Creating SOF networks : the role of NATO SOF as a testing ground for SOF integration
Gates, Michael E.
Sepp, Kalev I.
Rothstein, Hy S.
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The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Special Operations Forces (SOF) Headquarters and its predecessor the NATO SOF Coordination Center (NSCC) have made significant progress in special operations interoperability during its brief history. Despite the rapid progress, large gaps in communications, doctrine, intelligence sharing, equipment, and structure within NATO SOF units remain. The lessons learned from the past decade of persistent conflict and emergence of advanced communication capabilities offer an unprecedented window to analyze and enhance special operations interoperability within NATO and abroad. This research analyzes what systems and procedures increase special operations interoperability among coalition special operations forces, interagency, and diplomatic partners to enhance combined operations. The overarching hypothesis proposes that special operations coalitions with high levels of camaraderie, social and technical networking, and the presence of common threats enable enhanced special operations interoperability and effectiveness in combined operations. These dynamics coalesce to produce the accelerants of trust, responsibility, and access that contribute to elevate coalitions from marginal levels of integration to become trusted special operations networks. Enhanced special operations interoperability serves as a catalyst to facilitate communication and effectiveness among military, law enforcement, diplomatic, and interagency partners collaborating against common asymmetric threats.
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