Thought for the Day

"No matter how busy you are, you must find time for reading, or you surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance." Confucius

Friday, March 27, 2015

Interview: Dr. Bruce Hoffman on the Release of the 9/11 Review Commission Report



Interview: Dr. Bruce Hoffman on the Release of the 9/11 Review Commission Report  

 Mar 27, 2015    In The News  0

Interview: Dr. Bruce Hoffman on the Release of the 9/11 Review Commission Report   
By Sarah Maksoud, Reporter
The 9/11 Review Commission released a declassified report on Wednesday, evaluating the FBI’s counterterrorism performance.
The commissioners—Dr. Bruce Hoffman, Edwin Meese III, and Timothy Roemer—came to the conclusion that the FBI “has made measurable progress over the past decade” in developing its intelligence capabilities, but that progress in building key intelligence programs” is lagging behind marked advances in law enforcement capabilities.
The commission was tasked by congress in 2013 with evaluating the FBI’s improvements in the aftermath of the attacks of September 11. In particular, they looked at how well the FBI implemented the recommendations made by the commission that studied the 9/11 attacks. In 2002, the 9/11 Commission found that the FBI needed to evolve organizationally in order to strike a balance between its crime-fighting role, and the need to prevent terrorist attacks through intelligence gathering.
The GSSR sat with Dr. Hoffman to discuss the commission, the conclusions of their report, and his experiences as part of the panel.
Q: How did the commission come about?
On the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Congressman Peter King tried to convene—and tried to have Congress to approve—a follow-up to the 9/11 Commission, but it didn’t work. After the Boston Marathon Bombing, Congressman Wolf, who recently retired, decided that it was really time to take a look at how successful and effective the FBI had been in implementing the 9/11 Commission’s recommendations, and how well positioned the FBI was to cope with or to address the emerging problems of terrorism and radicalization.
Q: How did the commission’s work progress?
Slowly. The congressional legislation authorizing the commission had been voted on in March 2013. I was first approached in August 2013, and then sequestration intervened. The Commission wasn’t actually organized to meet until the last day of October 2013, and the Commission didn’t really get up and running until January 2014. So it was a long process just to get started. And then once the commissioners were settled, we had to hire an executive director. And once we had the executive director on board, we had to recruit staff, which took months. We had to conform to federal hiring laws, and people had to have very specialized clearances because of the work that would be involved.
Q: What were the general conclusions the commission came to?
In general terms, the FBI has made a lot of very important changes, and that it’s really transformed itself from what it was 20 years ago, when it was an almost entirely law enforcement agency, to one that is intelligence driven. But the threat is changing and multiplying and evolving so quickly that the FBI has to move faster. Just given the fact that the CIA and the National Geospatial Agency evolved and underwent massive reforms over the past year shows how all intelligence agencies are having to respond to this evolving threat. So I think for us, given that the new FBI director has only been in place for a bit more than a year—and that the FBI is now facing even more complex challenges of cyber terrorism and cyber-crimes, as well as radicalization, and the recruitment of foreign fighters—that the timing of the commission was very propitious.
Q: How did the FBI receive the commission’s report?
Really well. They didn’t make one change at all to the findings and recommendations, which were extremely pointed. Just on the question of intelligence analysis, and the intelligence analysts, where there has always been a gulf in the FBI’s culture between special agents and intelligence analysts, we have eleven significant recommendations just on that alone. No organization likes to have outsiders come in and put them under a microscope. The FBI was immensely supportive; they really changed very little in the report and in fact only classified slightly more than a dozen pages in a nearly 130 page document. There had to be some redactions because of sources and methods, in terms of intelligence gathering, and how the FBI operates that might assist our enemies. But the things we had to remove for classification reasons were really very minor in terms of substance, and very modest in terms of number. The Director has been extremely supportive. Changing practices in any bureaucracy is difficult, but I was really impressed with their response. Indeed, there’s a lot of material that’s critical in there that they’ve not contested.
Q: What was the most interesting aspect of the commission?
One of the interesting things about the FBI effort was that we were able to call on the research and analytical skills of both current SSP students and SSP alumni. At a time when we were having this delay in getting people on board, so that we could keep moving forward we were very fortunate to be able to use an SSP student to provide absolutely critical research assistance, using open source materials that became the foundation for a lot of the much deeper dives we took into the classified materials. One of the most effective members of the entire commission staff was an SSP alum, who had in fact also been one of my students as well as my research assistant, and now works in the US government. This person’s contributions were really immeasurable. The other commissioners said that she was the single most pivotal figure amongst the commission staff. This is what SSP students are both trained to do and are capable of, and is why they are so successful. You know, you would expect this coming from the Director! But this is coming from me wearing my commission hat, and the other commissioners also agreed. There were some extraordinary contributions made by the SSP student and SSP alum involved in the project—as well, of course, by the rest of the staff.
Q: What did you take away from the experience?
I think until you actually live it and experience it, it’s hard to appreciate is how difficult it is to achieve any kind of change in a bureaucracy—even needed change. It’s not just demonstrating the need for it, which people will recognize, but actually getting the entire bureaucracy to move. And the trouble is that it’s not just one office you’re dealing with. It’s as much the people on the frontlines, as it is dealing with the human resources people. It’s dealing with the mid-level managers as well. Making that compelling case for change is one part of the process, but the implementation is always the toughest part. You could have great ideas, but how you obtain buy-in and actually implement them is the challenge. I think in the FBI, they are extremely fortunate that the director is enormously open-minded. You get the impression that he really cares about the bureau and about its employees, and really takes his role very seriously in protecting the people of the United States. But even the director can’t just snap his fingers and say “change.”

McCain Launches Goldwater-Nichols Review; How Far Will He Go?

All good questions. I wonder how far this will go?  It is notable that he is focusing on personnel management both with DOPMA and with the joint assignment process mandated by Goldwater-Nichols (which rests on the assumption that everyone has a chance to be a general/flag officer so everyone has to rotate through joint assignments) Both DOPMA and Goldwater -Nichols only allow us to pay lip service to "talent management" or maximizing the opportunity to get the right person in the right job for the right mount of time.

    • “Are the roles and missions of the Joint Staff, Combatant Commands, Joint Task Forces, and other headquarters elements properly aligned to conduct strategic planning, equip our warfighters, and maximize combat power?
    • “Does the vast enterprise that has become the Office of the Secretary of Defense further our ability to meet present and future military challenges?
    • “Does the constant churn of uniformed officers through joint assignments make them more effective military leaders, or has this exercise become more of a self-justification for a large officer corps?
    • “Is the Defense Officer Personnel Management Act of 1980 still appropriate for the joint force of 2015 and beyond, or is it time to review this law?
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee
UPDATED: With Thornberry Comment Supporting Reform
WASHINGTON: Sen. John McCain plans a long-term review of the law underpinning the modern American military, the Goldwater-Nichols legislation that created the current chain of command from president to defense secretary to combatant commanders.
“The Committee will be conducting a preliminary examination of the structure, roles, and missions of civilian and military organizations within the (Defense) Department. That will set the stage for a broader review of these issues starting after this year’s NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) and extending into next year, many of which are tied directly to Goldwater-Nichols Act,” a congressional staff member wrote in an email after McCain spoke this morning at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
The staffer responded to an email I sent after McCain hinted at the review during his speech.
Here’s what the chairman said at CSIS:
“At the same time, three decades later, there are real questions about how Goldwater-Nichols has been implemented and what unintended consequences may have resulted. For example:
(Continued at the link below)

Socom Commander: Success Depends on Total Force Readiness

Excerpt:

Socom delivers options to the nation's leaders and to geographic combatant commanders, he said.

"Through small-footprint operations and by relying on a network of purposeful partnerships, [special operations forces provide] a comparative advantage through persistent engagement, partner enablement, network focus and discreet rapid response to crisis situations," the general said.

Special operations forces are uniquely suited "to operate and succeed in the gray zone between normal international competition and open conflict," Votel said. "And it is in this area that we see our very best opportunities to help shape the future environment."

