Special Operations News Update – Monday, May 3, 2021

Swedish Special Boat Unit

Curated news, analysis, and commentary about special operations, national security, and conflicts around the world. Navy SEAL focus on GPC, ‘Tab Culture’, MoH for Ranger, AFSOC, international SOF, female WWII spies, proxy warfare, Russia’s GRU, troubles in Sahel, books, podcasts, and videos about SOF.

Editorial Note: Due to travel requirements and other priorities SOF News will not publish any articles for the next week. We will return on Monday, May 10, 2021.

SOF News

Navy SEALs – From CT to GPC. Lolita Baldor informs us that the SEAL community is undergoing a major transition – providing them the ability to better contribute to the ‘great power competition’ that involves Russia and China. A new screening process is being instituted for recruits to include upgraded psychological assessments. SEAL platoons are being reduced in number but the platoons will have more personnel and become more lethal. The SEALs will be leaving the mountains and deserts of Afghanistan and Iraq behind and focusing more on the seas and coastlines of the world. Also receiving more attention from the SEALs will be the cyber, intelligence, and electronic warfare fields. “Navy SEALs to shift from counterterrorism to global threats”, Navy Times, April 28, 2021.

SOCCENT Twitter Hacked? Not Really. Last week Special Operations Command Central reported that its Twitter account had been hacked. Apparently this is not the case. A Twitter user for SOCCENT was searching for information on the internet when he / she accidently entered the search terms, “Afghanistan” “Islamic State”, into the Twitter feed.

‘Tab Culture’. A Lieutenant serving with the 4th Infantry Division explains the importance of having ‘tabs’ and ‘badges’ in “Lieutenant Land’ where experience is in short supply. He has concerns that the Army tends to value officers who have attended Airborne and Ranger school and have earned badges such as the Expert Infantry Badge (EIB) or who wear the Combat Infantryman’s Badge (CIB) more than those officers who sport a less adorned uniform. He goes on to write that this subconscious perception and bias that affects the upward mobility of officers is something that needs to be fixed. “Where’s Your Tab and other Sad Lieutenant Stories”, The Company Leader, April 26, 2021. (Editor’s Note: The editor of SOF News is complimenting himself on his restraint in not ‘editorializing’ about this article.)

MoH for Former Army Ranger. Ralph Puckett, a retired colonel, will receive the Medal of Honor for his service and actions during the Korean War. Puckett, age 94, was the commander of the Eighth Army Ranger Company in Korea. He was also decorated for his service in Vietnam – receiving the Distinguished Service Cross and two Silver Stars for valor. In addition he is the recipient of five Purple Hearts and two Bronze Stars for valor. “Former Longtime Army Rangers Mentor to Receive Medal of Honor”, The Hill, April 30, 2021.

AFSOC’s ‘Inflection Point’. Air Force Special Operations Command is in the midst of an overhaul with the shift to ‘great power competition’ according to AFSOC commander Lt. Gen. James Slife. He testified on Wednesday, April 28, 2021 to the Senate Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities about AFSOC’s shift to “full-spectrum operations”. AFSOC plans on fielding four operational squadrons for both the air and ground missions. He also stated that AFSOC is looking to replace its U-28 fleet with the aircraft from the armed overwatch program. (Air Force Magazine, Apr 28, 2021).

SOF Acquisition Requires Partnership. The special operations acquisition community will rely on effective communications to successful partnerships in industry and academia. Some of these ‘communication tools’ include SOFIC, Engage SOF, SOFWerx, LinkedIn (2,700 partners, 113,000 followers), and others. “Partnered Operations in SOF Acquisition”, National Defense Magazine, April 30, 2021.

SF and Specialized Vehicle Training. A 1st Special Forces Group A-team recently attended the Low-Visibility Force Protection Training course in Dalton, New Hampshire. Read a description of the type of force protection training Green Berets go through to stay ‘protected’ during ‘low vis opns’. “Why Green Beret training involves shooting out of a Toyota Corolla and ramming vehicles”, Task & Purpose, April 29, 2021.

CV-22 Osprey Mishap in England. A helipad at a hospital in England has been temporarily closed after being badly damaged by an aircraft of the 352nd Special Operations Wing. The aircraft was conducting a simulated medical evacuation exercise. Officials have ‘expressed regret’. “CV-22 Osprey destroys English hospital’s helipad during Air Force training”, Military Times, April 28, 2021.

