Operational Detachment-Bravo an in-depth analysis of the ODB's advisory role in support of FID/COIN operations
Smith, Dirk H.
Brinker, Kirk E.
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U.S. Special Forces (USSF), with its structure and training, has historically led and will continue to lead, FID endeavors for the U.S. DoD. Within USSF, Operational Detachment "B"s (ODB) have served, and will continue to, serve as both a command and control (C2) and an advisory element to ensure that USSF FID supports HN COIN strategies. This thesis will refer to the combined effort as "FID/COIN," although FID and COIN are separate missions under the U.S. military's IW construct. Given that FID/COIN will be the primary operational role of USSF for the next decade, coupled with the fact that ODBs function as the organizational entity responsible for synchronizing advisory efforts from the tactical to the operational level of warfare, this thesis will examine ODB employment, both past and present, to inform the reader on the ODB's potential to contribute in FID/COIN operations. This thesis uses USSF doctrine and case studies from four distinctly different FID/COIN operations in: the Republic of Vietnam (RVN), Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Republic of the Philippines (RP) to inform the reader on the ODB's operational advisory capability with indigenous forces and local/regional government leaders at a level nested above its subordinate Detachment "A"s (ODA).
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