduces special operations and special operations forces competencies. The paper then analyzes the current National Strategy for Homeland Security and injects suggestions for using special operations forces to bolster the Strategy. After an overview of United States Northern Command, the Department of Defenses supported command for the homeland defense mission, the paper recommends establishing a sub-unified organization under Northern Command to provide special operations command and control, planning, and mission execution. Underlying the entire discussion is the critical need to incorporate special operations forces early in the campaign plan, rather than waiting for mission execution to blend them into the force structure. Regardless of the role special operations forces play or the structure that exercises their command and control, commanders will reap the benefits these highly specialized forces provide only if they understand who they are, what they do, and how to integrate them into the missions of homeland security and homeland defense.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Forces and Organizations

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE