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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Mar 2006

    Default Interests in common: Should China join the Global SOF Network?

    Thanks to a Twitter tip for a RAND podcast 'China:The Reluctant Partner' which advocates that China (PRC) becomes a partner against terrorism and piracy:

    Their precis:
    U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) has developed and put forth its Global SOF Network vision, which calls for a distributed overseas posture for Special Operations Forces (SOF). There's a high probability that the establishment of a U.S. Global SOF Network will reinforce Beijing's extreme insecurities about Washington's intentions towards China, and heighten Chinese perceptions of enhanced US military encirclement capabilities. However, if China is invited to partner with U.S. SOF, this may alter Chinese thinking on military cooperation. While there is likely to be significant initial reluctance in Beijing, there may be considerable receptiveness to active cooperation in counterterrorism and counterpiracy activities. This video podcast is based on research for USSOCOM that is not available to the general public.
    Clearly such a partnership is problematic and requires a political / policy decision.

    For the Beijing Olympics counter-terrorism assistance was reportedly provided beforehand by Australia and some EU members (France, Germany and the UK come to mind).

    China already plays a role in countering piracy in the Indian Ocean, although it retains national control. For a host of reasons the PRC has engaged in the multi-national co-ordination centre (located in the Gulf, in Bahrain or Dubai IIRC).

    Now whether the PRC already has a SOF Capability beyond its borders and adjacent seas is a moot point. I know one "lurker" who doubts it.

    How would China respond to say a kidnapping of VIPs in Africa, where it has no capability to act, whilst others - not its existing allies and friends - do have?

    Aside: RAND has an extensive publications on the SOF theme at:
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 08-14-2014 at 11:34 PM.

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