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Joint Special Operations University Press Publications

Report 1: 2004-2005 JSOU/NDIA Essays

In 2004 and 2005 the Joint Special Operations University (JSOU) partnered with the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) in sponsoring the JSOU/NDIA Essay contest. The competition is open to resident and non-resident students attending PME institutions and has produced some outstanding works on special operations issues. Many submissions have hard-hitting and relevant recommendations that have proven useful to SOF commanders throughout United States Special Operations Command. The Joint Special Operations University is pleased to offer this volume of three essays each from the 2004 and 2005 contests.  


The War on Terrorism: Countering Global Insurgency in the 21st Century by James A. Bates

This paper adds to the growing debate concerning the challenges of the United States strategic engagement strategy and recommends options for the emerging 21st Century. This author envisions a national interagency structure to integrate every instrument of national power. This structure will focus, collaborate and coordinate at four strategic levels: global, multi-regional, regional and national, and will implement three regional engagement strategy options. These are Conflict/Unilateral Operations, Support to Insurgencies and Security Assistance (SA) utilizing the principles of Foreign Internal Defense (FID) that will effectively facilitate the execution of the global war on terrorism (GWOT).



Coast Guard SOF by Gary R. Bowen

 This paper examines the Coast Guard's historic participation in special operations and posits a requirement for the Coast Guard to designate a special operations force today-Coast Guard SOF. Lieutenant Commander Bowen advances a timely argument for the formation of additional SOF units, Coast Guard (CG) SOF units, at a time when USSOCOM is under pressure to expand SOF capabilities. Bowen argues that the Coast Guard has considerable experience fighting terrorists, insurgents, and criminal networks, all of which have the cellular, compartmented structures that describe the current threats in the global war on terrorism. These are the same threats that US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) seeks to thwart by means of its global campaign plan to synchronize the counterterrorism efforts of the Department of Defense.


Dividing Our Enemies by Thomas H. Henriken

Henriksen's paper invites the SOF reader to revisit established doctrine for Foreign Internal Defense and Internal Defense and Development along with the complex issues about how to divide and conquer. It is likely that the intelligence needed for exploiting the differences among our enemies will result from these on-the-ground operations. And while lacking the glamour of direct action missions, the effects of special operations teams on the ground conducting unconventional warfare, psychological operations, and civil military operations are absolutely central to achieving an end-state of realizing democratic and viable governments. These are the special operations ways and means that can lead to successfully "leveraging inherent human fault lines to counter terrorism", as Henriksen writes. SOF warriors will agree that having our enemies eliminate each other offers advantages over slug-it-out methodologies.


Logistic Support and Insurgency: Guerrilla Sustainment and Applied Lessons of Soviet Insurgent Warfare: Why It Should Still Be Studied by Graham H. Turbiville, Jr.

This is a pertinent and timely study of a critical issue facing the United States military today: how do insurgents logistically sustain and expand their operations? Graham H. Turbiville, Jr. appropriately mentions Martin Van Creveld's excellent treatise, Supplying War: Logistics from Wallenstein to Patton but argues persuasively that a similar study on the role of logistics in unconventional or "small" wars is sorely needed. Dr Turbiville's essay discusses logistics and sustainment of guerillas operating in the Soviet Union behind German lines during World War II. The paper is a significant step in addressing the research shortfall on insurgency logistics. 




Theoretical Perspectives of Terrorist Enemies as Networks by Robert G. Spulak, Jr. and Jessica Glicekn Turnley

Social and physical networks have many similarities, and many differences. And while network analysis can be useful for defeating an adversary's physical networked infrastructure, such as power grids or transportation systems, it is only a piece of a larger toolkit when working with a human system. Indeed, human will and adaptability are critical aspects of a network that might otherwise be viewed as purely technical. We compare and contrast approaches from the physical and social sciences, using networks to highlight the advantages and disadvantages of using the same analytic perspective for significantly different targets. We conclude with a discussion of the networks suggested by the National Military Strategic Plan for the War on Terrorism. 


 Operationalizing COIN by Joseph D. Celeski

In this paper, Colonel Joseph D. Celeski, U.S. Army, Retired, provides his thoughts on how we might think about, plan and conduct operations in the new threat environment of "Terro-Insurgency." In this environment insurgents are joined by various terrorists, drug traffickers and other criminals to create what he calls the "Gray Stew" mix that confronts us today in Afghanistan and elsewhere. Based on his understanding of the new environment, Colonel Celeski posits a theory of counterinsurgency (COIN) and suggests techniques for developing the COIN plan and executing it employing special operations forces. He reinforces his concepts concerning COIN with a review of the war in Afghanistan. This paper is important because it reflects the experiences and thoughts of a recent special operations commander who dealt with the exigencies of COIN combat every day on the battlefield. Through a former 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) commander and two-time commander of the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan (CJSOTF-A), the reader, too, can gain a sense of urgency for improving our COIN strategy and doctrine and enhancing our abilities for "Operationalizing COIN."

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The Evolving Requirements of the Canadian Special Operations Forces: Future Concept Paper by  J. Paul de B. Taillon

The current world situation of widespread terror organizations and insurgencies highlights the need for Special Operations Forces (SOF). Canada's decision to establish a SOF capability (CANSOF) in 1992 indicates their desire to possess a strategic SOF resource to meet these threats. Dr. Taillon argues that this need remains and requires a more robust and expanded SOF capability to handle strategic challenges to Canada. He discusses morphing demographics and limited resources available to the Canadian military as critical issues in future CANSOF development. The British and American models of recruiting and training special operations forces offer useful models and he draws a sensible parallel with SOF recruiting in his native Canada. 


Russian Special Forces by Graham H. Turbiville, Jr.

Dr. Turbiville assesses Russia's faltering special operations forces and the backdrop of organizational, tactical and operational failures that has characterized their recent performance. He focuses on the relationship of these counterterrorism shortfalls to internal Russian allegations linking members of the special operations community to corruption, crime, and terrorism itself. Turbiville emphasizes that the implications of corrupt, ineffective, or rogue security forces extend beyond Russia and the region, and that continued candid appraisals of Russian counterterrorist effectiveness should influence the extent to which Russia can be regarded as a reliable partner against common security threats.