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The Worrisome Future of Special Operation Forces (Common Core to be applied to Navy SEALS, etc.)
DanielPipes.org ^ | Mar 23, 2014 | Daniel Pipes

Posted on 03/23/2014 5:56:52 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum

I just had the opportunity to spend an afternoon with a Council on Foreign Relations group at the United States Special Operations Command at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida. Its commander, the famed Admiral William H. McRaven, started the briefing, followed by his staff.

I expected to learn about Navy SEALs, Army Rangers, and their air force and marine counterparts. I thought I would hear about the exploits of this 67,000-strong command operating in 84 countries, maybe even about the taking down of Osama bin Laden. But that was not to be. Instead, he and the other officers talked at length about their new mission, starting with the command's motto, "You can't surge trust."

Cover of the SOF "operating concept" booklet, not online.

It took some time for it to sink in because of their turgid language, but here's a key paragraph from the Operating Concept for special operations forces (SOF) that was handed out to the CFR group:

The Special Operations Forces Operating Concept captures the essence of the SOF heritage as it could be – as it should be in the year 2020 and beyond. The concept moves beyond the first decade of the 21st Century, when SOF primarily supported large-scale contingency operations by conducting counterterrorism operations to find, capture, or kill our adversaries. Although of great value to the Nation, these operations were never intended to be decisive. Operating through the Global SOF Network in support of our Geographic Combatant Commanders and Chiefs of Mission, SOF now have the opportunity to achieve strategic outcomes by working with and through interagency and foreign partners to understand and influence relevant populations.

Translated into English, this says:

Special Operations Forces used to be about capturing or killing America's adversaries; its new mission is to shape public opinion.

Or, it the words of a bullet point in the Operating Concept, the goal is "Elevating SOF non-lethal skills to the same level of expertise as lethal skills." As radical a shift as this is, at least I could comprehend it. Not so the following graphic, "Strategic Appreciation - 2.0,"which was projected onto a large floor for most of our briefing and which makes no sense to me:

Comments: (1) I came away from this briefing unsure if the special operations leadership really believes this stuff or is mouthing it to distract the public from discussing its real mission. (2) If it's sincere, I worry about our future defense. (March 23, 2014)


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: mcraven; navyseals; seals; socom; sof; specialoperations
It never ends.
1 posted on 03/23/2014 5:56:52 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

Shark jumping isn’t just for TV shows anymore.


2 posted on 03/23/2014 6:02:32 PM PDT by TADSLOS (The Event Horizon has come and gone. Buckle up and hang on.)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

The communists love propaganda. It is sooo much more useful than the truth to the manuliptive and deceptive.


3 posted on 03/23/2014 6:06:25 PM PDT by MtnClimber (Just doing laps around the sun and shaking my head that progressives can believe what they do!)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

Looks alot like the Obamacare chart.


4 posted on 03/23/2014 6:07:57 PM PDT by TADSLOS (The Event Horizon has come and gone. Buckle up and hang on.)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

I take it Pipes really isn’t that familiar with the history of U.S. Special Forces or of the complaints of many oldtimers in that community that they have gotten away from their core mission of unconventional warfare and become too focused on direct action missions.


5 posted on 03/23/2014 6:09:37 PM PDT by GrootheWanderer
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To: E. Pluribus Unum; Travis McGee

SOCOM bump!


6 posted on 03/23/2014 6:16:48 PM PDT by Perseverando (Obamanation: It's ALL about PEOPLE CONTROL!)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

Elections have consequences.


7 posted on 03/23/2014 6:22:47 PM PDT by Dalberg-Acton
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To: GrootheWanderer

You are on target. This McRaven being called famed is a damn joke. DA is not going to tie up large units with G’s.


8 posted on 03/23/2014 6:29:35 PM PDT by Lumper20 ( clown in Chief has own Gov employees Gestapo)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

Turning JSOC into HHS, I see.

Very nice.

Like tasking NASA for Muslim Outreach.

Very consistent.


9 posted on 03/23/2014 6:33:33 PM PDT by gaijin
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To: All

you know, this “dumbed down think” has been going on for years. I work for a large defense contractor and probably almosy 20 years ago they introduced the concept of six sigma. now, if there is anyone here that is a six sigma expert, they’ll probably defend it because it’s an easy way to draw a pay check.
but for the uninitiated, its a new way to “think”. so for example, if you’re sitting in a meeting, and you come up with an idea, you’re likely to be berated by the local six sigma expert, to the tune of “you can’t recommend that until you supply the data”. in other words, if something is painfully obvious, you can’t put it into action until you’ve sent out forms to all dept heads and get them back and track the date until you’ve wasted enough money to show you can now use the new idea to save money.
I always suspected it was invented by the same people who dumbed down our schools. now the get to do it to the military.


10 posted on 03/23/2014 6:55:29 PM PDT by willywill
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

If he didn’t already have a job, this new version of Special Forces would be heavily recruiting John Kerry. They’ll probably also want that NASA administrator who sees his job as Muslim outreach.


11 posted on 03/23/2014 6:55:34 PM PDT by AZLiberty (No tag today.)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
achieve strategic outcomes by working with and through interagency and foreign partners to understand and influence relevant populations.

Somebody needs to know how to do this. And someone needs to know how to do the commando stuff. Its two different jobs.

12 posted on 03/23/2014 6:55:51 PM PDT by marron
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To: gaijin

Beat me to it.


13 posted on 03/23/2014 6:56:31 PM PDT by AZLiberty (No tag today.)
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To: TADSLOS

Oh darn, you beat me to it.


14 posted on 03/23/2014 7:31:00 PM PDT by Excellence (All your database are belong to us.)
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To: willywill

Jealous much. Damn. It’s statistics man. You want to change a process... Provide proof of how YOU think the process will be changed. Put your numbers where your mouth is. Damn...


15 posted on 03/23/2014 7:34:02 PM PDT by Mathews (Ecclesiastes 10:2 (NIV), Luke 22:36 (NIV))
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To: TADSLOS

Whoever organized and wrote the chart clearly isn’t the right person for the job. It’s clearly a jumbled mess that no person with any real or strategical planning training would compose because of its chaotic composition. It leaves little room for comprehension which is the very reason for diagramming information that has been compiled, collated, and analyzed to convert it into intelligence so that you can understand it.


16 posted on 03/23/2014 7:41:12 PM PDT by jsanders2001
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To: marron
achieve strategic outcomes by working with and through interagency and foreign partners to understand and influence relevant populations.

Somebody needs to know how to do this.

Supposedly that was one of the prime missions of the CIA.

Maybe every Fed agency should have a subdivision working on that. NASA has been tasked with it so that makes three. The DoJ, DEA, ATF, FBI, ICE, DHS and the IRS are feeling left out to name a few.

17 posted on 03/23/2014 8:22:44 PM PDT by TigersEye (Stupid is a Progressive disease.)
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To: willywill

Do they ever refer to “stakeholders”? My flesh crawls whenever I hear that word...;)


18 posted on 03/23/2014 8:43:39 PM PDT by Frank_2001
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To: Frank_2001

“Do they ever refer to “stakeholders”? My flesh crawls whenever I hear that word...;)”

yeah, we need to leverage our core compentencies in order to drive growth and bring value to our stakeholders.


19 posted on 03/23/2014 8:57:09 PM PDT by willywill
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
This is the kind of crap that happens when the military is purged of it's best senior officers by a moron who has no concept of military matters.

I hope that time goes quickly and we can elect a competent commander in chief next time.

20 posted on 03/23/2014 9:09:48 PM PDT by oldenuff2no
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To: willywill
yeah, we need to leverage our core compentencies in order to drive growth and bring value to our stakeholders.

I feel a game of bullsh*t bingo coming on.

21 posted on 03/23/2014 9:12:12 PM PDT by TADSLOS (The Event Horizon has come and gone. Buckle up and hang on.)
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To: TADSLOS

well, in actuality, I was just throwing in all our buzzwords that get thrown around in memos and usesless meetings, (yes, i’m the old white guy that hasn’t kept up with the times and will be offered my package any day now).
but stakeholders really means all the people that have an interest in some new policy or procedure.


22 posted on 03/23/2014 9:27:23 PM PDT by willywill
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To: willywill

I fully understand, trust me. LOL. I have been to Powerpoint buzzword and acronymn hell and back.


23 posted on 03/23/2014 9:30:44 PM PDT by TADSLOS (The Event Horizon has come and gone. Buckle up and hang on.)
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To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; cardinal4; ColdOne; ...

Sounds like “hearts and minds” regurgitated. Thanks E. Pluribus Unum.


24 posted on 03/24/2014 6:40:27 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: willywill

“yeah, we need to leverage our core compentencies in order to drive growth and bring value to our stakeholders.”

I would say it is mission critical that we execute our value proposition to provide unique leverage through competitive advantage to those stakeholders.


25 posted on 03/24/2014 12:04:36 PM PDT by willyd (I for one welcome our NSA overlords)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
Fox was pushing McRaven as this big inspirational speaker and all I could think of was Obama picked him and I wondered, then found this:

” Admiral McRaven laughed and said “ Okay , I know “ A short time later , he became more emboldened . “ I know President Obama and I see him often . I don’t just know him as a president ; I know him as a man .” He pounded his fist on our table . “ And he is a good man “ Politely , I touched his arm , “Sir I’m going to have to ask you not to mention that man’s name in my house .” Pg 156-157 - “Betrayed “ The Shocking True Story of Extortion 17 , as told by a Navy SEAL’s father

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/3121531/posts?page=7#7

26 posted on 05/24/2014 2:49:16 AM PDT by PghBaldy (12/14 - 930am -rampage begins... 12/15 - 1030am - Obama's advance team scouts photo-op locations.)
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