Members of the Special Operations Forces (SOF) are entrusted with various operations, including but not limited to frontline combat and terrorist operations, the liberation of hostages, provision of humanitarian assistance, and much more. But should traditional, straight-forward force be the core of SOF?
The United States Special Operations Command (USSCOM), with its head office located at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Fla., is responsible for coordinating the operations of the incredibly competent and frequently undercover organization of military soldiers who are deployed all over the world.
With its history of triumph on the battlefield, SOF has been a subject of theories about whether the forces generate the so-called “fog of war” or it ultimately conducts “military statecraft.” This leads to the theory of SOF, which crafts a functional design that works to its advantage for succeeding operations and ensures the strengthening of its forces against potential risks.
These objectives suggest the primary components needed by SOF to radicalize their victory through a realistic design that enforces well-equipped troops, trained, and resolutely led armies to avoid the generation of “fog of war” from their side. In addition, SOF members receive training, education, and a skill set that is unparalleled in the military, allowing them to obscure the view of the opposing commander and influence their judgment to the point where it causes “operational paralysis.”
The 19th-century Military Theorists Carl von Clausewitz wrote in his famous piece, On War:
“The great uncertainty of all data in war is a peculiar difficulty, because all action must, to a certain extent, be planned in a mere twilight, which in addition not infrequently — like the effect of a fog or moonshine — gives to things exaggerated dimensions and unnatural appearance.”
According to this concept, the fog of war is thought to be caused by special operations forces carrying out missions and operations outside the purview of the public eye.
Multi-Domain Operational Design and Approach
Multi-Domain Operational Design and Approach
The Multi-Domain Operational Design and Approach focuses on three facets: Offensive Action, Support, and Financial Disruption. These are aimed at influencing the leadership and the forces accompanying it. The population from whom the enemy pulls its troops, whether by force or choice, is called the host population. They provide the financial and economic resources necessary to maintain the military.
The enemy should be considered the centric Line of Operation or Effort in which human and technical assets, resources, and sources are employed to “exploit” the enemy’s location, organization, plans, and TTPs (tactics, techniques, and procedures). Offensive action uses available forces, not simply conventional military operations (Military, Governmental, and Commercial). So, theoretically, SOF planners and strategists should not limit Offensive Actions to military activities only. Ultimately, the purpose is to paralyze the enemy’s decision-making.
The active and passive supporters who give recruitment and resources are impacted by actions and efforts to erode the enemy’s faith and convert them towards neutrality.
This can be done by keeping the population, protecting civilians, creating economic opportunities, developing or repairing facilities, and assuring partner troops respect their populace.
This strategy contradicts the conventional understanding of the military’s role in society because it depends more on “soft power” than “hard power.” Statecraft is more applicable to special operations forces experts and operator dynamics than conventional warfare is, but modern warfare requires unconventional thinking and approach.
Lastly, financial disruption:
This concept elucidates the enemy’s survival ability through exodus, international donations, and state funding. Friendly nations and the Partner Nation must develop and implement this technique so the enemy cannot restore captured or damaged equipment and sustain military and propaganda activities.
Even while Special Operations Forces are working to improve partner capacity and train, advise, assist, and accompany operations, we must understand that these lines of operations need to be carried out as quickly and efficiently as possible. SOF’s effectiveness in its approach should be grounded on stable financial backing.
Getting Started with Multi-domain Ops
The first thing that needs to be done to carry out Special Operations Forces Operational Design successfully is to concentrate on the intel and information that genuinely articulates the Operational Environment and the method of Joint Planning.
The SOF planner is responsible for comprehending and accurately determining the “Centers of Gravity.” As argued in the report, deciding where the enemy’s center of gravity is critical.
The approach also notes that in today’s conflicts, special operations forces often find themselves pitted against an adversary whose tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) are designed not to monopolize “key terrain” or to overpower and kill the enemy in large-scale conventional maneuvers,” but rather to decimate and bring down the “pillars of the state” to achieve a decisive win.
Therefore, the terrain comprises the people, which includes both passive and active supporters, and the rural or urban ground over which it travels and operates. Ultimately, SOFs should be given access to information and intelligence as well as recruits and weapons, but most importantly, they need finance.