How Do SOF Contribute to Comprehensive Deterrence?   [open pdf - 956KB]

From the Foreword: "In this monograph, Robert Haddick argues that deterrence continues to serve as a means of addressing security challenges from both state and non-state actors, as the nuclear threat of the Cold War has been superseded by terrorism, cyber and 'hybrid' warfare, and other gray zone dangers. He explains how U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF) can contribute to the concept of comprehensive deterrence[.] [...] In this concise monograph, the author argues that SOF use their skills, capabilities, and relationships to provide planners and policymakers a unique deterrence tool. Mr. Haddick first provides a brief overview of deterrence theory as a baseline for presenting his viewpoints on this neglected special operations role. He then presents a case study that effectively highlights how U.S. adversaries have adapted their tactics to exploit gaps in our current deterrence framework, thwarting or bypassing our legacy deterrence structure. Examples offered by case studies of al-Qaeda, Iran, Russia, and China illustrate how hostile actors or rivals have adroitly circumvented our deterrence capabilities. Finally, he offers insight into the ways in which SOF capabilities can be of value in bridging these gaps by providing discrete, coercive leverage in ways that incur less risk and lower costs than more conventional approaches."

Report Number:
JSOU Report 17-11: Joint Special Operations University Report 17-11
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
United States Special Operations Command Library: https://jsou.libguides.com/
Media Type:
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