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International SOF

International SOF Doctrine. Col. Kevin D. Stringer explains the approaches to SOF doctrine by NATO, the European Union, and the United Nations. His article delivers an overview to published UN, NATO, and EU SOF doctrine and compares and analyzes these documents for similarities and differences. While SOF contingents from individual nations have their own national military doctrine they need to align their operational approach with the SOF doctrine of the multinational organization leading the operation. For instance, SOF deployments to Afghanistan fall under NATO, to Mali under the EU, and to Sudan under the UN. “The Special Operations Doctrine of International Organizations”, Special Operations Journal, April 2021, pages 87-93.

UK’s 16 Air Assault Brigade, Ukraine, and the Grey Zone. In September 2020 British Airborne forces parachuted into Ukraine to take part in Exercise Joint Endeavour. The exercise demonstrated the usefulness of airborne forces when the rapid deployment of ‘high readiness forces’ is required. An article by James Athow-Frost explains the exercise and the valuable lessons learned. “Into the Grey Zone. British Airborne Forces in Ukraine”, Wavell Room, January 1, 2021.

Former SAS Soldier to Row Atlantic. Ian Rivers plans to row 3,400 nautical miles between New York and the UK using a sextant and the stars to navigate. He won’t be using a GPS because he “wanted to make it a true adventure.” Rivers plans to row about 7 hours a day. Retiring in 2012, Rivers spent 27 years in the military to include service with 29 Commando and later with the Special Air Service. His trip will be raising money for the Special Air Service Regimental Association and St Michael’s Hospice in Hereford. “Former SAS Soldier to Row Solo Across North Atlantic Without GPS”, Forces.net, April 30, 2021.

Early Departure for Cdr CANSOF. The commander of the Canadian Special Operations Forces Command is leaving command earlier than scheduled. Maj.-Gen. Peter Dawe will be replaced within days – his change of command was supposed to happen this summer. In 2017 Dawe had submitted a character reference letter to a judge prior to the sentencing of an officer who had been convicted on six criminal counts including sexual and physical assault. “Commander of Special Forces to be replaced early after mishandling sexual assault case”, Global News (CA), April 30, 2021.

SOCEUR Cdr Visits Ukraine. Maj. Gen. David Tabor met with Ukrainian and U.S. military leadership at the 142nd Training Center on April 28, 2021 to assess how ongoing training is progressing between special operations forces and the Ukrainian military. SOCEUR is providing SOF training and advice to assist and enable the Ukrainian Special Operations Forces. (DVIDS, Apr 28, 2021). MG Tabor also visited the Ukrainian 73rd Maritime Special Operation Forces Training Center in Odesa, Ukraine.

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SOF History

Noteworthy Anniversaries of Historical Events. Over the past week some important anniversaries occurred. On April 28, 1965 the U.S. invaded the Dominican Republic. On April 30, 1972 the Military Assistance Command Vietnam – Studies and Observations Group (MACV-SOG) was disestablished. From April 30 to May 5, 1980 the Iranian Embassy in London was taken over by Arabs and hostages were held. The Special Air Service ended the siege once a hostage was killed. On May 2, 2011 Navy SEALs infiltrated by helicopter into Pakistan and killed Osama bin Laden.

Some MACV-SOG History. Bob Donoghue, A Green Beret assigned to Military Assistance Command Vietnam – Studies and Observations Group (MACV-SOG) Spike Team Tiger when he went on his first mission “across the fence” into Laos. The task of the six man team (two Americans and four Bru tribesmen) was to locate the 304th North Vietnamese Division. He describes the four-day mission in “My First Mission Across the Fence”, History of MACV-SOG, April 30, 2021.

Movie – Special Forces Advisor. An early 1970s movie by the Department of the Army’s audiovisual center (The Big Picture) showcases the career of a Special Forces officer as he undergoes training at the FBNC Special Warfare School, the Army Language School at Monterey, CA, and then on to Iran to train up Iranian Special Forces.

Battle for Haditha Dam (2003 Iraq). During the invasion of Iraq in March 2003 almost all Coalition forces entered from the south and moved their way up towards Baghdad. But a small contingent of US Rangers and Delta Force operators landed at a dam and fought a 4-day battle. The 5 mile long dam is one of the largest in the world and provides electricity to hundreds of thousands of homes in Iraq. (Business Insider, April 27, 2021).

SOE Legend Passes Away at 100. A Special Operations Executive agent, James Edgar, who served in Norway, France, and Burma during World War II has died. After serving with the Gordon Highlanders he transferred to the Intelligence Corps. He served in the Field Security section training recruits for the SOE’s French section. Then he volunteered for the small Scale Raiding Force (SSRF) 62 Commando with which he took part in two Channel Island missions. Later he parachuted into France to work with the Marquis. This was followed with his parachuting into Burma to serve with the SOE’s Force 136 against the Japanese. (The Scotsman, Apr 28, 2021).

Female WWII Spies. Erika Robuck writes about five women who worked against the Nazi’s in occupied France during World War II. “Five Fearless Female WWII Spies and Resistors”, Crime Reads, April 2, 2021.

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COVID-19 and the Military

COVID in the US and Around the World. In New York City the second wave appears to be fading after going strong for six months while some parts of the US are experiencing surges. Overall the vaccine distribution in the United States is hitting its stride with shortages happening less and less. Some states are doing better than others in the percentage of vaccinations among the population.

Russia Isn’t Helping. Russian press is continuing their disinformation efforts to cast doubt on the safety of U.S.-made COVID vaccines. The global spread of the coronavirus disease has created fertile ground for attempts to influence and destabilize different populations and countries. Both Russia and China have exploited this opportunity. Read more about this topic in Superspreaders of Malign and Subversive Information on COVID-19, RAND Corporation, April 2021, PDF, 83 pages.

USAF Assisting India. COVID is hitting India hard in a ‘second wave’ – accounting for over 3,000 deaths a day. Vaccines are short, and cremation grounds are burning thousands of bodies each day. Ambulances and hospital beds are in short supply and some reports say that “. . . coronavirus has crushed India’s health system.” The U.S. plans to halt travel for non-U.S. citizens from India. The US has said that it may send up to 60 million doses of the AstraZeneca Covid vaccine to other countries; many of these doses could find their way to India. The U.S. Air Force has begun transporting shipments of oxygen cylinders, N95 masks, diagnostic test kits, and other emergency supplies to India.

COVID and the U.S. Military. The commander of the 1st Special Forces Command (Maj. Gen. John Brennan) and the 1st SFC (A) Command Surgeon (Col. Jamie Riesberg) discuss the latest COVID-19 pandemic and vaccines in a 17 minute long The Indigenous Approach podcast published April 26, 2021.

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The US and Proxies. Around the world great and regional powers are using proxy forces to achieve their national interests. Alex Deep (a Special Forces officer) and Yelena Biberman (author and professor at Skidmore College) coauthored an article describing the risks of proxy warfare and delineating the considerations in the employment of proxies. “The Proxy Gambit”, Modern War Institute at West Point, April 28, 2021.

Stabilization Activities – Doctrine and Policy. Robert Burrell, an instructor at the Joint Special Operations University (JSOU), provides insight into how the Department of Defense changed its policy and doctrine over the past few years regarding stabilization. (LinkedIn, Apr 30, 2021).

IC Reform Needed? Two former members of the US intelligence community express their concern that the US may not have the intelligence structure to adequately shape the strategic environment over the next two decades. They worry that the US intelligence community may fail “. . . to reinvent itself to be effective in an information-driven world.” “The US Intelligence Community Needs a ‘Wild Bill’ Moment”, The CIPHER Brief, April 28, 2021.

Better Intelligence Sharing. Robert P. Ashley, a former director of the DIA and retired LTG, believes we need better intelligence sharing. He says that to “contend with a nation-state adversary in a global competition we’ll need to be able to move information across multiple networks reaching multiple partners and allies . . .” “Ten Years After Bin Laden, We Still Need Better Intelligence Sharing”, Defense One, May 1, 2021.

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National Security

Kahl Confirmed for DoD Policy Post. Dr. Colin Kahl has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate to be the next Under Secretary of Defense for Policy at the Department of Defense. This may (or may not) have a significant effect on the special operations community. In November 2020 then acting Secretary of Defense Chris Miller issued a memo stating that the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations / Low Intensity Conflict would no longer fall under the Department’s policy office, but would instead report directly to the SECDEF. Chris Maier has been nominated to head up ASD SO/LIC. It is unknown at this time if ASD SO/LIC will revert back to the policy office.

Border Crisis. More than 170,000 illegal aliens crossed the U.S. border in March but the Border Patrol is conducting no testing for the coronavirus when they first arrive. President Biden is cancelling border barrier construction projects paid for with funds originally intended for military missions and projects. Any unobligated funds that had been diverted will be used for previously deferred military construction projects.

MQ-9 – Weapon of Choice? The U.S. military will be transitioning the MQ-9 Reaper drone from a counterterrorism surveillance and strike air platform to an aviation asset to be used in a great power conflict. New weapons will be placed on the drone, added fuel capacity, and ‘hardened technologies’ to defeat enemy jamming attempts. “The MQ-9 Reaper Drone: America’s Weapon of Choice for the Next World War?”, The National Interest, May 2, 2021.

The Pentagon and the Internet. A chunk of the internet owned by the U.S. Department of Defense is now being managed by an obscure company in Florida. The chief of the Pentagon’s Defense Digital Service is in charge of the project but it is not answering questions why it chose a company that didn’t exist until September 2020 to manage up to 175 million addresses – about 1/25th the size of the current internet. To read more on the perplexing story read “The big Pentagon internet mystery now partially solved”, Military Times, April 26, 2021.

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Information Operations

China, Xinjiang, and Disinformation. The Chinese Communist Party’s agents have been bombarding activists with abuse and smear campaigns all the while producing slick and misleading propaganda films about the nice life that Uyghurs are experiencing. The campaign is both domestic and international. Almost 2 million Turkic Muslims and Uyghurs are being held in prisons or internment camps – or, as described by Chinese officials, residential training centers that provide vocational training, discourage radicalization, and protect the country from terrorism. “China Expands Disinformation Campaign to Undermine International Xinjiang Outcry”, Radio Free Asia, April 29, 2021.

Eastern Europe and the “Ghostwriter” Activity. For the past several years the Baltic states, Poland, and Germany have been subjected to an influence campaign that aligns with the security interests of Russia. All sorts of activities have taken place that attempt to discredit political leaders of these countries as well as the contributions of NATO. “Ghostwriter Disinformation Campaign Rages on as Biden Prepares for NATO Trip”, CyberScoop, April 28, 2021. A 33-page report (PDF) provides more information on ‘Ghostwriter’, Mandiant, 2021.

Pub on Political Warfare and Propaganda. The Spring 2021 issue of the Journal of Advanced Military Studies has been published. This issue concerns the topics related to propaganda and information warfare – both past and present. Article titles include: “Political Warfare and Propaganda: An introduction”, “Fake News for the Resistance”, “All Women Belong in the Kitchen”, “Consistency of Civil-Military Relations”, “Russian Cyber Information Warfare”, “Propagandized Adversary Populations in a War of Ideas”, “Social Antiaccess / Area-Denial (Social A2/AD)”, and “Representation of Armed Forces Through Cinematic and Animated Pieces: Case Studies”. JAMS, Marine Corps University Press, Spring 2021, PDF, 246 pages.

Wargaming, IW, Political Warfare, and Controlling the Narrative. Susan Bryant and Tom Nagle argue that the U.S. needs to develop and use wargames that replicate conflict in an irregular warfare environment. It needs to go beyond the military and include a ‘whole of government’ approach. Although the U.S. military would prefer to fight in large-scale conventional conflicts it will likely continue to be involved in irregular warfare over the long haul. The U.S. military needs to hone IW competencies within the force and one way to accomplish this is through wargaming. “Wargaming for the New Great Game”, Modern War Institute at West Point, April 30, 2021.

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Great Power Competition

Arctic Competition. Russia, and China to a lesser extent, are forging ahead with plans to position their respective countries favorable circumstances in the Arctic region. The world’s glaciers are melting faster than ever before according to a new study by Nature magazine. This is opening up sea lanes, access to rich minerals, and fishing areas. It also provides for a power projection platform for military forces. Increased Russian aircraft incursions into areas adjacent to US airspace have kept Alaska-based aircraft busy. The US Army recently published its Arctic strategy entitled Regaining Arctic Dominance and has increased the frequency of winter warfare and cold weather exercises. It is working more than ever with allies that have long experience in the Arctic region.

China and IW. In a future large scale conflict the Chinese will likely use their conventional capabilities augmented with irregular warfare activities. Three members of CNA provide an analysis of how IW is used as an integral part of large conflicts, how the Chinese approach IW, and the implications for US military strategy. “China’s Irregular Approach to War: The myth of a purely conventional future fight”, Modern War Institute at West Point, April 27, 2021.

Russia and Ukraine. In March 2021 Russian troops began massing on the Ukrainian border and in Ukraine’s occupied Crimea region. Was this mere posturing or a preparation for a future invasion? By late April Russia had returned many of the units to their former status – moving away from the border. A recent Congressional Research Service paper provides an explanation of the recent events. Russian Military Mobilization on Ukraine’s Borders and in Occupied Crimea, CRS IN11651, April 27, 2021, PDF, 3 pages.

Russia and Sloppy Intel Work. The GRU agents have been busy across Europe delivering poison, blowing up facilities, intimidating exiled countrymen, and more. Their use of cover names, codes, ciphers, dead drops, brush passes, and SDRs are designed to keep them operating in the shadows – but they still seem to make the headlines. The Russian intelligence agency of the military is answerable to the Russian Defense Minister and is likely Russia’s largest spy agency. The GRU also commands the special forces brigades. To many intelligence professionals it appears that the Russian leader, President Vladimir Putin, isn’t concerned about the public glare on the spy agency. “Putin Just Doesn’t Care”, Spy Talk, April 26, 2021. See also another article about the GRU.

The Wagner Group and International Law. British Army Major Jennifer Maddocks analyzes some of the legal issues surrounding the use of proxy forces or private military corporations (PMC) by larger nations. Russia has used the Wagner Group (a PMC) in Syria, Libya, Ukraine, and other countries. But what are the legal implications of using a PMC? Maddocks suggests a ‘more relaxed interpretation of the rule of attribution’ would encourage nations to regulate the conduct of their proxy forces and promote compliance with international law. “Russia, the Wagner Group, and the Issue of Attribution”, Lieber Institute West Point, April 28, 2021.

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Middle East

Army Casualty. Staff Sgt. Christopher Pantos, age 55, died on April 26, 2021 at Ali Al Salem Air Base, Kuwait as the result of a non-combat related incident. He was deployed supporting Operation Inherent Resolve and assigned to the 55th Sustainment Brigade, U.S. Army Reserve, Fort Belvoir, Virginia.

Israel, US, UAVs, and Missiles. The United States and Israel have agreed to cooperate in a working group to look at the growing threat of drones and missiles produced by Iran and provided to its proxy organizations throughout the Middle East. (The White House, Apr 27, 2021).

US Warning Shots on Iranian Speedboats. The US Navy threw a couple of warning shots towards three Iranian military speedboats that came within 70 yards of a U.S. Navy ship and a ship manned by the U.S. Coast Guard. The fast inshore attack craft operated by the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy approached the US vessels on Monday, April 26th in the northern part of the Persian Gulf.

Yemen and Russian Diplomacy. The Biden administrations approach to Yemen has not changed dramatically from that of the two previous US administrations (despite the rhetorical differences). This will eventually play into the hands of the Russians – who have proven themselves to be very adept at navigating the politics of the Middle East. Read more in “Russia is astutely playing the players in Yemen”, The Strategist, Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), April 29, 2021.

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US HQs in Africa? Nigeria has asked the U.S. to relocate the U.S. Army Africa Command from Stuttgart, Germany to Africa. West Africa is experiencing a high level of attacks by various terrorist organizations. (UPI, Apr 28, 2021). Steve Balestrieri argues that moving AFRICOM and SOCAFRICA to the African continent makes sense for several reasons. (SOFREP, May 2, 2021).

US Strategy in Sahel. Kamissa Camara, a senior visiting expert for the Sahel at the U.S. Institute of Peace, has deep experience in that region of Africa. She believes that for the United States to achieve success in the Sahel that it needs less counterterrorism and better diplomacy. And she has four recommendations to get to the goal. “It is Time to Rethink U.S. Strategy in the Sahel”, United States Institute of Peace, April 15, 2021.

Armed Groups in Sahel. Community-based armed groups of Fulani and Tuareg ethnicity have aligned themselves with outside actors in the region out of choice, coercion, or both. A new paper discusses this in detail. Mistrust and Imbalance: The Collapse of Intercommunal Relations and the Rise of Armed Community Mobilization on the Niger-Maili Border, RESOLVE Network, April 21, 2012, PDF, 38 pages.

Troubles in Chad. After the longtime Chadian President Idris Deby was killed amid fighting with rebel groups the military has taken control of the country. The military government, headed by Deby’s son (Mahamat Idriss Deby), has named Albert Pahimi Padacke as interim prime minister. He had previously served as PM from 2016 to 2018 and finished second to Deby in the April 2021 presidential election. Western counterterrorism forces are based in Chad and are operating against Salafi-jihad groups in the region. The political instability of Chad may have an effect on CT efforts in the area. Cameron Hudson, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center, provides further details. “Washington’s role and responsibility in Chad”, Atlantic Council, April 27, 2021.

