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The Professional Bulletin of Army Special Operations

Conflict With China: Prospects, Consequences and Strategies for Deterrence

Conflict With China: Prospects, Consequences and Strategies for DeterrenceOver the next 20 years, China’s gross domestic product and defense budget could exceed those of the United States.1 If it chose, China could therefore become a more capable opponent than either the Soviet Union or Nazi Germany at their peak. Yet China is seeking neither territorial aggrandizement nor ideological sway over its neighbors. It shows no interest in matching U.S. military expenditures, achieving a comparable global reach or assuming defense commitments beyond its immediate periphery.

JSOTF-P Uses Whole-Of-Nation Approach to Bring Stability to the Philippines

JSOTF-P Uses Whole-Of-Nation Approach to Bring Stability to the PhilippinesSince the introduction of U.S. forces in the southern Philippines in 2002, service members with the Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines have supported the Philippine military and police, with particular emphasis on the Government of the Republic of the Philippines’ counterterrorism efforts. These combined efforts have resulted in a significant degradation of transnational and locally inspired terrorist groups such as Jemaah Islamiyah and the Abu Sayyaf Group, and created a region largely inhospitable to terrorists.

Continuity in the Chinese Mind for War

Continuity in the Chinese Mind for WarAfter a decade of large land-power campaigns in southwest Asia and the U.S. Central Command’s area of operations , the national defense guidance Sustaining U.S. Global Leadership: Priorities for the 21st Century (2012) has directed that the U.S. security focus “…will of necessity rebalance toward the Asia-Pacific region…” and the U.S. Pacific Command area of operations.1 “Shock and awe” and large-scale counterinsurgency will diminish in favor of Asian partner engagement and theater shaping backed up by air-sea battle.

The Challenge of China and ARSOF's Role

The Challenge of China and ARSOF's RoleChina looms large, not just in the minds of leaders and the foreign-policy community in America, but also in Asia and around the globe. While China’s economy has grown remarkably over the last two decades, its long-term strategic intentions remain unclear. As the collapse of the Soviet Union, Japan’s previously predicted economic supremacy and the Arab Spring demonstrate, strategic forecasting is a tricky business.

Leaning to All Sides: What the U.S. May Learn from Chinese Political Warfare in Burma

Leaning to All Sides: What the U.S. May Learn from Chinese Political Warfare in BurmaBurma today is a country with little public infrastructure, institutions or civil society. Fractures and fissures within the society are widespread: between the military junta and the ethnic hill tribes, the junta and the general populace, the hill tribes and the general populace and amongst the hill tribes themselves. In political circumstances such as this, the United States has generally followed the same policy formula: non-military pressure through economic sanctions coupled with incessant calls for democratic changes ...

The Chinese People's Liberation Army and Special Operations

The Chinese People's Liberation Army and Special OperationsSince the end of the first Gulf War in 1991, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army has steadily evolved its view of how future wars will be fought. Where the PLA had originally expected to fight with massed air, land and sea forces in “local wars under modern conditions,” it shifted, first to preparing for “local wars under modern, high-tech conditions,” and now “local wars under informationized conditions,” where quality and technology play an ever greater role.

Real Results: Military Partnerships in the Philippines

Real Results: Military Partnerships in the PhilippinesIn the May-June 2010 edition of Foreign Affairs, the former Secretary of Defense, Robert M. Gates, wrote an article entitled “Helping Others Defend Themselves,” wherein he emphasized that “the effectiveness and credibility of the U.S. will only be as good as the effectiveness, credibility and sustainability of its local partners.” He also wrote that, “well-integrated training and assistance efforts can achieve real results.”

Grains of Truth: The Role of the Civil-Military Support Element in Special Operations

Grains of Truth: The Role of the Civil-Military Support Element in Special OperationsThe recently published national defense strategic guidance states, “Whenever possible, we will develop innovative, low-cost, and small-footprint approaches to achieve our security objectives, relying on exercises, rotational presence, and advisory capabilities.1 Small, flexible and centripetal forces by nature, special-operations Civil Affairs teams fit the bill for this strategy.

THIS issue

July - September 2012
Volume 25 | Issue 3

Special Warfare cover, January-March 2012

career notes


  → Enlisted → ARSOF
  → Warrant → Articles
  → Officer → Admin

From the commandant

Maj. Gen. Bennet SacolickWhile the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have preoccupied much of the Army’s — and the media’s — time and attention over the past 11 years, it has been easy to overlook the fact that Army Special Operations Forces have been conducting very significant operations in support of our nation’s defense in regions all over the world.

On Jan. 5, we were reminded of that fact when the new National Defense Strategy was announced. The new strategy rebalances the nation’s global posture and presence by placing a greater emphasis on operations in the Pacific. This makes sense.

The Pacific realm is home to more than 3.4 billion people and encompasses about half the earth’s surface. The region, though plagued with many of the same problems we’ve seen in Afghanistan and Iraq — violent extremist organizations trying to disrupt the governance of many countries — has been something of a stabilizing influence in the world. The new strategy points to the fact that the region is growing in importance to the United States in terms of our economy and national security, and puts a premium on the use of forces that can build capacity in our partners and allies.

(Continued)