Thursday, April 30, 2015

Stand Up and Fight! The Creation of U.S. Security Organizations, 1942-2005

The 300 page document consisting of a series of essays can be downloaded from the web site at the link below.  This may be of use to those researching national security issues and organizations.

Stand Up and Fight! The Creation of U.S. Security Organizations, 1942-2005

·       Added April 30, 2015
·       Type: Book
·       302 Pages

Brief Synopsis
View the Executive Summary

Stand Up and Fight is a collection of essays that explores how new National Security Organizations are stood up—that is, formed, organized, funded, and managed—in the first years of their existence. From Joint ventures to combatant commands to cabinet-level departments, each organization’s history reveals important themes and lessons for leaders to consider in forming a new organization. A substantive introduction defines the scope of the project and outlines several important themes including organizational rivalry, the problems of analogical reasoning, the use of simulations, the consequences of failure, the significance of leadership and organizational culture, working with allies, the role of fear and emotion, and the basic advice that “the best defense is a good offense.” The book includes thirteen substantive chapters, each of which covers a different national security organization. Section I on U.S. unified combatant commands includes chapters on U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM), U.S. Joint Forces Command (JFCOM), U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), U.S. Transportation Command (TRANSCOM), and Space Command (SPACECOM). Section II, on sub-unified commands and organizations includes chapters on U.S. Cyber Command (CYBERCOM) and the Vietnam-era Civil Operations and Revolutionary Development Support (CORDS). Section III deals with issues of allied commands and covers military government in post-WWII Germany, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE), and North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). Section IV explores Department of Defense and cabinet-level organizations including The U.S. Air Force (USAF), the National Security Agency (NSA), and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The conclusion again draws out several relevant themes and offers some practical recommendations and insights for leaders who are charged with standing up a new organization.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Sunday Evening Reading

Arsenal of Terror: North Korea, State Sponsor of Terrorism

Key quote:

 According to Nicholas Eberstadt, HRNK Board member and Henry Wendt Scholar in Political Economy, American Enterprise Institute (AEI), "Joshua Stanton's careful and meticulously documented study provides broad and compelling evidence that the DPRK continues to operate as a state sponsor of international terror.  The facts he marshals are deeply disturbing—and also diplomatically inconvenient for those who wish for Washington to continue its "de-listing" of North Korea as a designated and sanctioned State Sponsor of Terror.”
 “Stanton's study will surely invite further discussion of how the U.S. government and the international community should respond to Pyongyang's violations—and it will also most admirably help clarify thinking about the sorts of abhorrent actions that should be regarded as "terrorism" by civilized nations," says Eberstadt.

Joshua Stanton

Apr 27, 2015
Read Summary Download PDF
On April 27, 2015, HRNK releases their report, Arsenal of Terror: North Korea, State Sponsor of Terrorism by Joshua Stanton at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Please click here to view the press release. 

Empty marching in Korea

Wise words that I doubt Ms. Steinem will heed.  Instead she and her group will become Pyongyang propaganda pawns.

We desperately need the voices of feminists protesting the murder, torture and exploitation of North Korean women by their own government. But any sanctioning of a peace march by North Korea can be nothing but human rights theater intended to cover up its death camps and crimes against humanity.
Steinem is no Dennis Rodman, and that’s a good thing. She has earned the respect of millions by standing up for the rights of women for decades. But that’s what makes the current plan all the more outrageous and dangerous.
We urge Steinem and anyone else seeking to shake up the status quo on the Korean peninsula to march not from Pyongyang to the DMZ but instead to stage a protest at China’s border with North Korea, which so many North Koreans attempt to cross in a desperate bid to escape their repression. It may not yield immediate results, but it would put Pyongyang on notice that the vanguards of international civil society stand in solidarity with the abused, not the abusers.
OpEd at this link

Congress’ Flabby Defense Budgets Aren’t Entirely 

Lawmakers’ Fault

How about this?   Someone actually tried to conduct a budget analysis using the National Security Strategy

Continued at this link

SOCOM fields new hemorrhage-
halting blood sponges
By Kyle Jahner, Staff writer9:59 a.m. EDT April 26, 2015
Continued at this link:

Geography and World Power at 100

An important work of geopolitics was written 100 years ago.

