Special Operations News Update 20180430

Two man sniper team at Basic Sniper Course of International Special Training Center, Hohenfels, Germany.

SOF News Update 20180430 – ARSOUTH’s DISE, CANSOF on violent subcultures, OSS sabotage brew, French SOF in Syria, Green Beret dies in Papua New Guinea, SOCOM’s WMD mission, OSS coffee, Horse Soldier bourbon, Derna Bridge, INSCOM, IGAD CT Centre, G5 and the Sahel, Africa CT efforts, Russia and NATO, papers on extremism, Afghan commandos, JP 3-27, CT and GCC states, and more.

International SOF

CANSOF on Violent Subcultures. The new chief of Canada’s special forces comments on how the country’s special forces keeps an eye on terrorism. (CBC.CA, Apr 25, 2018).

French SOF in Syria. France has been a partner of the U.S. in the fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. In addition it has provided special operations forces to work along side U.S. SOF in Syria. (France 24, Apr 27, 2018).

Afghan Commandos. The Afghan Special Security Forces (ASSF) are doubling in size. But it is at the expense of the conventional Afghan National Army (ANA) corps that are short recruits and trained infantrymen. There is a lot of official press coming from Resolute Support on the increase of the Afghan Special Security Forces (ASSF). A lot of this increase in size is the result of re-flagging existing ANA units (such as the Mobile Strike Force kandaks) to be under the command of ANASOC. Read more in an article by The Washington Post (April 2018, posted by The Roanoke Times).

As part of this expansion the Afghan National Army Special Operations Corps recently established the 4th Special Operations Brigade to support the Commandos in the south of Afghanistan. (NSOCC-A DVIDS, Apr 24, 2018).


Green Beret Dies in Papua New Guinea. A member of the 1st Special Forces Group based on Okinawa died in a non-combat related incident on Thursday, April 26, 2018. SFC Shawn Green was serving as a military liaison to the U.S. embassy. (Army Times, Apr 27, 2018).

SOCOM and WMD Mission. General Raymond Thomas, commander of the Unites States Special Operations Command says that countering weapons of mass destruction requires advanced capabilities for analyzing intelligence. Read more in “Can Artificial Intelligence Help U.S. SOCOM Track Weapons of Mass Destruction?”, Space News, April 24, 2018.

Derna Bridge. The U.S. Army’s Special Forces Qualification Course (SFQC) entails a unconventional warfare exercise called Robin Sage. The USMC has their unconventional warfare exercise as well – call Derna Bridge. Where did the name “Derna” come from? Remember the Marines hymn ‘to the shores of Tripoli’? Watch a short one-minute long video about the Battle of Derna. (Defense Media Activity, Apr 27, 2018).

SF & SOCEUR Wpns Firing. It appears that local German residents near Stuttgart have been complaining of weapons firing by special operations forces near the Panzer Range Complex in Germany. An agreement has been reached to mitigate the noise. (Stars & Stripes, Apr 26, 2018).

Miscellaneous SOF Stuff

De Expresso Liber OSS Sabotage Brew

Sabotage Brew. De Espresso Liber – a Special Forces combat veteran coffee micro-roaster – has come out with a special blend honoring the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). This special blend is a recognition of Detachment 101 which played a major role in the China-Burma-India area of operations and is a blend of mainly Burmese coffee. Learn more about the Office of Strategic Services Sabotage Brew.

Horse Soldier Bourbon. A new bourbon has come out that is a tribute to the Horse Soldiers from 5th Special Forces Group that took part in the initial UW campaign against the Taliban in northern Afghanistan in 2001. (Maxim, Apr 27, 2018).

USSOCOM WMD News. Captain Joseph A. Diguardo Jr., has been selected for promotion to rear admiral (lower half). He will be assigned as deputy director of plans and policy for countering weapons of mass destruction, U.S. Special Operations Command, Tampa, Florida.  Diguardo is currently serving as assistant deputy director for global operations; and special assistant to the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for special projects and innovations, Joint Staff, Washington, District of Columbia.

From the Intelligence World

DISE, MIB(T), ARSOUTH, and More. Did you ever wonder how a military intelligence brigade would deploy an intelligence support organization downrange for Army South? Well this article will give you everything you need to know. See “Deployable Intelligence Support Element in Support of the Army Service Component Command”Small Wars Journal, April 27, 2018.