Socom Commander: Success Depends on Total Force Readiness

By Claudette Roulo
DoD News, Defense Media Activity
WASHINGTON, March 26, 2015 – The commander of U.S. Special Operations Command told Congress today that he is “profoundly concerned” about sequestration’s impact on the military as a whole.
Speaking to the Senate Armed Services Committee, Army Gen. Joseph L. Votel said that while Socom has been well-supported in recent years, it is “absolutely dependent” on the military services as a whole for mission support.
In addition to the fiscal challenges facing his command, Votel told the committee, the variety of physical threats to national security is on the rise.
“The spread of technology and the diffusion of power are not only being used by responsible leaders to better societies, but unfortunately, by wicked actors to orchestrate terror and violence, regionally and globally,” he said.
Special Operations Provides ‘Comparative Advantage’
State and nonstate actors alike exert significant influence over the strategic environment in which special operations forces operate, the general said.
“And we are equally affected by the growing use of cyber capabilities and social media, which make it easy for our adversaries to coordinate, execute and inspire their actions,” Votel said.
Socom delivers options to the nation’s leaders and to geographic combatant commanders, he said.
“Through small-footprint operations and by relying on a network of purposeful partnerships, [special operations forces provide] a comparative advantage through persistent engagement, partner enablement, network focus and discreet rapid response to crisis situations,” the general said.
Special operations forces are uniquely suited “to operate and succeed in the gray zone between normal international competition and open conflict,” Votel said. “And it is in this area that we see our very best opportunities to help shape the future environment.”
Five Priorities
The general told the committee that he has established five command priorities designed to support Socom’s singular abilities.
“First, we must ensure [special operations forces’] readiness by developing the right people, skills and capabilities to meet current and future requirements,” he said.
“… Second, we must help our nation win by addressing today's security challenges,” Votel said.
“… Third, we must build purposeful relationships to improve global understanding and awareness to create options for our leaders,” the general said. “We don't own the network, but we are an important part of it, and working with our partners will always produce the best options for our nation.”
Fourth, he added, “we have to prepare for the future security environment to ensure that [special operations] is ready to win in an increasingly complex world.”
And, “we must preserve our force and families to ensure their long-term well-being,” the general said.
Socom leaders “are specifically focused on a holistic approach to address the invisible challenges of stress and suicide that are affecting our service members, civilians and their family members,” Votel said.
(Follow Claudette Roulo on Twitter: @roulododnews)

Contact Author

Biographies:
Army Gen. Joseph L. Votel

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The FBI Releases Final Report of the 9/11 Review Commission Report Details the FBI’s Implementation of the 2004 9/11 Commission Recommendations



The FBI Releases Final Report of the 9/11 Review Commission
Report Details the FBI’s Implementation of the 2004 9/11 Commission Recommendations

Washington, D.C.March 25, 2015
Today, the FBI released The FBI: Protecting the Homeland in the 21st Century, the final report of the 9/11 Review Commission. This congressionally mandated review focused on the FBI’s implementation of the recommendations proposed by the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (the 9/11 Commission).
“I am pleased the Review Commission recognized the significant progress we have made to build a threat-based, intelligence-driven law enforcement and national security organization,” said FBI Director James B. Comey. “I thank the commissioners and their staff for their efforts to help us better serve and protect the American public.”
The FBI asked three experts to lead this review: Edwin “Ed” Meese III, former United States attorney general; Timothy J. Roemer, former congressman and ambassador; and Bruce Hoffman, Georgetown University professor and noted author on terrorism. Over the past 14 months, the Commission visited numerous FBI offices, here and abroad, and—with the full cooperation of the FBI—received more than 60 briefings from FBI personnel in the course of their work.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

NATO Commander Breedlove Discusses Implications of Hybrid War

Excerpt:

One of the first aspects of the hybrid war is to attack credibility and to try to separate a nation from its support mechanisms, the general said.

"Informationally, this is probably the most impressive new part of this hybrid war, all of the different tools to create a false narrative," he said. "We begin to talk about the speed and the power of a lie, how to get a false narrative out, and then how to sustain that false narrative through all of the new tools that are out there."

Military tools remain relatively unchanged, he said. "But how they are used or how they are hidden in their use, is the new part of this hybrid war," the general said. "How do we recognize, how do we characterize and then how do we attribute this new employment of the military in a way that is built to bring about ambiguity?"

The question is are we able to operate within this type of warfare which can perhaps also be characterized as political and unconventional warfare.  While we think what is happening with Russia in Ukraine and Crimea is new if we look back to our own doctrine we can see parallels (and we do not even have to go back to George Kennan's 1948 memo on political warfare. )  Below is an excerpt from the no longer published DOD Encyclopedia from 1996 (http://www.bits.de/NRANEU/others/jp-doctrine/jp-encyclop(97).pdf)

UW is the military and paramilitary aspect of an insurgency or other armed resistance movement and may often become a protracted politico-military activity. From the U.S. perspective, UW may be the conduct of indirect or proxy warfare against a hostile power for the purpose of achieving U.S. national interests in peacetime; UW may be employed when conventional military involvement is impractical or undesirable; or UW may be a complement to conventional operations in war. The focus of UW is primarily on existing or potential insurgent, secessionist, or other resistance movements. Special operations forces (SOF) provide advice, training, and assistance to existing indigenous resistance organizations. The intent of UW operations is to exploit a hostile power’s political, military, economic, and psychological vulnerabilities by advising, assisting, and sustaining resistance forces to accomplish U.S. strategic or operational objectives.
When UW is conducted independently during military operations other than war or war, its primary focus is on political and psychological objectives. A successful effort to organize and mobilize a segment of the civil population may culminate in military action. Strategic UW objectives may include the following:
• Undermining the domestic and international legitimacy of the target authority.
• Neutralizing the target authority’s power and shifting that power to the resistance organization.
• Destroying the confidence and will of the target authority’s leadership.
• Isolating the target authority from international diplomatic and material support while obtaining such support for the resistance organization.
• Obtaining the support or neutrality of the various segments of the society.


NATO Commander Breedlove Discusses Implications of Hybrid War

By Jim Garamone
DoD News, Defense Media Activity
WASHINGTON, March 23, 2015 – Air Force Gen. Philip M. Breedlove discussed the implications of hybrid war during a presentation to the Brussels Forum over the weekend.
Breedlove, NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe and commander of U.S. European Command, said Russia’s illegal occupation of Crimea and continued actions in the rest of Eastern Ukraine is a form of hybrid war.
Russia is using diplomacy, information warfare, and its military and economic means to wage this campaign, he added.
Aspects of Hybrid War
One of the first aspects of the hybrid war is to attack credibility and to try to separate a nation from its support mechanisms, the general said.
“Informationally, this is probably the most impressive new part of this hybrid war, all of the different tools to create a false narrative,” he said. “We begin to talk about the speed and the power of a lie, how to get a false narrative out, and then how to sustain that false narrative through all of the new tools that are out there.”
Military tools remain relatively unchanged, he said. “But how they are used or how they are hidden in their use, is the new part of this hybrid war,” the general said. “How do we recognize, how do we characterize and then how do we attribute this new employment of the military in a way that is built to bring about ambiguity?”
An Across-government Approach
Using the economic tool, he said, hybrid warfare allows a country to bring pressure on economies, but also on energy.
“What the military needs to do is to use those traditional military intelligence tools to develop the truth. The way you attack a lie is with the truth,” Breedlove said. “I think that you have to attack an all of a government approach with an all of government approach. The military needs to be able to do its part, but we need to bring exposure to those diplomatic pressures and return the diplomatic pressure. We need to, as a Western group of nations or as an alliance, engage in this information warfare to … drag the false narrative out into the light and expose it.”
Regarding Western response to Russian actions in Ukraine, no tool should be off the table, Breedlove said.
“In Ukraine, what we see is what we talked about earlier, diplomatic tools being used, informational tools being used, military tools being used, economic tools being used against Ukraine,” he said. “We, I think, in the West, should consider all of our tools in reply. Could it be destabilizing? The answer is yes. Also, inaction could be destabilizing.”
(Follow Jim Garamone on Twitter: @garamoneDoDNews)

