Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
2Activity
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
GOVT 498 Mullikin Paper

GOVT 498 Mullikin Paper

Ratings: (0)|Views: 1,553|Likes:
Published by Andrew Mullikin

More info:

Published by: Andrew Mullikin on Aug 11, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

08/11/2012

pdf

text

original

 
 
T
IP OF THE
S
PEAR
:PLA Special Operations Forces
Figure1:Asoldierfromthe"SharpSwordofSouthernChina"SOFunitduringatrainingexercise.
Andrew MullikinPrepared for: Dr. Philip Karber, Georgetown University2012.05.10
 
Mullikin1
Thehighestformofgeneralshipistobalktheenemy'splans
1
SunTsu
I. Introduction
Specialoperationsforces(SOF)arepresentinthemajorityoftheworld’sfinestmilitaries,fromAmericanSpecialForcesODAsandNavySEALplatoonstotheBritishSASRegimentandtheKoreanSpecialForcesBrigades.Theirtrainingregimes,individualmembers’highdegreeofself-motivation,andunconventionalmissionsetdistinguishalloftheseunits.InhisthesisonthePeople’sLiberationArmy(PLA)specialoperationsforcesfortheNavalPostgraduateSchool,SmithdescribesthecommonthreadswoventhroughallSOF,writing:[T]hevisualimageandunderstandingofdedicatedSOFremainspredictablyuniform.DedicatedSOF
usuallyoperateinrelativelysmallunits
thatcanachievewithafewwhatconventionalforcesmightnotbeableorwillingwithmany;dedicatedSOFare
composedofhighly-trained,skilledandmotivatedoperatorswhounderwentgrueling‘rightsofpassage’togainadmissionintotheirparticularunits
andoftenoperatewithoutthebenefitsofexternalsupport;dedicatedSOFusuallygetthebestmosthigh-techequipmentandweaponsthattheircountriescanoffer,butarefullycapableofworkingthelow-techendofthespectrum;dedicatedSOF
operatorsarephysically,mentallyandspirituallytougherthanmostandareassignedthemostdifficultanddangerousmissionstoaccomplish,oftenwithinenemy-controlledterritory,soareusuallyconsideredthe‘elite’oftheirrespectivemilitaryservices
.
2
[Emphasisadded.]Essentially,allspecialoperationsunitsareconstitutedandtrainedtoactasboththevanguardofaconventionalfightingforceandareliable,readilydeployableforcefor
1
SunTsu,ArtofWar,(Gilestranslation;London,UK:BritishMuseum,1910)at<http://www.textfiles.com/etext/NONFICTION/suntx10.txt>[Accessed:2012.05.10]
2
XavierG.Smith,SpecialOperationsForcesinthePeople’sLiberationArmyandtheDevelopmentofanIntegralUnconventionalWarfareMission
 
,
NavalPostgraduateSchool 
,June2005,p.1.
 
Mullikin2unconventionaloperations.InkeepingwiththeSunTsuquoteabove,specialoperationsunitsaretrainedtodisrupttheenemy’splans,actingasaforcemultiplieroncomplexbattlefields.Yet,despitetheirreputationforsuperiortrainingandbattlefieldefficacy,SOFhaveonlyrecentlybeenincorporatedintomajorstrategicmilitaryoperationswithintheUSdefenseestablishment;priortotheSeptember11
th
,2001attacks,specialoperationsunitswereusuallydisdainedbyhighercommand,theleadersofwhichweregenerallydrawnfromconventionalforcesthatfound“operators”undisciplinedandlackingasufficientmilitarybearing.AllofthischangedduringtheUSengagementsinIraqandAfghanistan,asSOFfoundtheirskillshighlysought-afterinconflictsthatrequiredunconventionalmeanstoachievetacticalgoalsinanasymmetricenvironment.AsAmericanspecialoperationsunitshavebecomemorefrequentlyutilized,theirstatuswithintheoverallUSmilitaryhasexpandedsignificantly,tothepointthatPresidentObama’smostrecentnationalsecuritystrategyexplicitlycallsforanincreaseinthenumberofSOFunitsdespitecutsintheDepartmentofDefense’sbudgetandinthenumberofconventionaltroopsemployedbytheUSmilitary.Warfareisrapidlyevolving,andLindandhiscoauthorsattheMarineCorpsGazettewerecorrectwhentheywrote:“Thefourthgenerationbattlefieldislikelytoincludethewholeoftheenemy’ssociety…[requiring]eventhelowestlevel[ofmilitaryunits]tooperateflexiblyonthebasisofthecommander’sintent.”
3
Specialoperationsforcesarecapableofthatautonomy,andtheyarerapidlybecomingcriticaltoolsinmodernwarfare.ThePLAappearstohavetakennoticeofthisshiftintheparadigmsofwar.Attheendofthe1980s,theChineseleadershipinBeijingrecognizedthewaningutilityofa“people’swar”strategyandbegantodevelopanewconceptof“localwarsunderhigh-techconditions,”inwhichsmaller,better-equippedandmorehighly-trainedforceswerebelievedtohaveagreaterimpactonbattlefieldsuccessthan
3
WilliamLind,et.al.“FourthGenerationWarfare”MarineCorpsGazette1989.10,p.23.

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
scribd
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->