Saturday, November 28, 2015
Thoughts on Countering Unconventional Warfare
Given Section 1097 of the National Defense Authorization Act directing the SECDEF to develop a strategy to counter unconventional warfare we need now give some thought to this issue since it is in the act passed by Congress. https://www.congress.gov/bill/
114th-congress/house-bill/ 1735/text#toc- H57D78DE2C41D4347BF5202B774B80 E94
Let me provide you with a few comments and some background. If you have not seen the White Papers from USASOC on Political Warfare and Counter-Unconventional Warfare I recommend perusing them. They can be downloaded from my blog at the links below.
I have been focused on countering unconventional warfare for years for a number of reasons.
1) Our enemies are conducting their unique forms of unconventional warfare; Russia, Iran, China, Al Qaeda, ISIS (I think AQ and ISIS are much broader than "simply" terrorist organizations. We need to recognize the strategies they are using and attack those strategies. And of course we have to effectively operate in the "Gray Zone" that space between peace and war where the majority of threats operate and conflict occurs.
2) By focusing on our enemies conducting their unique forms of UW my intention is to influence people to recognize that we have to operate in the Special Warfare realm and not just the Surgical Strike realm (though I want both/and and not either/or - we have to effectively employ both capabilities in a complementary and mutually supporting way).
3) I believe that focusing on terrorism has caused us to think too tactically while a focus on UW can drive us to think more strategically and holistically about the problems we face which are complex political and military problems.
4) I am disappointed that the NDAA focuses on DOD but of course that is all the HASC can really influence. I think that USASOC's White paper makes it clear that DOD cannot be the lead in Political Warfare (which includes counter unconventional warfare) but that SOF makes a unique DOD contribution to its conduct.
More of my thoughts are in the commentary in posts at my blog links below.
SOF Support to Political Warfare
USASOC Counter Unconventional Warfare White Paper
USSOCOM White Paper- The Gray Zone
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