|Unconventional Warfare vs. Direct Action: A Comparative Analysis
By Terrance Jones ARNG/U.S. Navy
?I remember reading that Colonel Aaron Bank warned about this when SF was first formed. He was concerned that SF would be used as a commando force when so much more could be accomplished by using them as a force multiplier.?
Such a statement should be followed by a proper reference so that readers can properly reconcile the comments with the context and intentions of the one making the comments. Assuming that the comments were made by Colonel Bank, one must realize that he made the comments in a post World War II era where the strategic and tactical proficiency of America?s conventional forces were unparalleled. This reality relegated SF missions to guerrilla warfare parameters of warfighting at strategic points of intervention. Also, many would suggest that SF soldiers are world class commandos (critical/essential mission junkies) in addition to being warrior diplomats.
?U.S. special Operations Command must not allow a focus on ?direct action? missions to kill or capture enemies to overwhelm its responsibility for the more ?indirect? methods associatied with unconventional warfare, a panel of experts warned Congress on June 29. ?This struggle is more than the global manhunt, it?s more than the direct action piece, it?s more than combat,? retired Army Gen. Wayne Downing, a former SOCOM chief, told the House Armed Services subcommittee on terrorism, unconventional threats and capabilities.?
Unconventional Warfare vs. Direct Action
Sean D. Naylor
The assertions contained in the above comments are thoroughly refuted by modern theatre occurrences that have greatly increased the necessity for and requirements for an expanded role for SF soldiers in all elements of warfighting. These comments fail to articulate the fact that the limited definition of force multiplier has evolved also in direct continuity with the changes that have increased the need for SF participation in direct action conflicts. Please note the following
Historical Precedence of Special Forces Force Multiplier Role in Warfighting
Initially, one or two SF operators were trained and tasked with training a battalion sized element of indigenous forces for guerrilla conflicts in divergent regions across the globe. However, modern times have dictated that this manner of force projection is not enough to neutralize and decisively defeat America?s primary enemies and competitors around the world. This is due in large part to the evolution of the foreign policies of America?s enemies in varying regions that have united several regions under the premise of dangerous doctrines like Communism and Islamic fundamentalism. These two doctrines are the prevailing threats to democracy and world peace, as they have developed conventional and unconventional proprietors for proxy war provocations on their behalf spanning across every region of the globe. The current war on terrorism along with the recent rise in proliferation based threats can be traced to the concerted efforts of contingents who represent both doctrines. For those who doubt the threats posed by communism and Islamic fundamentalism, the following assessment from the Korean War should give us a historical look at what can be achieved by an undeterred communist North Korea with terrorist affiliations in addition to a nuclear weapons arsenal:
?to lend validity to this sudden revision, General MacArthur re-emphasized his growing respect for the North Korean Army. He credited the North Korean Army and its employment as being as good "as any seen at any time in the last war." Enemy infantry was first class. There were unmistakable signs of Soviet leadership and technical guidance and of Chinese Communist participation. The attack could no longer be viewed as an indigenous North Korean military effort. "To date," he admitted, "our efforts against his armor and mechanized forces have been ineffective." This failure, galling as it was, was not the fault of the fighting men "Our own troops," he. pointed out, "are fulfilling expectations and are fighting with valor against overwhelming odds of more than ten to one."  This appeal to Washington for an additional army of four divisions climaxed a series of detailed requests for men and units and marked the upper limit of MacArthur's requests for Korea.?
Emergency Conditions, Emergency Measures Chapter V
General Douglas MacArthur http://www.army.mil/CMH-PG/books/pd-c-05.htm
Modern Necessity for Special Forces Role in Force Multiplier Initiatives
It is essential that we remember that both indirect and direct action initiatives need the benefit of Special Forces force?s participation, as force multiplier initiatives cover both areas of warfighting. Theoretically, those who wish to see Special Forces remain constrained to their original role in warfighting initiatives, forget t