Sunday, March 22, 2015

The American role in Mamasapano


This article is based on cherry picking from my 2012 testimony before the HASC Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities which can be accessed at this link:  http://armedservices.house.gov/index.cfm/files/serve?File_id=be69fdc5-4233-4507-840c-6c8023f94bf6

I will just take issue with this one excerpt as I think everyone reading this understands the proper application of foreign internal defense as well as the importance of the US not being in charge in operations such as those in the Philippines.:

In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, America launched the global war against terrorism, specifically targeting the leaders of the al-Qaida network and its regional affiliate in Southeast Asia, the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI). The Philippines became a theater in this American global campaign against terrorism after it was determined that the notorious Mindanao-based kidnap group Abu Sayyaf maintained close relations with leaders of the JI.

In a changed world environment, America decided it needed to recast its military presence in countries that were battling terrorism. New experiences were sought in the battle against this scourge. In the Philippines, Mindanao was chosen as a suitable laboratory in which new models of irregular warfare could be tested. Under “Operation Enduring Freedom,” America offered advice and assistance in counterinsurgency and counterterrorism to selected allies. A corollary of this campaign was the formation in several countries of missions called “Joint Special Operations Task Forces.” The Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines (JSOTF-P) was organized in 2002, one of the first to be set up by the American global security state. (Interestingly, the JSOTF-P withdrew from Mindanao a month after the Mamasapano debacle.)

What I take exception issue with is that the Philippines became a laboratory in which new models of irregular warfare could be tested.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  In 2001-2002 US actions in the Philippines rested upon the foundation of already existing foreign internal defense doctrine, and the operations were based not only on long standing relationships between US and Filipino forces but were also conducted in the method and manner that US Special Forces and Joint special operations forces had been conducting operations for decades,  The only thing new and different was that after 9-11 there was the demand for these types of operations and the press and the public paid a little more attention to them (though not too much as they were way overshadowed by Afghanistan and Iraq which was actually a good thing for our operations in the Philippines as it prevented much of the effects of the 6000 mile screw driver).

