Russian Special Forces: Issues of Loyalty, Corruption and the Fight Against Terror
JOINT SPECIAL OPERATIONS UNIV HURLBURT FIELD FL
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Dr. Graham Turbiville offers the reader insight about the status and capabilities of Russias special operations forces SOF. At a time when the U.S. special operations planning community must take full advantage of the unique skills and regional expertise that foreign partners can provide to complement our fully committed forces, Turbivilles paper is especially helpful. Turbivilles analysis is based on open sources that suggest corruption, incompetence, and rogue elements may have rendered Russian SOF ineffective for tackling the difficult problems of countering terrorism and insurgency. U.S. counterterrorism strategy has benefited from the battlefield successes of combined special operations task forces that operate in overseas locations with great success. In countering various extremists who employ terrorism as their principal weapon, our partnerships with regional allies and friends have proven effective for both conventional and special operations forces. Indeed, even on the dark side, where the United States may employ the most secret of forces, it is often critical to have the support and participation of foreign partners. For these operations, issues of competency and trust are just as important as surprise and firepower when pulling together a combined special operations unit. As U.S. SOF planners consider future coalition campaigns, a key item on their checklist will need to be an assessment of the reliability of potential foreign SOF partners. Here, Dr. Turbivilles review of allegations concerning Russian SOF linkages to corruption, criminal enterprise, and even terrorism itself indicate deep problems lurking within the Spetsnaz and other Russian security units. The paper reminds planners that they will need to develop realistic expectations of performance and reliability when dealing with a number of other foreign SOF units as they pursue multinational operations.
- Sociology and Law
- Military Forces and Organizations
- Unconventional Warfare