Small Wars Journal

special operations

Joint Special Operations University: JSOU Research Topics 2022

Wed, 07/14/2021 - 1:42pm


The Special Operations Research Topics 2022 publication highlights a wide range of topics collaboratively developed and prioritized by experts throughout the Special Operations Forces (SOF) community. The topics in these pages are intended to guide research projects for Joint Professional Military Education students, JSOU faculty and students, and others writing about special operations during this academic year. This research will provide a better understanding of complex issues and opportunities for growth, and contribute to the evolution of the way SOF leaders think.

Irregular Warfare Podcast: Back to the Future - Resetting Special Operations Forces for Great Power Competition

Mon, 07/05/2021 - 12:19pm

An interview with Michèle Flournoy, former USD-P, and Admiral (Ret.) Eric Olson, former USSOCOM commander


The Honorable Michèle Flournoy is the cofounder and managing partner of WestExec Advisors. She previously served as the under secretary of defense for policy in the Obama administration from 2009 to 2012, where she played a key role in formulating US strategy and policies that impacted SOF. Michèle is also the cofounder, and served as the chief executive officer, of the Center for a New American Security, a DC-based think tank.

Retired Admiral Eric Thor Olson was the eighth commander of United States Special Operations Command. Eric is a highly decorated Navy SEAL officer, having been awarded both a Silver Star and a Bronze Star for Valor, and was the first Navy SEAL appointed to the ranks of three-star and four-star admiral. At the time of his retirement, he was the longest-serving SEAL in the military.

Modern War Institute Podcast: Special Operations Forces in the High North

Fri, 04/02/2021 - 9:54pm

A conversation with Col. Brian Rauen and Capt. Barrett Martin from 10th Special Forces Group and Dr. Ryan Burke of Project 6633


"The US Army’s Special Forces groups are largely oriented toward specific regions, and 10th Group has a particular focus on Europe—which means they have a natural organizational interest in the Arctic region. Last year, Capt. Martin led a team that went to the high northern latitudes in Europe to train alongside Norwegian and Swedish forces. He shares some of what his team learned during that experience, and Col. Rauen talks about why the Arctic is an area of growing importance for 10th Group. They also discuss some of the especially unique challenges posed to special operations forces working in such an extreme environment.

10th Group and Project 6633 have also partnered to host an essay contest, inviting submissions that address the question of how American special operations forces can compete with near-peer adversaries in the polar regions. If you’re interested in entering the contest, you can find more details here."

JSOU Quick Look: Cyber Fundamentals for SOF

Sat, 03/20/2021 - 1:21pm



"Cyberspace operations extend the reach, agility, pace and effectiveness of SOF when fully integrated into doc-trine, training, planning and execution. For example, foreign internal defense requires cyber-enabled opera-tion off the grid and detection of adversary activity to enable partner response. In contrast, unconventional warfare needs ways for resistance movements to make its own equipment and that can happen with cyber-en-abled 3-D printing.All SOF core activities can be cyber enabled. However, for each core activity SOF needs different cyber-enabled capabilities to secure these benefits."

SOF News: Special Operations News Update – Monday, March 8, 2021

Tue, 03/09/2021 - 6:18pm



A roundup of news stories related to Special Operations from the past week.

Topics include:

-SOCOM as a service?

-House Subcommittee on Intelligence and Special Operations

-Afghan Special Security Forces

-U.S.-Proxy Relations

-Airstrike Oversight

SOF News: Special Operations News Update – Tuesday February 16, 2021

Wed, 02/17/2021 - 7:19pm

Full Post:

Topics Include:

-Possible retirement of the Navy's Mk VI Small Boats

-Belgian SF gender mixed unit capabilities

-SOF History

-Ireland looking at a Resistance Operating Concept

-The Small Wars Journal Article "Building Partner Capacity is Great Power Competition"


-And much more