The Armed Forces of the Philippines and Special Operations
Lastimado, Antonio R.
Sepp, Kalev I.
Gustaitis, Peter J.
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Since World War II, the Philippines has confronted threats from communist insurgents, Muslim secessionists, and a few other agitators. Recently, however, a new threat has emerged-- this time coming from a terrorist organization known as the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG). Although the ASG is a relatively small group, it has wrought great injury to the Philippine image as of late. Common among the groups presenting a threat to internal security are that their strategies and tactics tend to be unconventional and asymmetric. This thesis seeks to determine how special operations can improve the AFP's capability to address internal security threats. The study begins by examining the security environments in which the AFP currently operates, and then proceeds to study emerging security environments in which it will likely operate. The current special operations capability of the AFP is explored and assessed, while inquiring whether it needs enhancing. Case studies of past AFP special operations against groups which posed major internal threats are analyzed to determine whether or not the doctrine and strategy of the AFP was correct, especially regarding its use of Special Operations Forces (SOF). Furthermore, this study considers the United States (U.S.) model for special operations, namely the U.S. Special Operations Forces, in proposing a special operations strategy for the AFP that is feasible, suitable, and sustainable. It is suggested that such an examination will produce a strategy that is relevant, adaptable, and responsive to dealing with the internal security environments likely to be encountered by the Philippine government.
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