Special Operations News Update 20170727

SOF Range Firing
SOF Range Firing. Photo credit USSOCOM June 18, 2017.

SOF News Update 20170727 – SOCOM stuck in Afghanistan, Romania’s Joint Special Operations (SOF) Headquarters, SF teammate describes Jordan attack, reforming foreign assistance, U.S. SOF and Raqqa, SOF fighting terror in Africa, 5th SFGA’s “Blue Light”, SOF and SFA, Ireland’s Army Ranger Wing, and more.

SOCOM Stuck in Afghanistan. The United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) has mission requirements around the world yet many of its SOF units are stuck in the never-ending conflict in Afghanistan. Read more in “SOCOM Is In a Prison of Its Own Making“, Task and Purpose, July 25, 2017.

SF Team Member Recounts How 3 SF Were Killed in Jordan. A member of the 5th Special Forces Group team that was ambushed by a Jordanian gate guard resulting in three dead Green Berets tells his story of what happened. See “U.S. Soldier Who Survived Shootout in Jordan Tells His Story“, The New York Times, July 25, 2017.

5th SFGA’s “Blue Light”. The predecessor to Delta Force was Blue Light – an interim counterterrorism unit within Special Forces to handle CT missions until Delta came up to speed. Read “This long-forgotten unit was the direct predecessor to Delta Force”We Are the Mighty, July 25, 2017.

SOF and SFA. Does it work? How effective are U.S. special operations forces in conducting the Security Force Assistance (SFA) mission in places like Afghanistan and Africa? Stephen Biddle, a Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at George Washington University, is interviewed on this topic. See “The U.S. and Africa: A Misalignment of Security Interests”The Cipher Brief, July 26, 2017.

Ireland’s Army Ranger Wing Gets Bigger Role. The military special forces of Ireland is getting a bigger role in responding to the threat of international terrorism. This will involve working more closely with the Irish Emergency Response Unit (ERU). Read “Army Ranger Wing to get higher anti-terrorist profile”The Irish Times, July 26, 2017.

U.S. SOF and Raqqa. The U.S. is actively advising, assisting, training, and equipping the Syrian Democratic Front (SDF) in its fight against the Islamic State in the Raqqa, Syria area of operations. This is putting U.S. SOF on the frontlines. Read more in “US Special Operators Are Moving Closer to the Fighting in Raqqa”The Drive, July 20, 2017.

Reforming Foreign Assistance. The military takes a leading role in defeating terrorism and insurgents around the world in places like Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen. Yet many counterinsurgent experts would tell you that security is just part of the solution. Eradicating the root causes of terrorism and insurgency is found in capability of aiding progress in the areas of governance and development. This is where the ‘whole of government’ approach is needed. However, there is need for reform in the organizations that deliver this capability. Read more in Reforming and Reorganizing U.S. Foreign Assistance, Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS), July 24, 2017.

US SOF are Fighting Terrorism in Africa. SOCAfrica is averaging about 100 activities in 20 countries in Africa with about 1,700 people at any given time. Read more in “U.S. Special Operations Forces: Taking the Fight to Terror in Africa”The Cipher Brief, July 26, 2017.

Romania’s Joint SOF HQs. Romania is moving ahead with its establishment of its special operations forces. It is inviting in 10th SFGA and a small contingent of contractors to re-vamp its special operations training pipeline. In addition, it is standing up its Joint Special Operations Forces (SOF) Headquarters. Read more in “Being First Matters”Global SOF Foundation, July 25, 2017.

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SOF News provides news, analysis, commentary, and information about special operations forces (SOF) from around the world.