SPECIAL OPERATIONS IN THE OPERATIONAL DEEP FIRES AREA
Gomen, John P.
Wright, Brian M.
Freeman, Michael E.
Mullins, Steven J.
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The 2018 National Defense Strategy redirected the efforts of the nation’s military toward inter-state strategic competition and away from counter-terrorism. The shift in strategic focus away from what has been the staple of the U.S. Army regimen for the past 18 years requires new doctrine to address near-peer adversaries. Analysis is necessary to assess the future roles and capabilities of the U.S. Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) when conducting operations to support the Multi-Domain Operations (MDO) concept during armed conflict. This study reviews key aspects of the emerging MDO concept and core tasks of Special Forces, and analyzes four historical case studies of special operations personnel operating within a non-permissive environment. Through common observations of special operations missions over time, this study derives ten themes across the U.S. Army’s warfighting functions that increase the efficiency of Special Forces within non-permissive environments. Key among the themes is that air power alone is insufficient to achieve operational objectives and Special Forces are required to facilitate the destruction of high-priority targets or conduct reconnaissance to answer priority information requirements. As history has shown us, Special Forces teams will continue to be employed for a variety of reconnaissance, surveillance, sabotage, and direct-action missions within the MDO environment inside of denied areas to achieve operational and strategic objectives.
RightsThis publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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