Monday, September 19, 2016
Monday, September 12, 2016
U.S. Special Operations Forces at 9-11, Today, and for the Futurethecipherbrief.com · September 11, 2016
September 11, 2016 | LTG Charles Cleveland and COL David Maxwell
LTG Charles Cleveland
Senior Fellow, Madison Policy Forum
Senior Fellow, Madison Policy Forum
Following the tragic attack on 9-11, U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF) and the CIA, supported by airpower, conducted a punitive expedition that resulted in the Taliban and al Qaeda being routed from Afghanistan. In 2003, working with the Kurds, U.S. SOF conducted operations in northern Iraq, accomplishing the mission intended for a U.S. infantry division that was not allowed to deploy through Turkey. U.S. SOF were already advising and assisting Colombian military and police operations as part of Plan Colombia that contributed to the peace agreement in 2016. And in Asia, U.S. SOF supported the Philippine security forces in degrading and destroying terrorist organizations linked to al Qaeda while supporting peace negotiations with Moro insurgent groups.
U.S. SOF were well positioned and ready in 2001 to execute their fundamental doctrinal missions for which they were organized, trained, equipped, educated, and optimized: unconventional warfare and foreign internal defense or Special Warfare. However, counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations soon came to dominate the U.S. military campaigns for both special operations and regular forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, and later in Yemen and throughout Africa.
What emerged after 9-11 was a special operations Surgical Strike capability that combined exquisite intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities with precision strikes from unmanned aerial systems and the unparalleled special operations ground and maritime capability to capture or kill high value targets at the time and place of our choosing, including killing Osama bin Laden in 2011. The development of such concepts as F3EAD – find, fix, finish, exploit, analyze, and disseminate – allowed the U.S. national mission force, often supported by regular forces, to take down enemy networks by operating at a tempo that paralyzed terrorist organizations. Counterterrorism direct action operations were raised to a high art form.
The 2006 QDR (Quadrennial Defense Review) called for a massive growth in SOF to nearly 70,000 personnel in the United States Special Operations Command. While the Theater Special Operations Commands (TSOCs), Ranger Regiment, Special Operations Aviation (Air Force and Army), the National Mission Force, SOF headquarters, and enabling forces (intelligence, communications, and logistics) expanded, the planned growth objectives for Army Special Forces and Navy SEALs were unable to be achieved. This proved two of the five SOF truths: competent SOF cannot be produced after emergencies occur, and SOF cannot be mass produced. One of the important developments post-9-11 was the establishment of SOF operational HQ in theaters as either Special Operations Command Forward (SOC-FWD) or Joint Special Operations Task Forces (JSOTF) to provide command and control of the tactical forces executing the full range of special operations missions for the Theater Commander.
While terrorism has been at the forefront of our security strategy the past 15 years, we are coming to realize that the threats we face now and in the future are larger than terrorism alone. Russia’s new generation warfare or non-linear warfare employing active measures and reflexive control; China’s Three Warfare’s: media warfare, lawfare, and psychological warfare; the Iran Action Network , and non-state actors such as ISIS and AQ are exploiting the conditions of political instability and ungoverned spaces and creating new security problems that cannot be addressed through counterterrorism operations as the single focus main effort.
The conditions can be described as revolution, resistance, insurgency, and civil war, and countries and non-state actors are exploiting them to achieve their geostrategic objectives. They are practicing a modern form of what George Kennan described in 1948 as Political Warfare. This is the norm in the Gray Zonespace between peace and war.
(Continued at the link below)
This dialogue between Dr. Elizabeth Grimm Arsenault and Former Deputy Director of the CIA, John McLaughlin, is well worth watching for anyone interested in post 9-11 interrogation and intelligence operations. Both of their views will make you think regardless of which side of the issue you come down on.
Thursday, September 8, 2016
North Korea and Military Proliferation to Iran: An International Security Dilemma by Dr. Bruce E. Bechtol Jr.
This is arguably the most authoritative open source analysis of north Korean proliferation activities with Iran. It is extremely well sourced analysis. Unfortunately it is not online so you have to download the PDF from my dropbox at the link below. It is well worth the read for anyone interested in north Korea's proliferation.
Summary: This article looks at North Korea’s military proliferation to Iran – all of it. For those who have questions about North Korea’s long history of proliferation (which is ongoing) to Iran, or perhaps even question that there is a robust proliferation relationship this article will help answer them.
Bruce E. Bechtol Jr. “North Korea and Military Proliferation to Iran: An International
Security Dilemma,” ChiMoKoJa – Histories of China, Mongolia, Korea and Japan, Vol. 2, (2016), 71-95.
Download the 30 page article here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/x5vcorxedlkta5f/North%20Korea%20Iran%20article%20latest%20draft%202016.pdf?dl=0
ChiMoKoJa – Histories of China, Mongolia, Korea and Japan
Eight Points of Special Warfare: Special Warfare is the execution of activities that involve a combination of lethal and nonlethal ac...
Perhaps Tom Ricks' next book Generalship will be an analysis of the hiring, firing, and rehabilitation of north Korean General...
From an interview I did with a Korean media outlet last month. Have not seen an English translation but will post it when I do. “한국 요...
If wars were won by armies whose officers wore big hats and with medals down to and on their trousers then we would be in big trouble. B...