Leveraging Capabilities: The Integration of Special Operation Forces and Conventional Forces
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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Since September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, Special Operation Forces SOF and Conventional Forces CF have be increasingly working together throughout the world against numerous asymmetrical threats. However, operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have shown that there are many situations where SOF and CF do not fully leverage each others capabilities because they operated along parallel lines of operations, where neither force had any degree of certainty of what the other was doing. In 2009, General McChrystal adopted a strategy for Afghanistan that focuses on the needs of the populace and putting Afghan forces in the lead of every effort. If SOF and CF are going to succeed in implementing General McChrystals new strategy, as well as in future conflicts where both forces are operating jointly then both forces must learn to leverage each others capabilities. Specifically, SOF and CF must learn to take an integrated approach to joint operations so that both forces will be able to leverage each others capability strengths to compensate for their own internal capability limitations, which will allow both forces to operate in the most efficient and effective manner possible. In order to ensure that this transpires changes must occur in how both forces conduct joint operations and be institutionalized in doctrine, education, training, and leadership. Through a DOTMLPF comparison of both forces and two case studies, this monograph shows how both forces should leverage each others capabilities, as well as provides recommendations for the implementation of General McChrystals new strategy for Afghanistan.
- Military Forces and Organizations
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics