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USAWC CIVILIAN RESEARCH PROJECT
Institutionalizing Interdependence: U.S. Army Special Operations Forces / Conventional Forces “No Turning Back”
Lieutenant Colonel (Promotable) Mitchell D. Franks United States Army
Prof. Robert A. Connolly Project Adviser
This CRP is submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the Senior Service College Fellowship Program. The U.S. Army War College is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, (215) 662-5606. The Commission on Higher Education is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. The views expressed in this student academic research paper are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government. U.S. Army War College CARLISLE BARRACKS, PENNSYLVANIA 17013
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Abstract Title: Institutionalizing Interdependence: U.S. Army Special Operations Forces / Conventional Forces “No Turning Back” Report Date: 1 May 2013 Page Count: 25 Word Count: 6192 Subject Terms: U.S. Army Special Operations / Conventional Forces Interdependence, Human Domain, 7th Warfighting Function CLASSIFICATION: Unclassified The United States Army deployed two separate forces in the operational environment of the 3rd millennium. U.S. Army Special Operations Forces and Conventional Forces. This research efforts provides a rationale for greater interdependence of these forces, outlines lessons learned between the forces in combat and current interdependence initiatives. There are several components to current U.S. Army efforts to ensure interdependence is codified in policy and doctrine. These include CF - SOF interdependence included in recent U.S. Army publications, high level deliberation over recognizing and ultimately adding another warfighting function to U.S. Army doctrine, and the potential addition of a “Human Domain” to the current domain construct for Joint military doctrine. Additionally, the creation of a strategic landpower task force chartered by the United States Army, United States Marine Corps and United Stated Special Operation Command (USSOCOM) to examine their purposes as they intersect in the land domain serves as another example. Further, training that has specifically focused on interdependence between CF and SOF was bolstered in a number of venues. The resolution and continuation of these efforts will play a large role in institutionalizing interdependence to ensure that the efforts of U.S. Army Special Operations Forces and Conventional Forces do not revert to the preexisting conditions before combat operations in this millennium.
Institutionalizing Interdependence: U.S. Army Special Operations Forces / Conventional Forces “No Turning Back”
Interdependence is traditionally a joint service term defined as the “purposeful reliance by one Service’s forces on another Service’s capabilities to maximize the complementary and reinforcing effects of both; the degree of interdependence varying with specific circumstances.”1 Joint Publication 1
It may be hard to believe, but the United States deployed two distinct Army forces into combat after September 11, 2001. As one analyst mused, “Conventional Forces (CF) prepared to win against traditional adversaries in direct combat and Special Operations Forces (SOF) prepared to prevail in an irregular environment.”2 In spite of sharing a common goal, all too often each did not know where or what the other was doing on a complex kinetic battlefield. Despite this complexity, a shared concern to avoid fratricide and a genuine concern for mission accomplishment helped create conditions for mission success at the operational and tactical level. However successful those solutions may have been, they led to relationships between SOF forces and CF forces that were as varied, non-doctrinal, and inconsistent as the battlefield terrain. We must ensure that these lessons learned in combat become institutionalized; “interdependence” between the U.S. Army’s Special Operations Forces (ARSOF) and the U.S. Army’s Conventional Forces must be the new normal. I believe that a number of current initiatives have the potential to ensure that lessons learned in the current
The focus of this research effort is on current Army initiatives regarding interdependence, but I would be remiss not to acknowledge that there is a parallel effort within the joint and interagency community to address the matter within the larger joint warfighting construct and at times this research effort delves into those efforts as they impact the Army.
operating environment become part of the U.S. Army doctrine, education, institution and culture and thus applicable to the future operating environment.
The Chief of Staff of the Army, General Raymond Odierno, recently recognized the importance of institutionalizing SOF and CF interdependence and reflected that “operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have clearly shown that our special operations and conventional forces work better together than apart. We will preserve the strength of this partnership, cementing the relationships between conventional and SOF units across the operational and institutional Army.”3 There are several components to current U.S. Army efforts to ensure that General Odierno’s intent is codified in policy and doctrine. These include CF - SOF interdependence included in recent U.S. Army publications, high level deliberation over recognizing and ultimately adding another Warfighting Function to Army doctrine, and the potential addition of a “Human Domain” to the current domain construct for Joint military doctrine. Additionally, the creation of a strategic landpower task force chartered by the United States Army, United States Marine Corps and United Stated Special Operation Command (USSOCOM) to examine their purposes as they intersect in the land domain serves as another example. Finally, training that has specifically focused on interdependence between CF and SOF was bolstered in a number of venues. All of these initiatives will be discussed in greater detail in this research effort.
Rationale for greater SOF-CF Interdependence:
Interdependence is traditionally a joint service term defined as the “purposeful reliance by one Service’s forces on another Service’s capabilities to maximize the complementary and reinforcing effects of both; the degree of interdependence varying with specific circumstances.”4 In the summer of 2012, followers of doctrine began to see an adaptation of this definition in U.S. Army doctrine referring to interdependent relations between Special Operations Forces and Conventional Forces such as in Army Doctrine Reference Publication 3-05; “SOF and Conventional Forces may rely on each other’s capabilities to maximize the complementary and reinforcing effects of both.”5 The determination for the term interdependence to explain this relationship was arrived upon after deliberate consideration of other terminology first. According to doctrinaires at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, there was consideration within the doctrine community of the terms “integration” and “interoperability.” Integration did not go far enough as it was limited to making two separate forces work together and interoperability did not seem equal or with the same level of emphasis as interdependence.6 Most importantly, the fact that a joint term already existed explaining a similar confluence of military power and capability contributed to the decision to adopt interdependence to encapsulate the relationship. According to Lieutenant General Keith Walker, the Director of the Army Capabilities Integration Center, U.S. Army leaders are in the final stages of determining the variation of this definition in other U.S. Army and Joint doctrine as part of the larger effort to institutionalize the concept.7
Interdependence has gained significant momentum in the last two years in establishing frameworks for doctrine, leader development, educational, and training between U.S. Army Special Operations and the U.S. Army’s Conventional Forces. This effort was motivated by the concern that without cementing interdependence in doctrine and culture the two forces will revert to their pre-9/11 state upon the conclusion of combat operations in Afghanistan. Specifically, the CF will focus on decisive action within full spectrum operations and ARSOF will focus on special warfare and surgical strike capabilities, with little consideration of interdependence.
As previously stated, the U.S. Army deployed to the conflicts following the attacks on September 11, 2001 with two forces. These separate but complementary forces were deployed into combat in Afghanistan, Iraq, and certain non-combat zones to accomplish overarching strategic objectives, but often had separate operational and tactical level objectives. This operational incongruence often led to confusion that was only overcome by unit/individual professionalism and bottom-up deconfliction. In other words, solutions were achieved by individuals on the ground, with little institutional or doctrinal guidance.
Worse, solutions and even mission accomplishment were at times hindered by the competitive spirits that existed between the two forces. This was often due to different missions, misunderstood command relationships, lack of trust, and a lack of coordination. These factors improved over time as shared experiences predicated the exchange of liaison officers (LNOs) to ensure situational awareness, deconfliction and
support. LNOs needed to be top performers who could work within various U.S. Army cultures and it became a mantra in SOF that if sending an LNO did not hurt the sending unit, then they were sending the wrong person.
Pre-deployment training and conferences outlining various units’ capabilities also helped educate both forces. The desire to improve led to publications such as the Conventional Forces and Special Operations Forces Integration and Interoperability Handbook, Behind Friendly Lines: Enforcing the Need for a Joint SOF Staff Officer, and Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha Reception and Integration Checklist for Conventional Forces. These publications helped institutionalize an often complex relationship to increase operational effectiveness in accomplishing shared objectives. As Major General Bennet Sacolick and Brigadier General Wayne Grigsby explain in their article outlining the combination of non-lethal and lethal capabilities: “in Iraq and Afghanistan, operational necessity drove battlefield synchronization and integration of the joint force founded on personal relationships. Integration that relies on personal relationships forged on the battlefield, however, is transient unless made operational and institutional and instilled in our forces from the very beginning of professional military education and throughout all planning and training.”8
In June 2012, the Joint and Coalition Operational Analysis division of the Joint Staff’s J7 responded to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs’ task to, “make sure we actually learn the lessons from the last decade of war.”9 After completing a detailed review of 46 lessons learned, the report was written addressing 11 themes. In theme six, titled
Special Operations – General Purpose Force Integration a chronology of the problems, the ad hoc solutions not guided by doctrine and the development of the relationship are outlined: “In post-2003 Iraq, SOF operations were not always well coordinated with GPF. This led to situations where GPF, as the battlespace owners (BSO), were left managing the second-order effects of SOF targeting operations. GPF complained about not receiving notice of impending operations, not receiving intelligence that came from SOF operations, and significant disruption of their battlespace in the aftermath of those operations. Similar complaints were made by GPF in Afghanistan through 2008. For Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force (CJSOTF) forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, one factor for poor coordination was the Theater Special Operations Command (TSOC) being unable to provide effective representation at senior levels. This was later addressed in Afghanistan through creation of an in-theater, flag-level command, Combined Forces Special Operations Component Command – Afghanistan (CFSOCC-A), to better integrate SOF activities into an overall strategic campaign. Over time, SOF and GPF elements worked to integrate and take advantage of SOF capabilities and GPF capacities. An early example of this integration was among Task Force Freedom and SOF operating together in Mosul, Iraq in 2005. These elements combined assets and target lists to create an integrated force to combat the enemy. This approach was later expanded into other areas of Iraq and institutionalized into Intelligence Fusion Cells. These fusion cells allowed expansion of the total set of actionable targets—a set that was too large to be handled by a single force—as well as a synergistic approach to actioning those targets. By the end of 2008, dramatic progress in security had been made: attack levels were the lowest since the summer of 2003. The integrated targeting effort between SOF elements and GPF were a significant component of this success. In Afghanistan, SOF and GPF integration improved considerably from 2009-2010. SOF operations were better coordinated with BSOs, and SOF provided support to consequence management when necessary. At the same time, communication increased regarding targeting, and SOF focused more on targets that hindered BSO freedom of maneuver. In 2011, SOF elements began conducting predeployment training with GPF in order to accelerate integration when in theater.”10
I contend that this apposite description of the problem and timeline of the solutions undertook highlight an effort that falls short of interdependence as none of the solutions are grounded in doctrine. The report went on to further make six recommendations for the future. These recommendations included; “expanding leader understanding of each force’s capabilities and limitations, establishing habitual training and mission relationships, institutionalize best practices for optimal Intelligence/Surveillance/Reconnaissance (ISR), institutionalize collaboration best practices, codify collaborative targeting approach, improve rapid fielding capabilities, and improving joint manning processes.”11 Part of the process to address these recommendations regarding the institutionalization of relations between Special Operations and Conventional Forces led to a Rand Arroyo study commissioned in mid December, 2012. Central to this study is to, “help the U.S. Army develop doctrine, organization, training, material, leadership, personnel, facility, and policy options.”12 It will also examine how, “historically, these forces have operated in the same battle space but have not been integrated into unified operations below operational headquarters”13 and “beyond the tactical integration borne of operational necessity and capacity shortfalls in the operating force, broader efficiencies and synergies require analysis of operational and theatre level interdependencies.”14 This study is an excellent step in ensuring that the relationship is researched using a holistic approach regarding interdependence.
“Uniquely American Way of Special Operations”:
Crucial to understanding the interdependence between Conventional Forces (CF) and Special Operations Forces (SOF) is an understanding of how SOF conducts its missions. There are four ways that SOF operates which Lieutenant General Cleveland, Commander of United States Army Special Operations Command characterizes as a “uniquely American Way of Special Operations Warfighting” in describing Special Warfare and Surgical Strike capabilities.15 The first is “SOF specific”16 and requires little to no augmentation or support from CF. These operations include direct action strikes or raids similar to the killing of Osama Bin Laden and long term Foreign Internal Defense initiatives such as the relationship between U.S. SOF and Colombian SOF. The second way in which SOF operates is “SOF centric”17 and requires significant CF augmentation and support. An example of these types of operations is the initial stages in Afghanistan where SOF led with unconventional warfare, information operations and direct action strikes with CF supporting those operations. The third way is “CF Centric”18 where CF forces are clearly in the lead with SOF forces playing a significant supporting role. An example of this is Operation Iraqi Freedom where SOF operations such as surgical strike and irregular warfare were part of the overall larger coalition efforts. The fourth and final way is “CF specific”19 where SOF is in a supporting role to CF operations but to a lesser extent than CF centric. An excellent example of these types of operations is Operation Desert Storm where the goal was to “win by maneuver not infiltration”20 and SOF was supporting broader CF efforts with special reconnaissance and coalition warfare support.
While these apt descriptions of “specific” and “centric” operations, regardless of who is the supporting and supported aspect of the relationship, I contend that that the areas requiring the most interdependence is SOF-CF independent action in the same operational environment and CF support to SOF. United States Army Special Operations Command in their briefing to the Chief of Staff of the Army on 30 January 2013 described the “three spheres of interaction and the challenges and opportunities to improvement.”21 It was discussed that SOF support to CF was captured in doctrine through Special Operations Command Communications Elements, is trained at the combined training centers (CTCs), mission readiness exercises (MRXs) and staff exercises (StaffExs) and that the force is “ready for the next crisis, conflict or war.”22 It was further discussed that, “interdependent action within the same battlespace is integrated at the Geographic Combatant Command through the Army Service Component Command and Theater Special Operations Command and various Joint Task Forces.”23 While these interoperability efforts at the highest warfighting command levels is institutionalized, it does not address many of the issues previously described at the operational and tactical level. Compounding this issue is that the sphere of CF support to SOF is an area for improvement as CF support to SOF is not captured in doctrine and is not trained at CTCs/MRXs/Staffexs. That said, with the establishment of the U.S. Army’s Regionally Aligned Forces and the wartime experience of Infantry Battalions supporting a Joint Special Operations Task Force in Iraq and recent support to a Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force in Afghanistan; there are opportunities for institutionalization of interdependence within doctrine, operations and training.
One reason for the current necessity for institutionalization of interdependence between CF and SOF is due to the separation of Special Operations that occurred as part of the reform following the aftermath of Operation Eagle Claw to rescue American hostages in Iran in 1980. The subsequent lack of coordination between conventional and special operations forces in Grenada in 1983 caused lawmakers to take action. These failures led to the Goldwater-Nichols Defense Reorganization Act of 1986 whose goal was the improvement of interoperability between the joint services forces. Some members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, specifically Senator Samuel Nunn and Senator William Cohen did not feel that this legislation went far enough with regard to special operations and added provisions to the 1987 Defense Authorization Act which amended the Goldwater-Nichols Act and created United States Special Operations Command.
While this legislation created optimal conditions and authorities for the
conduct of SOF specific operations its focus was not on interdependence, the legislation separated various services Special Operations forces from their respective service and combined them under the joint entity of SOCOM. The legislation did not address the interdependence of special operations forces and conventional forces into SOF centric, CF centric or CF specific operations.
7th Warfighting Function: Another example of attempted institutionalization within the U.S. Army of the concept of CF and SOF interdependence is currently evidenced by ongoing deliberations by the Army Staff and Chief of Staff of the Army to add a seventh warfighting function to the
current construct. The U.S. Army uses warfighting functions “to help them exercise battle command. A warfighting function is a group of tasks and systems (people, organizations, information and processes) united by a common purpose that commanders use to accomplish missions and training objectives.”24 There are currently six warfighting functions “command and control, movement and maneuver, intelligence, fires, sustainment, and protection.”25 These warfighting functions create the framework for how the Army fights. In 2011, special operators at the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center, in coordination with the Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth began to study whether Special Operations merited a new separate warfighting function. There was concern that the “current construct (six warfighting functions) displaces Special Operations across separate warfighting functions, and limits coordination and synchronization of SOF assets and capabilities across the campaign phases and operational execution cycle.”26 It turns out that the issue was larger than Special Operations, as the current framework does not adequately address the employment of foreign internal forces regardless of whether it is a SOF or a CF effort.27
This realization shifted the discussion from special operations as a warfighting function as advocated in Lieutenant Colonel Glenn Thomas’ article titled “Special Operations as a Warfighting Function” in the January/February 2011 edition of Special Warfare Magazine to “shaping” as a warfighting function. A recent effort to further explain this potential new warfighting function is; “the seventh warfighting function is defined as the related tasks and systems that support the commander in shaping the operational 13
environment to achieve national/strategic objectives. Recognizing the common and unique capabilities of both conventional and special operations forces, this warfighting function stresses the importance of conventional and special operations forces, this warfighting function stresses the importance of conventional and special operations forces working interdependently and considers the role of the related concepts of building partner capacity, special warfare, and surgical strike. It also helps commanders and their staffs advise, assist and train partners to enable them to contribute to global security and stability.”28
The agreement on a definition of shaping and establishment of shaping as a war fighting function has the potential to create conditions to “rid the force of ad hoc security force staff sections at Division, Corps and/or Task Force level headquarters and will create a dedicated section to coordinate, deconflict and synchronize the integration of foreign security forces.”29 Further, the adoption of a 7th Warfighting Function has the potential to codify three of the eleven themes outlined in the previously referenced Joint and Coalition Operational Analysis Decade of War Report Volume 1. It will provide the framework for ensuring that “coalition operations, host-nation partnering, and state use of surrogates and proxies”30 are not addressed in an ad hoc nature in the future but through the framework of a war fighting function. I recommend that the Army adopt “shaping” as a warfighting function because it will act as a catalyst throughout Army doctrine to ensure that foreign forces and the populace are considered during professional education, campaign planning and training.
Human Domain: Concurrent with the efforts to add a seventh warfighting function is the discussion within the profession of arms over adding a “human domain” to the current domain 14
construct within joint doctrine. The term and associated dialogue is used in various publications to describe the human nature of conflict. As General Martin Dempsey poses the question in the Capstone for Joint Operations, “how will future Joint Forces with constrained resources protect U.S. national interests against increasingly capable enemies in an uncertain, complex, rapidly changing and increasingly transparent world?”31 Major General Sacolick and Brigadier General Grigsby address how viewing this challenge through the lens of the human domain will contribute to answering the Chairman’s question, “the human domain is the totality of the physical, cultural and social environments that influence human behavior to the extent that success of any military operation or campaign depends on the application of unique capabilities that are designed to fight and win population-centric conflicts. It is a critical and complementary concept to the recognized domains of land, air, maritime, space and cyberspace.”32 This concept and the addition of a human domain are important because the other domains insufficiently address the human dimension of conflict, although it is deemed a critical component to land power.33 Further, the addition of a human domain, similar to a 7th warfighting function, will ensure that, “we’re providing a framework to support and employ the complementary capabilities of special operations and conventional forces.”34
The acknowledgement of the human domain is an important step as Sun Tzu recognized, “for to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill.”35 Although perhaps a loose interpretation of Sun Tzu, I believe one key to subduing an enemy without fighting is a better understanding of the human nature of conflict and building systems within the
doctrine, organizations, training, material, leadership and education, personnel, facilities (DOTMLPF) construct of the joint capabilities integration development system (JCIDS) to address shortfalls. As LTG Keith Walker notes, “the rising velocity of human interaction through the internet and social media makes influencing human behavior the centerpiece of military strategy”36 He further opines that, “the human is absent in our current doctrine, period. We don’t talk about it.”37 And questions, “do we have a gap in our strategic thinking?”38 Comments like these from LTG Walker are welcoming for rethinking Army capabilities and is often a catalyst for change. General Robert W. Cone, the Commanding General of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command commented, “The central figure of the last 10 years of war is the importance of the human domain. We paid to learn the language, culture, tribes and fidelity in terms of network targeting… we must put in place structural imperatives so that we learn those lessons and add them to our doctrine.”39
One effort to explore the human domain in a more detailed manner within DOTMLPF is a recently commissioned study by the United States Army Special Operations Command to the Rand Arroyo Center. This six month long study is titled, “The Human Domain: Considerations and Implications for the U.S. Army Special Operations Command.” The research will specifically address, “how will future Joint Forces with constrained resources protect U.S. national interests against increasingly capable enemies in an uncertain, complex, rapidly changing, and increasingly transparent world? In many ways, the human aspects of war fighting comprise key elements of this
challenge.”40 The goal will be the identification of these human aspects, their doctrinal relevance and gaps in existing doctrine in addressing these human aspects.
Special Operations Forces contend that they already have a foothold in the human domain and are ideally suited to operate in this domain because, “special operations are ‘special’ because their success depends on long-term relationship with indigenous forces and populations and knowledge of the cultural, societal, economic and political environments in which they occur… The greater the environmental knowledge and extent of relationships, the more likely the outcome will be successful. This more than any other single factor, defines the nature of special operations.”41 I contend that operations in the human domain will comprise of not only SOF specific operations but CF specific operations, CF centric operations and SOF centric operations. The human domain is simply too large and too complex for any approach other than one that ensures interdependence between conventional and special operations forces.
Much like the 7th Warfighting Function within Army Doctrine, the Human Domain proposal creates conditions within doctrine to ensure that human who inhabits the operational environment in which the military and interagency operates is considered. Deliberate consideration of factors within the human domain will assist in planning for campaigns, consequence management during operations, and post offensive operations planning. Specifically, ensuring that we aren’t surprised by a populace’s counteraction to our efforts.
Strategic Landpower Task Force: The Strategic Landpower Task Force is an initiative between the Army, Marine Corps and USSOCOM to address how their functions interconnect in the land domain. In addition to this intersection in the land domain, they will evaluate the human domain and Special Operations / Conventional Forces interdependencies.42 The formation of the task force was announced by the Chief of Staff of the Army on 1 November, 2012 to examine, “"future conflict, and what that means for ground forces." It will also help determine "what are the characteristics that we want" to have in the future when it comes to training, equipping and force structure.”43 On 28 January, 2013 the terms of reference was signed by the Chief of Staff of the Army, Commandant of the Marine Corps and the Commander of the United States Special Operations Command. This effort serves as another example of initiatives within the military to address the lessons learned of interdependence in over a decade of combat.
CF – SOF Training Institutionalization: In addition to the high level strategic doctrinal discussion of the 7th war fighting function, human domain and the strategic landpower task force, there are ongoing efforts to improve the institutionalization of CF and SOF training. Areas of specific emphasis for training include counter terrorism, foreign internal defense and the countering of weapons of mass destruction operations.
One effort at the strategic level effort was an exercise conducted at the Army War College in February of 2013 that “posed the problem of intervening in a nuclear-armed
state that had lost control of its nukes when the ruling regime collapsed.”44 This war game is one example of a problem that incorporated challenges in today’s global security environment. It further reinforced interdependence by the participation of both Special Operations Forces and Conventional Forces in the execution of the exercise, “Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno has actually emphasized the counter-WMD mission for some time, and he has publicly stated that he wants to enhance the relationships between Special Operations Forces and Big Army that were developed in Iraq and Afghanistan in order to combine their WMD knowledge.”45
The Army Chief of Staff’s guidance and the leadership of Army Special Operations forces desire to institutionalize SOF and GPF training also led to the recently completed Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) rotation 13-01. This JRTC iteration served as the 2nd Brigade, 82nd Airborne’s decisive action rotation and integrated 3rd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) among other U.S. Army Special Operations forces. This training was highlighted to General Lloyd Austin, the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, on 1 November 2012 as a CF-centric operation in which SOF played an integral supporting role. During this JRTC rotation, SOF support to CF included “SOF persistent engagement prior to combat power build, advance force insertion, SOF support to internal opposition movements, building of resistance and combat rear operations, development of an Unconventional Assisted Recovery Plan for CF Long Range Surveillance efforts, messaging to prepare the population for Brigade Combat Team (BCT) infiltration, and SOF/BCT collaboration in support of a surgical strike to retrieve
WMD material.”46 U.S. Army leaders have committed to future National Training Center iterations where SOF and CF interdependence remains at the forefront of the training.47
In addition to increasing the amount of interdependence trained at the National Training Centers, which thus far has focused on CF centric and CF specific operations, is the discussion of future opportunities in other training venues. It was briefed to General Odierno, the Chief of Staff of the Army, on 30 January 2013 that there are additional near term opportunities for interdependence training through the Jade Helm series of exercises conducted by the United States Army’s Special Forces Command. This series of Unconventional Warfare training exercises provide a superb foundation for the execution of SOF specific and SOF centric training. U.S. Army Special Operations support to the 18th Airborne Corps’ February 2013 Joint Operational Access Exercise was also highlighted to the Chief of Staff of the Army as it provided an opportunity to train in a CF centric and CF specific manner. Additionally, the Afghanistan Village Stability Operations Academic Week hosted by Army Special Operations Forces prior to every rotation includes incoming Brigade Combat Teams. This effort is designed to increase interdependence through in depth analysis and cultural orientation prior to Operation Enduring Freedom deployments. Finally, additional opportunities exist to improve and train interdependence through the Army’s regionally aligned force concept within conventional forces. Given the current regional alignment of the Army’s Special Forces, Military Information Support Operations forces, and Civil Affairs, a long term relationship between these SOF regionally aligned forces and the pending conventional forces’ regionally aligned forces is logical. Training
initiatives and alignments such as these have the potential to create the backbone for greater interoperability in Joint Chiefs of Staff exercises with partner nation forces overseas.
Conclusion: Progress is underway ensuring that we do not resist the necessary progression with regard to the relationship between U.S. Army Conventional Forces and U.S. Army Special Operations Forces. Efforts such as the strategic landpower initiative, deliberate consideration of the 7th warfighting function, the human domain proposal, and various interdependence training initiatives will contribute to retaining and building on the lessons learned about interdependence between CF and SOF in the combat zones. Doctrinal solutions should create the framework to institutionalize the concept. Through frequent training, professional development and refinement, interdependence is intended to become ingrained in U.S. Army culture. Finally, and most importantly, it will ensure that the U.S. Army is prepared to provide integrated forces to the joint force commander in the campaigns of the future and that the U.S. Army does not revert to separate but complementary capabilities that it provided our nation following September 11, 2001.
Recommendations for Further Research: Upon the codification of a number of these initiatives it will be necessary to reexamine battlefield or operational environment framework. This reexamination needs to include command relationships between Special Operations Forces and
Conventional Forces. While this is codified at the highest levels, there remains confusion at the tactical and operational level and terms such as “mutual support” are not encompassing enough. Further a number of the Special Operations headquarters that ensure interdependence at the higher levels are Task Forces that will disband as conflicts conclude. Part of this effort should include an evaluation of this confluence in the Masters of Business Administration (MBA) sense of “integrative management”48 to evaluate how leaders should operate when they have multiple different groups working together. In addition to “integrative management” an evaluation of the MBA term “boundary spanning” can potentially add insight to strategic, operational and tactical level overlap of Special Operations Force and Conventional Forces.
Joint Publication 1, Doctrine for the Armed Forces of the United States, 02 May 2007, Change 1 20 March 2009, 8. 2
Mr. Aaron Brown, Combined Arms Center and School CF-SOF Interdependence Information paper, March, 2012. 3
General Raymond Odierno, “Today’s Army: The Strength of Our Nation,” Army, The Magazine of the Association of the United States Army, October, 2012, 29-30. 4
Joint Publication 1, Doctrine for the Armed Forces of the United States, 02 May 2007, Change 1 20 March 2009, 8. 5
U.S. Department of the Army, Special Operations, Army Doctrine Reference Publication 3-05 (Washington DC: U.S. Department of the Army, 31 August 2012, 1-15.
Lieutenant Colonel Duane Lauchengco, U.S. Army, Special Warfare Center and School, interview with author, February 12, 2013. 7
Lieutenant General Keith Walker, U.S. Army, Director, Army Capabilities Integration Center, United States Army Training and Doctrine Command, phone interview with author, October 1, 2012.
Major General Bennet Sacolick and Brigadier General Wayne W. Grigsby Jr., “Special Operations/Conventional Forces Interdependence: A Critical Role in ‘Prevent, Shape, Win,’” Army, The Magazine of the Association of the United States Army, June, 2012, 40. 9
Decade of War, Volume I, Enduring Lessons from the Past Decade of Operations, Joint Coalition and Operational Analysis, Suffolk, Virginia, June 15, 2012, p. iii. 10
“Improving Integration between Special Operations and Conventional Forces” Rand Arroyo Center Project Description, United States Army Special Operations Command, Fort Bragg, NC, January 10, 2013, 1. 13
Lieutenant General Charles Cleveland, U.S. Army, Commander, United States Army Special Operations Command, interview with author, June 29, 2012. 16
“SOF-CF Integration” briefing slides, Fort Bragg, NC, United States Army Special Operations Command, December 2012. 22
U.S. Department of the Army, Operations, Field Manual 3-0 (Washington DC: U.S. Department of the Army, 27 February 2008), 4-3 – 4-5. 25
“7th War-fighting Function” briefing slides, Fort Bragg, NC, United States Army Special Operations Command, 21 May 2012. 27
Lieutenant General Keith Walker, U.S. Army, Director, Army Capabilities Integration Center, United States Army Training and Doctrine Command, phone interview with author, January 28, 2013. 28
“7th Warfighting Function Definition” briefing slides, Fort Bragg, NC, United States Army Special Warfare Center and School, February 2013. 29
Colonel Kevin Henderson, U.S. Army, Director Army Special Operations Capabilities Integration Center, U.S. Army Special Warfare Center and School, interview with author, February 12, 2013. 30
Decade of War, Volume I, Enduring Lessons from the Past Decade of Operations, Joint Coalition and Operational Analysis, Suffolk, Virginia, June 15, 2012, p. iii. 31
General Martin Dempsey, Capstone Concept for Joint Operations (Washington DC, Joint Chiefs of Staff), 10 September 2012, 4. 32
Major General Bennet Sacolick and Brigadier General Wayne W. Grigsby Jr., “Special Operations/Conventional Forces Interdependence: A Critical Role in ‘Prevent, Shape, Win,’” Army, The Magazine of the Association of the United States Army, June, 2012, 40. 33
Lieutenant General Keith Walker, U.S. Army, Director, Army Capabilities Integration Center, United States Army Training and Doctrine Command, phone interview with author, January 28, 2013. 34
Major General Bennet Sacolick and Brigadier General Wayne W. Grigsby Jr., “Special Operations/Conventional Forces Interdependence: A Critical Role in ‘Prevent, Shape, Win,’” Army, The Magazine of the Association of the United States Army, June, 2012, 40. 35
Sun Tzu, The Art of War, trans. Samuel B. Griffith (New York: Oxford University Press, 1973), 98. 36
Richard Sisk, “Human Domain Enters Future Army War Plans,” Military.com, February 20, 2013. 37
Justin Tang, “Leaders Emphasize Importance of Human Domain as Army Plans Future,” Army Capabilities Integration Center, March 28, 2013, 1. 40
“The Human Domain: Considerations and Implications for the U.S. Army Special Operations Command,” Rand Arroyo Center Project Description, United States Army Special Operations Command, Fort Bragg, NC, December 13, 2012, 1. 41
USSOCOM Publication 1, Tampa, FL, 5 August 2011, 1.
LTC(P) Dean Franks, author’s personal observation as the Executive Officer to the Commanding General, U.S. Special Operations Command (Airborne) 2011-2012.
Paul McLeary, “Odierno outlines plan for ‘strategic landpower'”, November 1, 2012 http://www.armytimes.com/article/20121101/NEWS/211010320/Odierno-outlinesplan-for-8216-strategic-landpower (accessed November 15, 2012). 44
Paul McLeary, “U.S. Army Leaders Take Lead into Post-Afghanistan Planning,” Defense News, February 19, 2013, 1. 45
“2/82d Decisive Action Rotation Lessons and JFE Initiatives” briefing slides, Fort Bragg, NC, 18th Airborne Corps, November 1, 2012, 13. 47
LTC(P) Dean Franks, author’s personal observation as the Executive Officer to the Commanding General, U.S. Special Operations Command (Airborne) 2011-2012. 48
Dr. Robert A. Connolly, Associate Professor of Finance, Kenan-Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina, e-mail exchange with author, March 24, 2013.