Integrating Defense, Diplomacy, and Development (3 D) in the Naval Special Warfare operator
Sulick, Timothy S.
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This thesis initiates a conversation focused on enhancing Naval Special Warfare's (NSW) current operational capacity. U.S. Special Operations Command's (USSOCOM) 2010 strategy challenges all special operators to be defter at working within the diplomatic, defense, and development (3-D) construct. The "3-D" operator is USSOCOM's contribution to the whole-of-government approach in the violent struggle against state and non-state actors for legitimacy and influence over the relevant population (irregular warfare/IW). To be effective at the IW mission NSW must select, train, and reward personnel and units to develop and sustain 3-D capabilities. This thesis offers an analysis of the NSW organization and a proposal for developing the NSW 3-D teams and organization for non-traditional roles, such as those on embassy country teams. The research uses organizational contingency theory and case studies as a framework to draw conclusions about cultural differences and training shortfalls and provide recommendations for how NSW can select the right 3-D operators. It argues that the current SEAL team interdeployment training cycle (IDTC) prepares SEALs to excel in the kinetic, time-sensitive environment (traditional SEAL mission sets) but is inadequate for preparing SEALs for the diplomatic and developmental roles (nontraditional, but essential) with interagency partners in U.S. embassies. This thesis advocates that the NSW anchor detachment operators, rather than the traditional SEAL team operators, are the right personnel postured for roles working within the interagency because their training sets them up for success in the 3-D environment.
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