Mozambique. The French corporation Total has suspended its multibillion dollar operation in the north of the country due to attacks against its facilities and workers by Mozambique insurgents. Total has evacuated all of its personnel from its LNG worksite. This is a huge economic setback for Mozambique. The South African Development Community (SADC) will deploy 3,000 troops (including special forces) to the area to provide security to the troubled region. ExxonMobil also has an LNG project planned for northern part of Mozambique. “Troops Head to Mozambique LNG Site as Total’s Force Majeure Underscores Terrorist Threat”, Journal of Petroleum Technology, April 29, 2021.

Global Special Operations Foundation

Upcoming Events

May 4, 2021. Washington, D.C. Virtual via WebEx
DoD Strategy, Policy, and Programs for Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction
House Subcommittee on Intelligence and Special Operations

May 4-7, 2021. Alabama to Florida
5th Annual Rucking for Raiders Memorial March
Rucking for Raiders

May 5-6, 2021. Virtual Forum
The Future of SOF in Strategic Competition: A Look at the Indo-Pacific and Beyond
Joint Special Operations University (JSOU)

May 14, 2021. Charlotte, North Carolina
Patriot Classic Tactical
Green Beret Foundation

May 14, 2021. Virtual event
10th Anniversary of the Osama bin Laden Raid
“Oh So Social” Conversation Series
OSS Society

May 17, 2021. Tampa, Florida
7th Global SOF Anniversary Reception
Global SOF Foundation

May 17-21, 2021. Virtual
Special Operations Forces Industry Conference (SOFIC) 2021
National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA)

May 26, 2021. Ijamsville, Maryland
4th Annual Golf Tournament
Three Rangers Foundation

Books about Special Forces Training

Books, Pubs, and Reports

CTC Sentinel. The April / May 2021 issue is now posted online. Former Admiral William McRaven is interviewed about the Osama bin Laden raid of May 2011. (Editor’s note: I was with CFSOCC-A at the time and enjoyed a cigar with others on one of the ISAF rooftop patios the following evening celebrating the event.) Another article is about the January 6th attack on the capitol, the Jihadi terror threat to Mozambique, the revival of the Pakistani Taliban, and troubles in Northern Ireland.

Book – Sacrifice: A Gold Star Widow’s Fight for the Truth. A widow searches for the truth behind her Green Beret husband’s death in Africa in 2017. Bryan Black’s wife Michelle saw her worst nightmare become a reality. After receiving few details about her husband’s death in an ambush of a Special Forces team in Niger she began to search for answers. Published by Penguin Random House, May 2021.

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Podcasts, Videos, and Movies

Podcast – From SAR to GFA: The ABCs of Conflict Prevention and Stabilization. Two recent policy initiatives – the Stabilization Assistance Review (SAR) and the Global Fragility Act (GFA) provide direction on defense, diplomatic, and development efforts to prevent or manage conflict. Dr. Frances Brown, a senior fellow of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s Democracy, Conflict and Development and Pat Antonietti, director for stabilization and peacekeeping operations at OSD Policy are guests in this podcast. Irregular Warfare Podcast, April 23, 2021, 40 minutes.

Podcast – Civil Affairs and the Second Battle of Fallujah. Retired Colonel Leonard DeFrancisci served thirty-two years in the Marine Corps. In 2004 he was a civil affairs detachment commander for Regimental Combat Team 1 during the Second Battle of Fallujah, Iraq. DeFrancisci details the role of civil affairs in the lead-up to the battle as well as activies of CA during the battle. He also describes the missions CA are charged with the special capabilities that CA soldiers and Marines can bring to a high-intensity urban battle. Urban Warfare Project, Modern War Institute at West Point, April 30, 2021, 41 minutes.

Video – Lawless Navy SEALs. A CBS News investigation has reported on some criminality and drug use within the ranks of Navy SEALs. Current and former SEALs reveal the deep problems within the ranks. CBS News, April 29, 2021, 8 minutes.

Video – Special Forces Combat Dive School – Helocast. Students in the Special Forces Combat Diver Qualification Course (SFCDQC) perform helocast operations with rubber boats. SFCDQC is a seven course at Key West, Florida. (DVIDS, Feb 21, 2021, 9 minutes.).


Photo: A Swedish special boat unit and Naval Small Craft Instruction and Technical Training School special warfare combatant-craft crewmen train in Swedish rigid-hull inflatable boats at the Stennis Space Center.

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About SOF News 1143 Articles
SOF News provides news, analysis, commentary, and information about special operations forces (SOF) from around the world.