Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Do We Still Need Special Ops? Is Unconventional Warfare too narrowly Defined by the Special Operations Community?

A writer for Foreign Policy Magazine, Robert Haddick, has provided us with the questions above in the subject line.  In his article, "Do We Still Need Special Ops?" (23 April 2010) he asks the question "What exactly is unconventional warfare?" and wonders if special operators have defined the unconventional warfare term too narrowly and therefore narrowed their mission set making special operations forces irrelevant.

The article is not the best to be found in Foreign Policy.  It starts off discussing the UW definition but then veers off course talking about how the Army will be ill-prepared to fight a high-intensity war on the battlefield because its artillery and armor formations have been conducting COIN (or stability operations).  In addition, the author ignores the fact that UW is one of many missions that Special Forces is charged with.  The other missions are FID, CT, DA, SR as well as COIN.

But it is food for thought.

Click here for more information about the definition of Unconventional Warfare (UW).

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