Flattening the Learning Curve: SOF as the Supported Command in the Irregular Warfare Environment
O'Hearn, David J.
Robins, Damon S.
Sessoms, Aaron C.
Wilson, Greg R.
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When the United States commits forces to a war, overseas contingency operations, or any other large-scale military effort that centers on conflict with belligerents other than another countrys armed military forces, Special Operations Forces (SOF) should be the supported command. Joint doctrine allows for support of such a concept, but that doctrine has not always been followed in practice. Consequently, this thesis argues for SOF being the supported command in an irregular warfare environment. By selecting the force specifically trained for the task at hand, the United States will dramatically reduce the time lost on the learning curve that results from relying predominantly on General Purpose Forces (GPF) commanders in all combat situations. Advocating for SOF being the supported command is not an argument for SOF only, but rather aims for a synergistic and truly unified approach that makes the best possible use of local national forces, partner nations, and GPF in an irregular warfare environment.
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