Deep Support in Washington 

for C.I.A.’s Drone Missions

By  and APRIL 25, 2015

Continued at this link:

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Subcommitttee on Emerging Threats & Capabilities Markup FY16 NDAA

I should have highlighted this from the actual mark-up at this link 

Section 10XX—Department of Defense Strategy for Countering Unconventional Warfare 

 This section would required the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the President and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to develop a strategy for the Department of Defense to counter unconventional warfare threats posed by adversarial state and non-state actors. This section would require the Secretary of Defense to submit the strategy to the congressional defense committees within 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act. The committee is concerned about the growing unconventional warfare capabilities and threats being posed most notably and recently by the Russian Federation and the Islamic Republic of Iran. The committee notes that unconventional warfare is defined most accurately as those activities conducted to enable a resistance movement or insurgency to coerce, disrupt, or overthrow a government or occupying power by operating through or with an underground, auxiliary, or guerrilla force in a denied area. The committee also notes that most state-sponsors of unconventional warfare, such as Russia and Iran, have doctrinally linked conventional warfare, economic warfare, cyber warfare, information operations, intelligence operations, and other activities seamlessly in an effort to undermine U.S. national security objectives and the objectives of U.S. allies alike. 

The only thing I would have added to this last sentence is that this might best be described as political warfare.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: David Maxwell <>
Date: Tue, Apr 21, 2015 at 4:09 PM
Subject: Subcommitttee on Emerging Threats & Capabilities Markup FY16 NDAA

Some very interesting topics in this mark-up of the NDAA.  It will be  interesting to see what makes it into the final NDAA but at least this subcommittee is thinking about some critically important topics.  Among them:

Direct the Secretary of Defense to provide a strategy to counter unconventional warfare threats being posed by Russia, Iran, and others;

Provide the Secretary of Defense with authority to establish a pilot program to counter adversarial propaganda efforts, like those undertaken by Russia, al Qaeda, and ISIL;

In addition to the above these are some SOF specific points:

Fully resource and authorize U.S. Special Operations Command programs and activities; 

Extend for two years a family support pilot program for Special Operations Forces and their families;

Fully resource the U.S. Special Operations Command Preservation of the Force and Families program;

Make permanent the authorization for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Special Operations Headquarters, placing an enduring emphasis on this partnership comprised of more than 26 countries; 

And the most important one that should be able to lead to a reduction in DOD, Joint and Service staffs (we can dream in a our naiveté) :

Streamline reporting requirements placed on DoD by eliminating or modifying a number of mandated annual reports.

For Immediate Release: April 21, 2015      Contact: Claude Chafin (202) 225-2539

Subcommitttee on Emerging Threats & Capabilities Markup


WASHINGTON- Led by Chairman Joe Wilson (R-SC) and Ranking Member Jim Langevin (D-RI), the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) Subcommittee for Emerging Threats and Capabilities (ETC) released its proposals for the Fiscal Year 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) today.  The Subcommittee will meet at 2:30 PM on Wednesday, April 22nd, in Rayburn 2118.  The markup will be webcast on the Committee’s YouTube page and at the HASC OpsCenter.  The ETC mark is available here: Subcommittee Mark.

The ETC proposal is a vital part of the NDAA through which the Committee enacts oversight of counter-terrorism programs and initiatives, U.S. Special Operations Forces, related Intelligence support,  DoD science and technology programs and policy, information technology and Cyber operations and programs, homeland defense, force protection policy and oversight, and combating weapons of mass destruction.  Specifically, the ETC proposal will:

Fully resource and authorize U.S. Cyber Command programs and activities, as well as all Military Service cyber programs and science and technology Cyber initiatives to enhance a Cyber mission force that defends our national security objectives;

Direct the Secretary of Defense to identify and assess Cyber vulnerabilities on legacy weapons systems and mission systems;

Direct GAO to review DoD technology transitions efforts to ensure effective and timely transition of technologies developed by industry and the DoD laboratories to war-fighters;

Direct GAO to review U.S. policies and technologies to improve the ability to produce advanced semiconductors and microelectronics to mitigate security risks from procuring those items from foreign sources;

Fully resource and authorize U.S. Special Operations Command programs and activities;

Extend for two years a family support pilot program for Special Operations Forces and their families;

Fully resource the U.S. Special Operations Command Preservation of the Force and Families program;

Make permanent the authorization for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Special Operations Headquarters, placing an enduring emphasis on this partnership comprised of more than 26 countries;

Extend DoD’s authority to assist in the recovery of isolated personnel overseas;

Provides additional funding to energize counter ISIL technology and operations programs;

Direct the Secretary of Defense to provide a strategy to counter unconventional warfare threats being posed by Russia, Iran, and others;

Provide the Secretary of Defense with authority to establish a pilot program to counter adversarial propaganda efforts, like those undertaken by Russia, al Qaeda, and ISIL;

Extend a critical authority for the Department of Defense to engage with foreign countries to enhance their own capabilities to respond to incidents involving weapons of mass destruction;

Direct the Secretaries of Defense and State to notify and brief Congress when an embassy or consulate evacuation takes place, ensuring proper congressional oversight during these sensitive operations; and

Streamline reporting requirements placed on DoD by eliminating or modifying a number of mandated annual reports.

Friday, April 17, 2015

UPDATED - ARSOF NEXT A Return to First Principles

I received these comments from a friend in response to my comments on SOCAP.  I think these are very important clarifying comments especially in terms of Conventional and Special Operations Forces Interdependence, Interoperability and Integration (a new term I just learned):

QUOTE: Would like to add that this program focuses on educating Army planners to develop campaigns that incorporate Special Operations capabilities at the operational level,,,,,, but is intentionally at Fort Leavenworth and includes approximately 50% conventional force students.  It isn't just a SOF course.  Furthermore, we have been aggressively pursuing coalition partner attendance as well - the more diverse perspectives, the better.  Interagency students are also welcome.

In the end, this education opportunity addresses Conventional and Special Operations Force Interdependence, Interoperability, and Integration (CF/SOF I3), confronts the problematic striations that some have recently highlighted on this distro list, and invests in critical thinking about campaigning.  

This course is on its fourth iteration, runs once a year from Feb - Jun, should be institutionalized with a MOA in the next few weeks, and is resourced for 24 students.  Great collaboration between the University of Foreign Military and Cultural Studies (UFMCS / Red Team School), ARSOF, and CAC over the last few years has made this possible. END QUOTE


Original Comments:

If you are interested in the nature of Army SOF (with a discussion of love that you will not find in any military manual), its missions, organizations, equipment and training and education, and where Army Special Operations is headed this is the document to read.  The entire document in Special Warfare Magazine can be downloaded here. 

Table of concepts below the Commander's message.

As an aside I spent a couple of days this week at Fort Leavenworth at the Special Operations Campaign Artist Program (SOCAP).  It is an 18 week course to prepare them to serve in the Theater Special Operations Commands (TSOC).  It is adapted from and built on the Red Team Leaders Course or Red Team "chassis" as some say.  It is the best SOF course I have seen that focuses on campaign planning and design for SOF and does an excellent job of teaching design, red team methodology and most importantly critical thinking skills.  I especially liked the new concept I learned called the pre-mortem analysis (though I guess this has been around Red Teaming for quite some time).  I was especially impressed with the students who gave me a pre-mortem analysis of all the things that might make Korean unification fail.  I strongly recommend this course.

