Role of Air Force Special Operations in Foreign Internal Defense   [open pdf - 1MB]

From the thesis abstract: "Current trends in the international political arena, combined with fiscal constraints at home, are pointing toward a significant change in US defense policy. With the drawdown of conventional forces and forward deployed units, US defense interests abroad will increasingly rely on the armed forces of other nations. As witnessed in the recent Persian Gulf crisis, maintenance of vital US strategic interests hinges upon the development of social, economic, political, and military institutions favorable tc nur [sic] foreign policy objectives. The overall military role in this effort is termed foreign internal defense (FID). As a primary mission of the US Special Operations Command. FID is also an integral part of future USAF [United States Air Force] special operations endeavors. The USAF plays a significant role in FID by providing analysis and training in operations, maintenance, and logistical support to host-nation forces. This paper focuses on emerging operational requirements and whether or not these requirements necessitate the development and institutionalization of a structure within the Air Force Special Operations Command to develop, execute, and monitor Air Force efforts in foreign internal defense. Because the nature of confrontations most often associated with internal defense fall under the rubric of 'low-intensity conflict,' the question of maintaining an organic capability to train in counterinsurgency and guerrilla warfare is also addressed."

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