I have included the essay with the embedded hot links to the references that did not come through on the web page along with my original formatting.
The Only Thing Worse than Misusing SOF is Policy Makers Misusing SOF Operational Methods as a Strategy
Continuing to add larger numbers of advisors, particularly from the conventional force will likely dis-incentivize host nation forces from fighting effectively. It will also undercut our diplomacy to influence the host nation government to make the necessary domestic political changes to undercut the legitimacy of the enemy.
This is the fundamental analysis we must conduct. If the threat is limited and not a direct threat to the U.S. then indirect means using a low cost, small footprint advisory approach (SOF methodologies) may be enough to achieve our objectives by following George Kennan’s definition of political warfare: “In broadest definition, …the employment of all the means at a nation's command, short of war, to achieve its national objectives.” But if we determine the threat is a significant one to the U.S. then we must consider the use of all means necessary to protect the nation, to include conventional military forces in a decisive manner. The bottom line is if we are at war then we need to go to war.