View Full Version : Beyond a Command - A SO Service ?

01-17-2010, 07:01 PM
While this thread might fit elsewhere, it is about as futuristic as one can get. It is generated today by the SWJ Blog, A Certain Trumpet (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?p=91287#post91287); although I have thought about the subject matter for a long time.

The link is to an op-ed by MG Ed Scholes, A Certain Trumpet (http://www.veteransofspecialforces.org/Main/Discussions/recent_discussions.html#article_5), at Veterans of Special Forces (http://www.veteransofspecialforces.org/Main/main.html). Here is his futuristic proposal in bottom line:

History has shown over the past half century that the United States Special Forces Command should be organized and manned as a separate department or agency outside of DOD, much like the U.S. Coast Guard, and with its own civilian leadership. This command would have the exclusive missions of unconventional warfare, counterinsurgency, foreign internal defense, psychological operations, civil affairs and irregular warfare. While a bold move, this is the best solution for this country to have and maintain an effective capability in these increasing important areas. All personnel of this command would be members of this same special service, wear the same uniforms, have the same chain of command, and the career fields for it members would be the responsibility of the command. All internal training and schooling for the command would be accomplished by the commandís own JFK Special Warfare Center and School. This command should have the necessary aircraft, weapons, vehicles and equipment needed to accomplish its worldwide missions, such as the missions being accomplished now in the Philippines, Columbia, Afghanistan, Iraq and other countries. There would remain a close working relationship and liaison with all major military commands, particularly, in the combat zones. The National Command Authority would assign the missions to this command, as required. The command would also work closely with the U.S. Embassies and other special U.S. representatives where necessary. The command should be required to maintain the necessary experts in the jobs pertaining to FID and COIN operations that we have not been able to get the civilians from DOS, AID, and other departments to do in a combat zone. The Congress should pass the necessary laws to permit this service, like the National Guard and Coast Guard, to work with all national, state and local government agencies, particularly, those involved in security and law enforcement(CIA, FBI, ATF, DEA, etc.,). This command should have the ability to assist, advice, train, and support American communities much like they do in foreign countries, as part of its own training. It could be supporting the city of Salinas, Ca. now in its ongoing gang related insurgency, for example. It could also be of great benefit to border security operations and humanitarian missions in the isolated areas of this country. The command would, of course, maintain a close relationship for training or for the exchange of personnel with JSOC for direct action missions [see JMM endnote], since the Special Forces personnel must be expert in the teaching of direct action operations. Difficult ? Not really, if we are serious as a nation to exploit this capability to the maximum, and not have this capability overshadowed by those who are most interested in large tank and artillery battles, the fastest jets, the biggest bombs, or carrier battle groups. Considering what our nation has experienced since WW II and, particularly, this past decade, we should plot a new and different direction to greatly improve our ability to successfully conduct or prevent limited/irregular warfare. By taking a new, bold direction and separating this critical capability from the present overgrown civilian and military defense structure, it could gain the emphasis and priority needed to greatly expand its usefulness to this nationís foreign policy.

As an armchair civilian observer, who has no dog in the fight, I tend to favor the proposal. That is said with the realization that it is very "futuristic" (hard to see it adopted). I fully recognize the presence now and into the future of rice bowls and venal politicians - as well as hosts of chattering classes.

That being said, what of the substantive merits and demerits of MG Scholes' proposal ?

Comments please


Note: MG Scholes would handle JSOC as follows:

From the beginning of the global war on terror (GWOT), direct action operations have been the priority for the special operations forces for many reasons. Not the least of which has been the demand at all levels for rapid results. While many of these direct actions were necessary, such a priority and limited strategy ignores many of the other causes of insurgencies. The direct action missions should continue to be the priority of the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), formed to accomplish those missions, and this commander should have permanent operational control of all the supporting units he requires for his worldwide mission(s). This command should be under the direct control of the National Command Authority, and placed under the operational control of the combatant commanders only when required.