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Published by Trevor Thrasher

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Published by: Trevor Thrasher on Jun 16, 2012
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Special Warfare
The Professional Bulletin of the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School
PB 80042December 2004Vol. 17, No. 2
From the Commandant
Special Warfare
With the rise of insurgent activitiesaround the world in countries like Iraq,theUnited States has a renewed interest in therequirements of conducting counterinsur-gency.Insurgency is not a new phenomenon:Examples of insurgencies can be foundthroughout history and in various parts of the world.Even today,there are insurgen-cies occurring in Africa,Latin America,Indonesia,Iraq and the Philippines.While each insurgency is different and mustbe countered in different ways,they all sharecommon characteristics.The foremost of thoseis the importance of popular support —whether it’s in actual physical support or bylack of interference from the population — tothe success of the insurgents.The insurgentsdo not have to convince the populace thatthey are right,rather they have to convincethem that the government cannot,or willnot,meet their basic needs.Thus,counterin-surgency becomes less of a military operationand more of a political one.Failure to under-stand this key difference leads to militaryleaders making sound military decisions,butultimately poor political ones,which onlyhelps the insurgents.This is where the training of special opera-tions Soldiers becomes important,and makesthem a key component of any counterinsur-gency operation.The quiet professionals thatmake up the special-operations brotherhoodare not only skilled in military operations —they are Soldier statesmen.Their uniquetraining equips them with the skills needed tofight in the shadows and to bring light to themurky area of insurgency.We see that todayin Iraq,and it was proven in El Salvador.Salvadoran officials and insurgents alikecredited the presence of Special Forces advis-ers with the Salvadoran army as the mostdamaging factor to the insurgency in El Sal- vador.SF Soldiers are language-trained,regional experts skilled at working by,withand through indigenous forces to accomplishtheir mission.Civil Affairs Soldiers can assistgovernments besieged by insurgent activityin building or rebuilding its infrastructureand in providing essential services to its peo-ple.Psychological Operations Soldiers canquell rumors and propaganda by disseminat-ing true information that helps restore thepeople’s faith in their government.When SF,CA and PSYOP are coupled with the othercomponents of SOF,the combination is a trulypowerful and unique capability.If current operations are an indication,thedemand for counterinsurgency operationswill only grow,as will the need for Soldierswith both the military and political skills tooperate in this joint,interagency and multi-national environment.At SWCS,we mustprovide doctrine that includes lessons notonly from history but also from current oper-ations,and we must train our Soldiers tounderstand,assess and counter the insur-gent movements they will face as special-operations Soldiers.
Major General James W.Parker
Cover: Special Forces Soldiers patrol an area of Baghdad in support of Operation IraqiFreedom. (ARNEWS photo by Jeremy T. Luck)
PB 80–04–2
December 2004Special WarfareVol. 17, No. 2
Commander & Commandant
Major General James W. Parker
Jerry D. Steelman
Associate Editor
Janice L. Burton
Graphics & Design
Bruce S. Barfield
 Special Warfare
is an authorized,official quarterly of theUnited States Army John F.Kennedy Special WarfareCenter and School,Fort Bragg,North Carolina.Its missionis to promote the professional development of special-operations forces by providing a forum for the examinationof established doctrine and new ideas. Views expressed herein are those of the authors and donot necessarily reflect official Army position.Thispublication does not supersede any information presentedin other official Army publications. Articles,photos,artwork and letters are invited andshould be addressed to Editor,
 Special Warfare
,USAJFKSWCS,Fort Bragg,NC 28310.Telephone:DSN239-5703,commercial (910) 432-5703,fax -3147.
reserves the right to edit all material.Published works may be reprinted,except wherecopyrighted,provided credit is given to
 Special Warfare
and the authors.Official distribution is limited to active and reservespecial-operations units.Individuals desiring privatesubscriptions should forward their requests to:Superintendent of Documents,U.S.GovernmentPrinting Office,Washington,D.C.20402.
is also available on the USASOC internal web(https:asociweb.soc.mil/swcs/dotd/sw-mag/sw-mag.htm).
By Order of the Secretary of the Army:
Peter J. Schoomaker
General, United States ArmyChief of Staff 
Joel B. Hudson
 Administrative Assistant to theSecretary of the Army
Headquarters, Department of the Army

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