Special Forces Doctrine for Counternarcotics Operations   [open pdf - 2MB]

From the thesis abstract: "This monograph addresses the suitability of Special Forces doctrine for their primary wartime missions of Special Reconnaissance, Direct Action, and Foreign Internal Defense when considered for application in counternarcotics operations. This study is motivated by the continuing threat to national security presented by illegal drug trafficking and the increased role of the United States military requested by the people of the United States through their congressional representatives. A significant part of the military contribution to the so-called 'war on drugs' is being provided by U. S. Army Special Forces. This study begins with an analysis of the National Drug Control Strategy to derive what the tactical counternarcotics missions for Special Forces could be. The missions are related in terms of the primary wartime mission described by current U. S. Army doctrine for Special Forces Operations. The Army Counternarcotics Plan is analyzed to determine the constraints and restraints imposed on the mission by public laws and DoD resources. The capabilities for each mission are analyzed and then compared to an application in counternarcotics operations. The analysis of each mission evaluates how each mission recognizes political and diplomatic sensitivities, facilitates interagency activities in an affected country, and balances 'security of operations' with the operational tenet of synchronization. The study concludes that the doctrine for each mission is suitable when applied to counternarcotics operations only if law enforcement is not the purpose for interdiction. The study finds that each mission can accomplishes the tasks required for counternarcotics operations, except when called upon to perform law enforcement duties. The study finds the application of Special Forces in a Foreign Internal Defense mission to be most suitable for defeating drug trafficking when it is viewed as an insurgency."

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