“The Village Stability Operations mission will go away in December 2014,” says the man who created the program, Brig. Gen. Donald C. Bolduc, deputy commanding general of Special Operations Joint Task Force-Afghanistan. “We are planning for that very closely with our Afghan partners. We see that as a very doable objective.”
Bolduc, who rushed back to his office at a base in Kabul from a local police ceremony in the eastern city of Mihtarlam because of threatening weather, says the plan is to turn the keys over to the Afghans. They will be “fully in control, of the training, logistics, sustainment, education, pay, and quality control of the Afghan Local Police.”
Though the White House and Pentagon have yet to say how many troops will remain beyond 2014, when President Barack Obama wants most U.S. forces out of Afghanistan, Bolduc has a vision for what special operations forces will be doing.
“Our role will be two-fold,” Bolduc says in an interview.
The first will be ensuring that regional training centers, like the one run by the 7th Special Forces Group team, “are functioning properly. We will do that for a period of time.”
The second role will be “mentoring here in Kabul at the national level, for both the deputy minister of security as well as the commander of the Afghan Local Police. That's what I see.”But while the author means well here but I cannot believe that USSOCOM really means to conduct VSO around the world. I think a lot of US country teams and Host Nations might be put off by the idea that US Special Forces will be coming into the HN to conduct VSO.
Called Village Stability Operations, it's a classic role for special operations forces and one that could work in different places around the world as Special Operations Command headquarters in Tampa develops a new global doctrine for those forces.
Remote Area Operations. Remote area operations are operations undertaken in insurgent-controlled or contested areas to establish islands of popular support for the HN government and deny support to the insurgents. They differ from consolidation operations in that they are not designed to establish permanent HN government control over the area. Remote areas may be populated by ethnic, religious, or other isolated minority groups. They may be in the interior of the HN or near border areas where major infiltration routes exist. Remote area operations normally involve the use of specially trained paramilitary or irregular forces. SF teams support remote area operations to interdict insurgent activity, destroy insurgent base areas in the remote area, and demonstrate that the HN government has not conceded control to the insurgents. They also collect and report information concerning insurgent intentions in more populated areas. In this case, SF teams advise and assist irregular HN forces operating in a manner similar to the insurgents themselves, but with access to superior combat support (CS) and combat service support (CSS) resources. (From FM 3-05.202 Foreign Internal Defense 2007.)
3. In essence, General Decker envisaged the employment
of selected military personnel and units as a "transmission belt" _
communicating, at the grass roots, Army know-how and community
of aims. Three major purposes tobe served by U. S. military
a. To give impetus to the employrrlent of military
talent and resources in ways contributing to the political stability,
economic betterment and social' progress of the country concerned _
subject to the proviso that capability to perform assigned combat
missions not be degraded. (The public works of Bolivian engineer
units are representative of this category. )
b. To heighten the effectiveness of indigenous
military and paramilitary forces in insuring against the development
of dissident factions; or in dealing with armed insurg'ency, should it
erupt. (Programs undertaken in Laos and proposed in South Vietnam
are examples. )
c. As the complement to the foregoing, to accelerate
the development of indigenous military and paramilitary capabilities, to
include support mechanisms, for conducting subversion or guerrilla
activities, in contiguous Communist territory. ,(We have already
developed such units in Taiwan and South Korea. )
5. Two major premises have conditioned the findings.
a. The first is that the activities under survey (the
unconventional, unorthodox, paramilitary, military assistance by
another name, or whatever) are simply auxiliary weapons within the
total array of U. S. power resources and that they are effective only
when applied in coordination with those other resources. The articulate
proponents thereof notwithstanding, they representa complementary
rather than an alternative means. Moreover, as is the case with
all other power resources, they can be properly applied only in the ,
wake of a prior enunciation of clear and constant objectives sought
vis-a-vis any area or country.
b. The second is that it is the operative policy of
the Executive Branch to exploit fully the potential of the U. S. Army
to improve the overall capability of indigenous armed forces to deal
with problems of internal defense. This premise is consistent with
the demonstrable, indeed urgent" needs of the world situation today;
it is likewise consistent with the statements of Our Chief Executive.
If the premise is erroneous, then the proposals for gearing for a
substantially higher level of activity are meaningless; the difficulties
whlch have been attributed to growing pains may in fact be deliberate
roadblocks; and the shortcomings noted within the Army are of no
c. The corollary to the second premise is that the
,Army can divert appreciable numbers of its best personnel to these
activities without derogation of its other missions and functions. Only
individuals of exceptional skill, motivation and leadership ability can
properly perform the training, guidance and related tasks involved _
in an alien environment and remote from supervision. Our rolls, of
course, include such personnel aplenty but they are filling key positions
elsewhere. My unsupported estimate is that they can be released from
' current assignment, as required; and that our tr'aining system can '
spawn adequate replacements.
June 16, 2013