ARSOF NEXTA Return to First Principles

After a period of successful but intense transition, it is time to refocus on what is most important to ARSOF: Our people. ARSOF Next; A Return to First Principles brings the ARSOF 2022 vision full circle by defining who we are and where we come from. It reminds us of our principles, which are deeply ingrained in the traits of the ARSOF Soldier, the characteristics of an ARSOF Unit and our Promise to the Nation. It explores our collective shared history, demonstrating that these first principles are not only who we are, but also who we have always been. 

ARSOF Next is about similarities; similarities between our ARSOF Soldiers and ARSOF units. The interwoven traits coupled with the unit characteristics generate “One Force, Without Equal.” The U.S. Army Special Operations Command is a force with more than 25 years of history providing the world’s premier special warfare and surgical strike capabilities to protect our nation against its enemies world wide. 

On the advent of our 25th anniversary, we sought to do what many thought impossible — rapidly change our organization to adapt and prepare for the future, while maintaining our operational commitment to the geographic combatant commanders. Fiscal year 2015 has been a year of execution, and USASOC can take great pride in the milestones we’ve achieved. For example, we established the 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne)(Provisional), a force of 21,000 that is counted as one of the Army’s divisions. We created the foundation and backbone for SOF operational art and made sound progress in incorporating it into the national defense lexicon. We restored our unconventional warfare focus and deployed revitalized unconventional warfare capabilities in support of geographic combatant commanders and our interagency partners. 

I am extraordinarily proud of all that you have achieved over the last two years, but more so of your legacy as warriors. In many ways ARSOF Next is a story of recognition that honors these efforts and the people who made ARSOF 2022 a reality. More than this, it is an acknowledgement of the excellence that has been the benchmark of our first 25 years, and a promise to deserve the unbreakable trust of the nation for the next 25 years, and beyond. 


03 > Commander’s Note 
04 > Introduction 
06 > ARSOF 2022 Review 
08 > ARSOF 2022 Execution 
11 > ARSOF 2022 Priorities 
24 > ARSOF Lineage 
26 > Characteristics of the ARSOF Unit 
34 > Traits of the ARSOF Soldier 
46 > Conclusion 
47 > ARSOF Promise to the Nation

To Deter Adversaries, U.S. Military Must First Understand Their Fears

Conclusion.  And as always we must know (and understand) our enemies and know what will deter them.  But knowing our enemies has to be more than a pithy phrase from Sun Tzu that we toss about.

In general, it is always better to deter aggression and prevent conflict than to reverse aggression and engage in conflict. But deterrence is difficult because it is a psychological effect, built on a foundation of beliefs and expectations. To make it work, the United States must understand what potential enemies think they can handle and what they fear most. To prevent war and deter aggression in this time of technological proliferation and budgetary constraints, American military leaders and defense policymakers must get in the heads of adversaries and exploit their fears.

Can unconventional warfare have a deterrent effect?  (Yes, of course it could if we have the demonstrated capability and the demonstrated will to conduct such a campaign.  The problem is the lack of demonstrated political will to do so).

At the same time, potential enemies must believe that the U.S. can strike at things they value. There are many ways to do this beyond the traditional use of bombers, drones and missiles. One would be having the ability to surge support for local allies, including national armed forces like the Ukrainian military as well as militias. The last thing that potential enemies—whether states like China, Iran, North Korea and Russia or organizations like the so-called Islamic State—want is to be forced to conduct their own counterinsurgency or counterguerrilla campaigns. The thought of having to do so might give them pause as they plan aggression.

We have to be willing to operate in the gray zone between peace and war where revolution, resistance, and insurgency take place and by doing so we can demonstrate not only our capabilities but our will to operate in this area that we have long ceded to our enemies who have sought asymmetric advantages over us and our friends, partners and allies to neutralize our technological dominance.  In short we need to be able to conduct political warfare. (

Political Warfare is a strategy suited to achieve U.S. national objectives through reduced visibility in the international geo-political environment, without committing large military forces. Likewise, Political Warfare can function as a critical, integrating element of U.S. national power against non-state adversaries such as the current Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Most often, the Department of Defense role in Political Warfare will be one of supporting other U.S. Government agencies that are more likely to lead strategy and planning development. 

Political Warfare emerges from the premise that rather than a binary opposition between “war” and “peace,” the conduct of international relations is characterized by continuously evolving combinations of collaboration, conciliation, confrontation, and conflict. As such, during times of interstate “peace,” the U.S. government must still confront adversaries aggressively and conclusively through all means of national power. When those adversaries practice a form of Hybrid Warfare employing political, military, economic, and criminal tools below the threshold of conventional warfare, the U.S. must overmatch adversary efforts—though without large-scale, extended military operations that may be fiscally unsustainable and diplomatically costly. Hence, the U.S. must embrace a form of sustainable “warfare” rather than “war,” through a strategy that closely integrates targeted political, economic, informational, and military initiatives in close collaboration with international partners. Serving the goals of international stability and interstate peace, this strategy amounts to “Political Warfare.”

As will be described here, Political Warfare encompasses a spectrum of activities associated with diplomatic and economic engagement, Security Sector Assistance (SSA), novel forms of Unconventional Warfare (UW), and Information and Influence Activities (IIA). Their related activities, programs, and campaigns are woven together into a whole-of-government framework for comprehensive effect. In this regard, Support to Political Warfare is a novel concept in comparison to the last generation of national security thinking and military operational concepts. Yet, Political Warfare is not without recent precursors in U.S. policy and strategy, with the Cold War being a prime example of approaches foreshadowing the current conception.

To Deter Adversaries, U.S. Military Must First Understand Their Fears

Soldiers of the 82nd Airborne Division gather their equipment before boarding a CH-47F Chinook, Nawa Valley, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, May 25, 2014 (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Whitney Houston).
By Steven Metz, April 17, 2015, Column
For American defense professionals, the 1990s now seem like a distant dream. The United States was fresh off a stunning military victory over Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s forces in Kuwait. The Soviet Union, long Washington’s bête noire, had crumbled. The American economy was robust, churning out important technological innovations one after another. In these halcyon times, U.S. military leaders and defense officials predicted that they would master what they called the “revolution in military affairs,” thereby attaining battlefield superiority over every possible enemy. Since the U.S. would be able to impose its will on opponents, there was little need to consider how enemies thought or what they intended to do.

A decade later, however, the slogging, bloody counterinsurgency campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan showed that technology could not solve every security problem. Ideas and concepts, not to mention will and perseverance, mattered greatly. Then, just as the U.S. extricated itself from the counterinsurgency morass, the American economy tanked, taking the defense budget with it. The dreams of the 1990s had given way to nightmares.

Now military leaders and defense policymakers believe that America’s military superiority is shrinking and might someday evaporate entirely. In speech after speech, interview after interview, defense officials list the things that “keep them up at night.” At times, the cause of concern is China’s growing military power, at others it is what are called “hybrid threats,” or enemies that combine increasingly advanced conventional weapons, political action, irregular warfare, terrorism and criminal behavior to achieve political objectives.

Unfortunately, recognizing these potential threats does not automatically produce solutions. To address evolving threats within the strict budgetary constraints of sequestration, the Pentagon has developed what it calls the “third offset strategy” to pursue new technologies, organizations and operational concepts that can offset potential adversaries’ advances in technological and asymmetric capabilities. This is important but may not be enough: American strategists also must get inside the heads of existing or potential enemies, asking not only what they might do to the U.S., but also what the U.S. can do to keep them up at night, exploiting their fears to constrain them.
(Continued at the link below)

Is the OSS Contribution to Special Forces a Result of Disinformation?

Is the OSS Contribution to Special Forces a Result of Disinformation? David Maxwell jrnl/art/oss-contrib...