More Army Intel Reading. Small Wars Journal is running a series of articles about the U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command  (INSCOM). One of the latest articles is by Major James Chester – a plans and exercise officer for the 470th Military Intelligence Brigade (Theater). His article discusses intelligence warfighting function responsibilities and considerations in setting a theater and what INSCOM does and should do to meet those obligations. Read “Setting the Theater: A Critical Intelligence Function”Small Wars Journal, April 2018.


IGAD CT Centre. The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has launched a Counter Terrorism Centre. The purpose is to deal with the rising violent extremism in the region (HOA / East Africa). IGAD is based in Djibouti. (Epuka Ugaidi Blog, Apr 27, 2018).

G5 Forces’ Effectiveness. Alicia Chavy writes that France and the G5 force operations in Mali and the Sahel are not sufficient to secure the region against the local criminals and extremist groups found in the area. She states that France and the G5 countries must focus on enhancing African forces’ operational capacity and autonomy to respond rapidly to local threats and conditions. Read “Rising Security Threats Hinder G5 Forces’ Effectiveness in Mali and the Sahel” Georgetown Security Studies Review, April 27, 2018.

US CT Fight: Training Local Police in Africa. The U.S. State Department has several programs to train up police in several African countries in counterterrorism techniques. Read more in “US Counterterror fight in Africa Also Turns to Local Police”AP, April 28, 2018.

NATO, Europe, and the Russian Bear

Ukraine. Dr. Phillip Karber has made more than thirty trips to this country over recent years, including six months on the front lines of war in the country’s east. He has a very good understanding of Russian hybrid warfare waged in the region since 2014. Watch a one-hour long video of Dr. Karber on the nature of warfare in the gray zone (filmed 9 Apr 2018). Posted by the Modern War Institute at West Point, April 26, 2018. www.youtube.com/watch?v=_CMby_WPjk4

A Fractured NATO? Andrew Michta, the dean of the College of International and Security Studies at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies, has expressed concern about NATO’s future. He writes on the national security consequences of increasing polarized publics in Europe and how it affects the collective defense. Read “The Fracturing of the Transatlantic Community”The American Interest, April 27, 2018.

Russia’s Underwater Threat. A resurgent Russia is causing chaos on multiple fronts and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is attempting to mitigate the threat. One of these threat areas is happening under the oceans. For years during the Cold War NATO would monitor the movement of Russian subs in the Atlantic and the North Sea as well as other oceans and bodies of water. One area of importance was the Greenland-Iceland-UK (GIUK) which was heavily monitored for the passage of Russian subs. Iceland is once again playing a central role in this game of naval cat-and-mouse. Read “NATO and Washington worry about Russian subs in the High North” Deutsche Welle, April 24, 2018.

U.S. Outsmarted by Russia in Near East? Michael A. Reynolds, a senior fellow with the Foreign Policy Research Institute, has penned a paper on how Russia has outplayed the U.S. in the Near East. Read “Outfoxed by the Bear? America’s Losing Game Against Russia in the Near East”FPRI, April 25, 2018.

Eastern Europe and Russia IO. A new study has examined Russian social media campaigns in Eastern Europe. Read “Russian Social Media Influence: Understanding Russian Propaganda in Eastern Europe” RAND Corporation, April 2018.

NATO’s Brussel Conference. Member nations of NATO will meet in July during a NATO summit. On the top of the agenda will be discussions on Russia, defense expenditures, hybrid challenges, situation in MENA, and the Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan. Read “Foreign Ministers Setting Stage for NATO Summit, Secretary General Says” DoD, April 26, 2018.

Middle East

Paper – Militant Islam. Max Singer has wrote a 37-page paper entitled Militant Islam’s War Against the West. The paper, dated March 2018 is posted on the website of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies of the Bar-ilan University (Israel).

CT and GCC States. Katherine Bauer, a fellow at the Washington Institute, recently addressed Congress on counterterrorism in the Gulf Cooperation Council states. Read her testimony in “Grading Counterterrorism Cooperation with the GCC States”The Washington Institute, April 26, 2018.

Paper – Extremism in Lebanon. The Counter Extremism Project has a new paper out entitled Lebanon: Extremism & Counter-Extremism. Dated February 2018 the 14-page paper explores the support by the Lebanese population for Hezbollah and points out the divide along sectarian lines regarding the (terrorist?) group.


JP 3-27 Homeland Defense. An updated pub (10 April 2018) from the Joint Chiefs of Staff has been published that provides joint doctrine for homeland defense.


Photo Credit: Two man sniper team at the Basic Sniper Course of International Special Training Center (ISTC), Hohenfels, Germany. Photo by 1st Lt Benjamin Haulenbeek, SOCEUR, October 24, 2017.

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