Special Operations Forces to the Twenty-First Century ... One of the commonly accepted tenets of revolutionary

  • View
    0

  • Download
    0

Embed Size (px)

Text of Special Operations Forces to the Twenty-First Century ... One of the commonly accepted tenets of...

  • i

    Special Operations Forces to the Twenty-First Century: What Threat, What Response? (Coffin) SAW 1991 Subject Area Operations

    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

    TITLE: SPECIAL OPERATIONS FORCES TO THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY:

    WHAT THREAT, WHAT RESPONSE? BACKGROUND: One assumption underlying successful guerrilla or revolutionary war is that to be successful, it must be supported or sponsored by an outside power. For the last seventy years, the Soviet Union has been the prime sponsor of unrest. With the Soviet Union's economy in a shambles, and with it apparently in retreat around the world, the Soviet Union may no longer be capable or willing to sponsor revolutionary movements.

    If the Soviets no longer can, are there any other candidates capable or willing to fill that role? If so, who might they be and what is to be the United States' response? ISSUE: This paper conducts a brief overview of the history of Special Forces, including the present force structure.

    It examines the various levels within the spectrum of conflict, and does a region-by-region analysis of political, social and economic factors affecting the region; it assesses the likelihood and nature of potential conflict to 2010. It also estimates the likelihood of US involvement in such conflicts.

    The paper then examines the capabilities of Special Operations Forces and discusses current and potential problems with existing force structure, including the most pressing: Integration of the Reserve Special Forces fully into the US Special Operations Command. The Reserve problems include, but are not limited to: inadequate training time; multiple layers of command/control; varying, uncertain sources of funding; problems with existing law governing Reserve/Active Component relations. It addresses the USMC, which currently has units advertised as being "Special Operations Capable," but which are not in the US Special Operations Command. It briefly discusses the Drug War. CONCLUSION: The prospect of General Global War has decreased dramatically. There are a few, but not many, candidates for the sponsorship of movements; none on the scale of the Soviets for the last seventy years. Therefore, conflict between now and 2010 is most likely to be at the lower end of the spectrum, of various types, depending on the region and the "players." Special Forces is the only force trained and equipped, with the linguistic and cultural expertise, to operate across the entire spectrum of war, from benign peace to total war, as their primary mission, not as

  • Report Documentation Page Form ApprovedOMB No. 0704-0188 Public reporting burden for the collection of information is estimated to average 1 hour per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information. Send comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden, to Washington Headquarters Services, Directorate for Information Operations and Reports, 1215 Jefferson Davis Highway, Suite 1204, Arlington VA 22202-4302. Respondents should be aware that notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person shall be subject to a penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information if it does not display a currently valid OMB control number.

    1. REPORT DATE 1991 2. REPORT TYPE

    3. DATES COVERED 00-00-1991 to 00-00-1991

    4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Special Operations Forces to the Twenty-First Century: What Threat, What Response? (Coffin)

    5a. CONTRACT NUMBER

    5b. GRANT NUMBER

    5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER

    6. AUTHOR(S) 5d. PROJECT NUMBER

    5e. TASK NUMBER

    5f. WORK UNIT NUMBER

    7. PERFORMING ORGANIZATION NAME(S) AND ADDRESS(ES) Marine Corps War College,Marine Corps University,Marine Corps Combat Development Command,Quantico,VA,22134-5067

    8. PERFORMING ORGANIZATION REPORT NUMBER

    9. SPONSORING/MONITORING AGENCY NAME(S) AND ADDRESS(ES) 10. SPONSOR/MONITOR’S ACRONYM(S)

    11. SPONSOR/MONITOR’S REPORT NUMBER(S)

    12. DISTRIBUTION/AVAILABILITY STATEMENT Approved for public release; distribution unlimited

    13. SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES

    14. ABSTRACT

    15. SUBJECT TERMS

    16. SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF: 17. LIMITATION OF ABSTRACT Same as

    Report (SAR)

    18. NUMBER OF PAGES

    74

    19a. NAME OF RESPONSIBLE PERSON

    a. REPORT unclassified

    b. ABSTRACT unclassified

    c. THIS PAGE unclassified

    Standard Form 298 (Rev. 8-98) Prescribed by ANSI Std Z39-18

  • ii

    an adjunct or additional mission. Reserve SOF funding should be totally separate from Reserve and NG accounts. This is being attempted, but some surprises may be lurking. Reserve SF units should be validated and if they cannot maintain SF standards for the total SF package of missions, they should be assigned other Special Operations missions less demanding of their resources. The USMC should have an element assigned to USSOCOM. The strongest objection to this will probably come from the USMC.

  • 1

    SPECIAL OPERATIONS FORCES TO THE

    TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY: WHAT THREAT,

    WHAT RESPONSE?

    by

    Major Charles F. Coffin, USAR/AGR

    Major Charles F. Coffin, USAR/AGR

    USMC School of Advanced Warfighting Quantico, Virginia

    24 May 1991

    ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

  • 2

    I wish to acknowledge the following individuals for their invaluable help and assistance in preparing this paper.

    LTG MICHAEL F. SPIGELMIRE, Commanding General, USASOC, Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, and BG DAVID J. BARATTO, Commanding General/Commandant, Special Warfare Center and School, Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, each of whom generously gave me an hour of their valuable time to discuss Special Forces, its history, its present and its future.

    Mr. ROBERT MOUNTEL, Joint Force Integration Directorate, SWCS, Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, for assisting my search, and finding documents whose existence no one else acknowledged.

    Major THOMAS BEDIENT, SF, USAR/AGR, USASOC Inspector General's Office, for his insight and perceptions on current Special Forces doctrine and organization, as well as keeping me supplied with current "wiring diagrams."

    The staff of the Command and Staff College library, Breckinridge Hall, MCCDC, Quantico, VA, who were never too busy to help me find information, who obtained books unobtainable elsewhere, and who were always willing to renew overdue books borrowed through inter-library loan.

    Various others, who prefer to remain unnamed.

    The faculty and staff of the USMC Command and Staff College, School of Advanced Warfighting, Quantico, VA, for cracking the whip over us.

    The late Robert Heinlein, "who showed us all the way."

    And finally, and most importantly, my wife Linda, my sons Chip and Tris, and my daughter Kathleen, without whom nothing I do is worthwhile, and with whom all things become possible.

    All opinions expressed herein, unless otherwise noted, are my own and my sole responsibility, as are any factual errors.

    ASSUMPTION

  • 3

    The Soviet Union, caught up in its own domestic and economic

    unrest, will focus internally for the next five to ten years,

    rather than externally. This change in focus will create the

    inability or unwillingness to become involved in revolutionary or

    guerrilla movements which do not have a direct benefit or effect

    on the Soviet Union itself. The threat from the conventional

    forces of the Soviet Union and the likelihood of an conventional

    assault on western Europe will also decline.

    OBJECTIVE

    This paper will attempt to trace the implications of that

    change of focus, with particular emphasis on the impact on

    Special Operations Forces, over the near term (the next 5 years),

    the mid-term (from 5 to 10 years), and the long term (from 15 to

    20 years). This paper is not meant to be predictive, but,

    rather, speculative, with the intent of examining some the

    possibilities inherent in a world that is changing rapidly in

    almost every area of human endeavor.

    BACKGROUND OF ASSUMPTION

    One of the commonly accepted tenets of revolutionary or

    guerrilla war is that, to be successful, it must be sponsored or

    supported by an outside power. This sponsorship is necessary for

    a number of reasons. Primarily, of course, a guerrilla or

    revolutionary movement needs supplies, arms and munitions. But

  • 4

    just as importantly, a movement needs the legitimacy that outside

    support provides. Without this recognition and support, the

    movement can be considered just another band of outlaws.

    This tenet is generally, though not universally, accepted.

    Often cited as examples are the American Revolution, the Spanish

    guerrillas resisting Napoleon's occupation, the various

    resistance and guerrilla movements throughout the world during

    World War II and others. The very few exceptions to this rule

    seem to be either coups or rapid, popular uprisings. Few other

    exceptions can be found.

    For the last seventy years (with the exception of the WWII

    years) the primary sponsor of revol