Village Stability Operations and the Afghan Local Police
JOINT SPECIAL OPERATIONS UNIV MACDILL AFB FL
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Since 2010, Village Stability Operations VSO and the Afghan Local Police ALP have been key instruments of U.S. strategy in Afghanistan, constituting the principal contribution of Special Operations Forces SOF, specifically United States Special Operations Forces USSOF to population- centric counterinsurgency. Coexisting alongside the enemy-centric operations of SOF direct-action units, VSO and the ALP are prime examples of the indirect approach to special operations. The two programs are also critically important because of the amount of resources invested in them no other programs have required so much SOF manpower since the Vietnam War. Inside and outside the USSOF community, considerable disagreement exists over the tactical and strategic effectiveness of VSO and the ALP. Because of the scope and scale of these programs, this debate is certain to continue after VSO comes to an end in late 2014. The debate is relevant not only to the history of the Afghan war, but also to the future of USSOF and U.S. military participation in counterinsurgency. Assessments of VSO and ALP effectiveness will influence future decisions on where and how to employ U.S. forces around the world.
- Sociology and Law
- Military Forces and Organizations
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics