USA — ‘Prevent, Prepare’ Key Special Ops Roles, Official Says

WASHINGTON, Feb. 10, 2011 — The 2010 Qua­dren­ni­al Defense Review out­lined strate­gic defense pri­or­i­ties: pre­vail in war, pre­vent and deter con­flict, pre­pare for future con­flicts and con­tin­gen­cies, and pre­serve and enhance the force.
“Today I want to unpack the … ‘pre­vent’ and ‘pre­pare,’ and dis­cuss how I see [spe­cial oper­a­tions forces] play­ing a crit­i­cal role in both of those areas,” Dr. Janine David­son, deputy assis­tant sec­re­tary of defense for plans, yes­ter­day told atten­dees here at the Nation­al Defense Indus­tri­al Association’s 22nd Annu­al Spe­cial Oper­a­tions and Low-inten­si­ty Con­flict Sym­po­sium.

“What kind of con­flicts are we try­ing to pre­pare [for] and pre­vent?” David­son asked sym­po­sium attendees. 

Nuclear pro­lif­er­a­tion, cli­mate change, glob­al pan­demics, transna­tion­al crim­i­nal orga­ni­za­tions and ter­ror­ism, David­son said, make up a set of nation­al secu­ri­ty chal­lenges more com­plex than ever before. She not­ed that future con­flicts will more close­ly resem­ble cur­rent wars. 

The response to these chal­lenges requires cul­tur­al­ly aware fight­ers, 21st-cen­tu­ry intel­li­gence resources, and a del­i­cate approach to tran­si­tion­ing to peace, she said.

“These com­plex­i­ties are com­pound­ed … by an emerg­ing peri­od of fis­cal con­straint for our fed­er­al gov­ern­ment,” David­son said. “We must ask: ‘What can we do smarter, more effec­tive­ly, and more effi­cient­ly while still meet­ing our defense pri­or­i­ties to pro­tect the Amer­i­can people?’ ” 

Uni­ty of effort across “3‑D” — diplo­mat­ic, devel­op­men­tal and defense — capa­bil­i­ties will remain as crit­i­cal in the future as it is to today’s capa­bil­i­ties, David­son said. 

Coor­di­na­tion and plan­ning with inter­a­gency part­ners are nec­es­sary, she said, but a suc­cess­ful “3‑D” effort also will require “insight and knowl­edge –- some­thing the [spe­cial oper­a­tions] com­mu­ni­ty has excelled at.” 

Just as the com­mu­ni­ty devel­oped suc­cess­ful approach­es for urban war­fare, for­eign inter­nal defense and coun­terin­sur­gency con­flicts, spe­cial oper­a­tions will need to “put their brains around these new chal­lenges,” she said. 

One aspect of cur­rent con­flicts that needs atten­tion, she said, is the secu­ri­ty gap cre­at­ed by the his­tor­i­cal­ly sep­a­rate roles of Amer­i­can mil­i­tary and law enforce­ment organizations. 

That gap, she said, is “being exploit­ed by insur­gents in the field as well as increas­ing­ly sophis­ti­cat­ed transna­tion­al drug car­tels and traf­fick­ers, region­al­ly and on a glob­al scale.” 

It will take a whole-of-gov­ern­ment effort and a thor­ough under­stand­ing of how the “bad guys” oper­ate to counter them, David­son said. 

In tran­si­tion sit­u­a­tions such as in Iraq and the planned secu­ri­ty trans­fer in Afghanistan, David­son said, it will be impor­tant for the mil­i­tary to bet­ter under­stand diplo­ma­cy and development. 

Real­is­ti­cal­ly, she said, trans­fer to civil­ian-led oper­a­tions does­n’t mean the mil­i­tary exits, but rather defense forces will con­tin­ue to sup­port their civil­ian counterparts. 

Spe­cial oper­a­tions forces will be crit­i­cal in 3‑D efforts, David­son said, giv­en “their spe­cial skill-sets and tal­ent for bridg­ing gaps among cer­tain pop­u­la­tions and communities.” 

Only a rig­or­ous effort to under­stand the dif­fer­ing require­ments of defense, devel­op­ment and diplo­ma­cy, cou­pled with care­ful con­sid­er­a­tion of pos­si­ble unin­tend­ed out­comes, will allow a whole-of-gov­ern­ment approach to suc­ceed, she concluded. 

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

Face­book and/or on Twit­ter

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →