Gray zone security challenges, existing short of a formal state of war, present novel complications for U.S. policy and interests in the 21st century. We have well-developed vocabularies, doctrines and mental models to describe war and peace, but the numerous gray zone challenges in between defy easy categorization. For purposes of this paper, gray zone challenges are defined as competitive interactions among and within state and non-state actors that fall between the traditional war and peace duality. They are characterized by ambiguity about the nature of the conflict, opacity of the parties involved, or uncertainty about the relevant policy and legal frameworks.
During the last decade, the U.S. military, along with its interagency and international partners, has generated significant capability to counter the irregular threats presented by non-state terrorists, insurgents, and criminal groups. During these same years, a distinct challenge to America and its partners in NATO and beyond has arisen through an innovative mix of such irregular threats. This challenge is Hybrid Warfare combining conventional, irregular, and asymmetric means, to include the persistent manipulation of political and ideological conflict. Foreshadowed by Iranian actions throughout the Middle East and by Chinese “unrestricted warfare” strategists in the 1990s, Hybrid Warfare has now reached its most brazen form in Russia’s support for separatist insurgents in Ukraine.
The Joint Civil Information Management Tactical Handbook is designed to provide joint procedures and standardized formats for the collection and reporting of civil data to support the Joint Force Commander planning and execution of operations. The publication consolidates the Services’ best tactics, techniques and procedures.
U.S. Special Operations Command Terms of Reference – Roles, Missions and Functions of Component Commands
This directive provides Terms of Reference (TOR) for United States Army Special Operations Command (USASOC); Naval Special Warfare Command (NAVSPECWARCOM); Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), Marine Forces Special Operations Command (MARSOC), Joint Military Information Support Command (JMISC), and Joint Special Operations University (JSOU).
The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has a long history of conducting security force assistance (SFA)-type activities. These activities were primarily focused on gaining access and influence to partner nations (PN). However, by 2005, the purpose of SFA-type activities had evolved. SFA would now enable and develop the sustainable capabilities of foreign security forces (FSF) to a sufficient capacity in order to provide regional stability. The primary purpose of SFA is the development of sustainable capabilities to allow PNs to defend themselves or contribute to operations elsewhere. This is a fundamental shift in how and why the DoD conducts SFA.
Special operations (SO) encompass the use of small units in direct or indirect military actions focused on strategic or operational objectives. These actions require units with combinations of specialized personnel, equipment, and tactics that exceed the routine capabilities of conventional military forces. SO are characterized by certain attributes that cumulatively distinguish them from conventional operations. SO are often politically sensitive missions where only the best-equipped and most proficient forces must be deployed to avoid detection and possible mission failure.
Joint Special Operations University Report on Convergence of Special Forces and Civilian Law Enforcement
In recent years there has been an apparent convergence of the operations conducted by Special Operations Forces (SOF) and those of civilian law enforcement agencies (LEAs), especially Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) units, in what were formerly separate and distinct missions. The requirements to obtain warrants prior to execution of raids for high-value targets, collect and preserve evidence for criminal prosecution, and on occasion present testimony in courts of law are new missions for SOF. They are not relatively simple changes in the rules of engagement or comparable techniques. As far as can be determined, previously no U.S. military combat arms unit has ever been tasked with such a mission during combat operations. The thesis is straightforward; if such missions are to continue, then consideration must be given to adequate training for them.
USSOCOM Proponency Office
* J33 CA is the DOD/Joint CA Proponency Office for USSOCOM
* Coordination and integration for DOD/Joint Proponency within the command and with the Services and USJFCOM
* Ensure interoperability in training, equipment, forces, doctrine
* Enable capabilities to accomplish current and future CA missions