US Army Command and General Staff College Fort Leavenworth United States
Since World War II, the United States has developed a policy option to support resistance movements against hostile regimes. As an Army Special Operations Forces core activity, unconventional warfare UW serves to achieve U.S. national objectives. The sensitivities and strategic implications of these irregular conflicts require UW practitioners to provide strategic intelligence so as to best advise senior U.S. Government leaders to make informed national security decisions. This thesis examines three major UW campaigns in U.S. history. These included the Office of Strategic Services and its support to the French resistance during World War II, the Central Intelligence Agency and Army Special Forces support to indigenous groups in Southeast Asia resisting communist expansion during the Vietnam War, and the CIAs multinational UW campaign in support of the Afghan Mujahideen to defeat the Soviet army. These campaigns demonstrated the strategic role of intelligence in UW campaigns and the necessity for the Army special operations and military intelligence communities to continue developing this capability.