The American role in 

Mamasapano

2:17 AM | Sunday, March 22nd, 2015

Hearing it from the US state department, one would think American security personnel played no more than a peripheral role in the Mamasapano encounter. Here’s how its spokesperson, Jen Psaki, put it at the department’s daily press briefing last March 18: “At the request of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, personnel serving in the Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines responded to assist in the evacuation of casualties after the firefight. The operation was planned and executed by Philippine authorities.”
That’s also what most of us initially thought after seeing photos of wounded troopers and body bags being loaded onto waiting vehicles by brawny Caucasians sporting military haircuts. Can it be that they just happened to be in the neighborhood with their air ambulance when dead bodies needed to be retrieved from the battlefield? Sensing something disingenuous in this matter-of-fact portrayal of the US role in Mindanao, a reporter tried to probe:
QUESTION: And when you said that any US support was in accordance with the Philippine Government, in other words it was part—I’m not sure what that means.
PSAKI: Well, specifically, as I mentioned, we responded to assist in the evacuation of casualties after the firefight. That was the role.
QUESTION: After they asked?
PSAKI: Yes, mm-hmm. After the request of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.”
The reference to the Armed Forces is understandable. The legal umbrella that justifies and protects the presence of American troops on Philippine soil is the Visiting Forces Agreement, which is associated with the series of joint military exercises between American forces and the Philippine military. Today, it is being invoked as an all-purpose cover for a wide range of US security activities in the Philippines. There were six Americans at the Special Action Force’s Tactical Command Post who were monitoring the Jan. 25 Mamasapano mission in real time. I am aware that this is not an issue with many of our people. But, a little background on how this came about may help enrich our understanding of the American role in Mamasapano.
In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, America launched the global war against terrorism, specifically targeting the leaders of the al-Qaida network and its regional affiliate in Southeast Asia, the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI). The Philippines became a theater in this American global campaign against terrorism after it was determined that the notorious Mindanao-based kidnap group Abu Sayyaf maintained close relations with leaders of the JI.
In a changed world environment, America decided it needed to recast its military presence in countries that were battling terrorism. New experiences were sought in the battle against this scourge. In the Philippines, Mindanao was chosen as a suitable laboratory in which new models of irregular warfare could be tested. Under “Operation Enduring Freedom,” America offered advice and assistance in counterinsurgency and counterterrorism to selected allies. A corollary of this campaign was the formation in several countries of missions called “Joint Special Operations Task Forces.” The Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines (JSOTF-P) was organized in 2002, one of the first to be set up by the American global security state. (Interestingly, the JSOTF-P withdrew from Mindanao a month after the Mamasapano debacle.)
A paper titled “Understanding Future Irregular Warfare Challenges,” presented as a testimony before the armed services committee of the US Congress by retired US colonel David S. Maxwell, discusses the key concept that governs the operationalization of the global antiterrorist campaign—“Foreign Internal Defense.” Maxwell was the commander of the JSOTF-P in Mindanao in 2006-2007.
I have been wondering how the Philippine National Police got involved in the counterterrorism campaign. Like counterinsurgency, this has been historically a function of the Philippine military. Perhaps, the answer is to be found in Maxwell’s paper: “Foreign internal defense is participation by civilian and military agencies of a government in any of the action programs taken by another government or other designated organization to free and protect its society from subversion, lawlessness, insurgency, terrorism, and other threats to its security.”
I suspect that, after years of working with the Philippine military, the JSOTF-P found the PNP-SAF to be a better partner in getting the remaining high-value terrorists in Mindanao. Perhaps the JSOTF-P saw how the military had become so tightly bound to the ongoing peace process that it could no longer be relied upon to pursue new initiatives against targets in areas controlled by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the government’s peace partner.
The courage, zeal and heroism of the SAF commandos cannot be doubted. But Mamasapano proved to be unfamiliar terrain for many of them, and prolonged combat in the field was not what they were trained for. They were led to their death by false assurances. Still, despite the steep price paid, their handlers insist it was mission accomplished. The day after the assault, a severed finger was delivered to the American partners who had commissioned the killing of the terrorist to whom it belonged.
A sentence from Maxwell’s paper leapt out of the screen as I was reading it: “A problem that most US forces have is that they are so focused on mission accomplishment they often lack the patience to let the host nation operate in accordance with its own capabilities as well as customs and traditions.” How true!
* * *

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Readings and References - Revolutions, Resistance, and Insurgency and SOF


"The first great center of area studies in the United States was not located in any university, but in Washington," McGeorge Bundy, onetime dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University and then president of the Ford Foundation, observed in 1964. The OSS, he said, was "a remarkable institution, half cops-and-robbers and half faculty meeting.” 

America may not be interested in unconventional warfare but UW is being practiced around the world by those who are interested in it



Background.  Revolutions, resistance, and insurgencies (RRI) are being conducted around the world and will continue to be the norm in the space between peace and war.

We have a strategy gap between diplomacy and war fighting and the US government (USG) requires a capability to achieve its objectives using all means necessary beyond diplomacy but short of war (adapted form George Kennan’s political warfare memo 1948)

Unconventional warfare can provide a strategic capability to operate in this gap.  To be effective, elements of the US military and Intelligence Community must continuously assess potential, nascent, and existing resistance organizations around the world on a day-to-day basis.  Assessments will contribute to understanding when USG interests and resistance objectives can be aligned and provide the intellectual foundation to determine if a UW campaign is warranted or if opponents’ UW campaigns should be countered. 



Non-Doctrinal Definition of Resistance:

An organized group (with leadership, objectives and strategy [a manifesto?]) opposing an organized structure (e.g., government or occupying power) and employs methods and activities (subversion to paramilitary and military) across a spectrum of legality from non-violent political to violent action to achieve (or force?) accommodation of its aims.

