The Professional Bulletin of Army Special Operations

Defining Warfare

The official, approved definitions pertaining to the missions, tasks and activities conducted by Army special-operations forces, or ARSOF, are clear and unambiguous. They provide crisp and practical distillations that denote what ARSOF does. They provide a command azimuth for negotiating the hazards of a larger conceptual environment — an environment made more challenging by a dense conceptual fog.The official, approved definitions pertaining to the missions, tasks and activities conducted by Army special-operations forces, or ARSOF, are clear and unambiguous. They provide crisp and practical distillations that denote what ARSOF does. They provide a command azimuth for negotiating the hazards of a larger conceptual environment — an environment made more challenging by a dense conceptual fog.

Special Operations as a Warfighting Function

SOF have played and will continue to play a major role in all facets of military operations, and it is imperative that all military leaders and planners understand SOF's capabilities and limitations. The challenges posed in recruiting, training and employing large forces that can operate in a manner similar to SOF are many and will not be addressed in this article. The author of this article understands that the necessity to understand special operations is in no way limited to the Army, but the article will address Army doctrine only, in order to address and foster discussion on the inclusion of special operations into the Army's warfighting functions, or WfFs.SOF have played and will continue to play a major role in all facets of military operations, and it is imperative that all military leaders and planners understand SOF's capabilities and limitations. The challenges posed in recruiting, training and employing large forces that can operate in a manner similar to SOF are many and will not be addressed in this article. The author of this article understands that the necessity to understand special operations is in no way limited to the Army, but the article will address Army doctrine only, in order to address and foster discussion on the inclusion of special operations into the Army's warfighting functions, or WfFs.

The Future of MISO

A review of PSYOP's history; taking a brief look at definitions; showing the relationships of PSYOP to public affairs, or PA; information operations, or IO, and public diplomacy, or PD; and suggesting new ways we might think about PSYOP. Although PSYOP has been repeatedly misunderstood and misrepresented, MISO, as a means of informing and influencing foreign audiences, is as relevant in peace as in war and is vital to our nation's defense. This discussion is intended to create a dialogue that may generate solutions to the unresolved issues and serve as the beginning of a more comprehensive definition of MISO as a force and capability. A review of PSYOP's history; taking a brief look at definitions; showing the relationships of PSYOP to public affairs, or PA; information operations, or IO, and public diplomacy, or PD; and suggesting new ways we might think about PSYOP. Although PSYOP has been repeatedly misunderstood and misrepresented, MISO, as a means of informing and influencing foreign audiences, is as relevant in peace as in war and is vital to our nation's defense. This discussion is intended to create a dialogue that may generate solutions to the unresolved issues and serve as the beginning of a more comprehensive definition of MISO as a force and capability.

THIS issue

January-February 2011
Volume 24 | Issue 1

Special Warfare, January-February 2011

From the commandant

Maj. Gen. Bennet SacolickPart of our vision of making the JFK Special Warfare Center and School a world-class training center is to develop innovative, relevant doctrine, informed by insightful future concepts. That part of the vision is equally as important as the skills and training that we provide, because doctrine drives our training. We must achieve consistency in our understanding of terms, definitions and functions in order for special-operations forces to perform at their full capacities within the Army and the Department of Defense.

(Continued)