The U.S. military must develop a joint strategy to counter adversary Special Operations Forces (SOF) that threaten national interests. Due to the distinct and potent characteristics of SOF, an integrated strategy leveraging both conventional force capabilities and the expertise of the U.S. Special Operations Command is crucial.
- SOF Characteristics: SOFs are rapid, covert forces that can make decisive strategic impacts. They operate in sensitive areas, often behind enemy lines, targeting critical infrastructure like airfields, seaports, and rail centers. Their modus operandi includes signature management to conceal mission profiles and specialized vehicles and equipment for efficient operation.
- Expertise and Intelligence Integration: It’s imperative to incorporate the expertise of the Special Operations Command into the conventional force for effective counter-SOF strategy. Close collaboration with theater component commands ensures support is directed towards counter-SOF initiatives. Furthermore, prompt and specialized intelligence is essential for real-time decision-making against adversary SOFs.
- Need for Proactive Joint Strategy: Some argue SOF might not be crucial in a strategic conflict, but the potential devastating effects of uncountered adversary SOF emphasize the importance of a pre-established joint strategy. Adversary SOFs, especially maritime ones, pose significant threats to critical U.S. operations and sustainment areas.
- Joint Strategy Framework Principles: For a counter-SOF strategy, principles such as the importance of specialized intelligence, recognizing own vulnerabilities, the need for rapid response, and the utilization of overwhelming firepower should be considered. This framework aims to counter the potential threats of adversary SOFs efficiently.
- Strategic Consideration: The impending threat of adversary SOF in a strategic conflict necessitates the development of a joint counter-SOF strategy. A synthesis of joint force capabilities and Special Operations Command expertise is vital to equip operational commanders before the onset of a conflict.