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Innovate or Die: Innovation and Technology for Special Operations

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In Innovate or Die Dr. Robert Spulak advances a concept for enhancing the rapid innovation that enables Special Operations Forces SOF to stay ahead of our adversaries on the battlefield. He takes a look at how SOF might innovate in ways that are different from conventional forces and emphasizes that innovation for SOF is a function of the attributes of SOF personnel and culture. Whereas the conventional General Purpose Forces must seek innovation within large organizations--often merely applying more of existing capabilities--SOF personnel have greater license to innovate during ongoing operations. Dr. Spulak suggests that innovation can occur in science and understanding, new tools and technology, and new ways of performing the mission. He contends that SOF must learn to comingle these three areas in order to speed up the process of innovation--to bring new concepts quickly to bear at the point of the spear. He warns against the linear thinking and processes used to manage developmental risks by the services and joint community. The linear model of management of innovation is a factor that inhibits the quick throughput that SOF need For SOF, slow and methodical innovation is a risk to SOF creativity, he asserts. The monograph invites reflection on the ways SOF currently provides for advancement in innovation. For example, The Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System JCIDS is a process that assesses and prioritizes joint military capability needs. The United States Special Operations Command USSOCOM affects this process via its SOFCIDS-SOF Capabilities and Integration Development System a SOCOM JCIDS. In addition, when a SOF unit identifies an urgently needed capability or requirement based on survivability of the force or risk to mission success, the USSOCOM process provides for units to proffer a Combat Mission Needs Statement identified as SOFCIDS--Urgent.

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  • Military Forces and Organizations

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