5 Categories of Revolutions - 1962-2009
       Modify the Type of Government
      NPA, FARC, Shining Path, Iranian Revolution, FMLN, Karen National Liberation Army
       Identity or Ethnic Issues
      LTTE, PLO, Hutu-Tutsi Genocides, Kosovo Liberation Army, PIRA
       Drive out Foreign Power
      Afghan Mujahidin, Vietcong, Chechen Revolution, Hizbollah, Hizbol Mujahedeen
       Religious Fundamentalism
      Egyptian Islamic Jihad, Taliban, Al Qaeda
       Modernization or Reform
      Niger Delta (MEND), Revolution United Front (RUF), Orange Revolution, Solidarity

Political Warfare:

George F. Kennan defined political warfare as “the logical application of Clausewitz’s doctrine in time of peace.”  While stopping short of the direct kinetic confrontation between two countries’ armed forces, “political warfare is the employment of all the means at a nation's command… to achieve its national objectives.”  A country embracing Political Warfare conducts “both overt and covert” operations in the absence of declared war or overt force-on-force hostilities. Efforts “range from such overt actions as political alliances, economic measures…, and ‘white’ propaganda to such covert operations as clandestine support of ‘friendly’ foreign elements, ‘black’ psychological warfare and even encouragement of underground resistance in hostile states.”  See  George Kennan, "Policy Planning Memorandum." May 4, 1948.

SOF Support to Political Warfare:

       A whole-of-government endeavor, Political Warfare is best led by agencies beyond DoD and can only succeed if it is conducted in a way to “elevate civilian power alongside military power as equal pillars of U.S. foreign policy." 
       SOF is well suited to lead DOD's contribution to Political Warfare’s activities, because they are relatively knowledgeable experts in this form of warfare
       The overall Political Warfare effort relies on persuasive and coercive diplomacy, economic coercion and engagement, Security Sector Assistance (SSA), Unconventional Warfare (UW), and Information and Influence Activities (IIA).



Readings:

“U.S. Army Special Operations Command Counter-Unconventional Warfare White Paper:” https://publicintelligence.net/usasoc-counter-unconventional-warfare/  Focus on Chapter 3 (12 Pages)

Special Warfare: The Missing Middle In U.S. Coercive Options:” http://warontherocks.com/2014/11/special-warfare-the-missing-middle-in-u-s-coercive-options/  (About 8 pages)

RAND Report: “Improving Strategic Competence Lessons from 13 Years of War”
 http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR816.html   Skim the Summary (12 pages) and Chapter 4 (34 Pages) and focus on Chapter 3 (53 pages)

RAND Report: “Lessons from 13 Years of War Point to a Better U.S. Strategy:” http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/research_briefs/RB9800/RB9814/RAND_RB9814.pdf ) (4 pages)

SOF Support to Political Warfare: 

Think Piece US Political Warfare Policy:

Other references for some historical context:

George Kennan's 1948 Policy Planning Staff Memorandum - The inauguration of organized political warfare.
http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/history/johnson/65ciafounding3.htm 

Army Activities in Underdeveloped Areas Short of Declared War (BG Stillwell, 1961)
https://db.tt/G2a0p6Yl  

UNITED STATES OVERSEAS INTERNAL DEFENSE POLICY
September 1962

http://www.scribd.com/doc/50366332/Overseas-Internal-Defense-Policy-1962#scribd 

NSDD 32 US National Security Strategy 1982 (declassified Reagan NSS)
http://www.fas.org/irp/offdocs/nsdd/nsdd-32.pdf


And if not familiar with the ARIS project at USASOC, I strong recommend perusing it.

Assessing Revolutionary And Insurgent Strategies (ARIS) Studies
http://www.soc.mil/ARIS/ARIS.html 

The Assessing Revolutionary and Insurgent Strategies (ARIS) project consists of research conducted for the US Army Special Operations Command by the National Security Analysis Department of The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. Its goal is to produce academically rigorous yet operationally relevant research to develop and illustrate a common understanding of insurgency and revolution. Intended to form a bedrock body of knowledge for members of the Special Operations Forces, the ARIS studies allow users to distill vast amounts of material from a wide array of campaigns and extract relevant lessons, enabling the development of future doctrine, professional education, and training. The ARIS project follows in the tradition of research conducted by the Special Operations Research Office (SORO) of American University in the 1950s and 1960s, adding new research to that body of work, republishing original SORO studies, and releasing updated editions of selected SORO studies.