Optimizing Army Special Forces leaders in a global counter-insurgent network

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Authors
Walker, Joshua H.
Deal, Eric J.
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Advisors
Arquilla, John
Date of Issue
2007-03
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Monterey, California. Naval Postgraduate School
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Abstract
Since the watershed events of September 11, 2001, the United States military has been engaged in fighting what has been recognized as a highly organized and networked global insurgency. These global insurgents have sought to take advantage of all the technological advances available in the current information age, combined with the innovative and adaptive advantages of networked organizations. This study asks two questions: 1.) How can global insurgent networks be countered; and 2.) Where might the most appropriate personnel to man a global U.S. counter-insurgent network be found? This thesis asserts that organizational considerations matter and that for the U.S. military to have the best chance to defeat these global insurgent networks it must further develop small, adaptive human networks of its own. Secondly, the authors will demonstrate that there exists within the Army Special Forces field grade officer population the capability and capacity to man and lead a small, yet globally dispersed counter-insurgent network. These arguments will be evidenced by an examination of the networked aspects of the global insurgency, hierarchical aspects of the U.S. military and finally the specific manpower data within the Army Special Forces officer population. What is still needed in the evolving global war on terror, and this study hopes to contribute, is a small turn of mind towards applying networked counter-terror organizations against a very serious irregular, networked threat. To this end, the authors will propose the establishment of a Special Forces Global Counter-Insurgent Network (SFGCIN).
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Thesis
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Naval Postgraduate School (U.S.)
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xvi, 75 p. : ill. ;
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Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
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