By Vivienne Machi, National Defense Magazine: ““We are getting so much information that we can’t go through it all,” said Glen Cullen, program manager for sensitive site exploitation within the program executive office for special reconnaissance, surveillance and exploitation.”
(Defense News) The U.S. and its Middle East special operations partners must continue to improve relations if they are to counter growing complexities in the region, the head of U.S. Special Operations Command said May 7 at the Middle East Special Operations Commanders Conference.
The Cipher Brief’s Brad Christian talked with Former Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence (and Cipher Brief Expert) Dr. Michael Vickers recently about this increasingly important instrument of American power:
From the conversation:
- "The new big warfighting challenge for SOF is Russian hybrid warfare, particularly along the periphery of the Russian Federation. SOF can play a pretty big role because it may be hard to trigger NATO’s collective defense article early in a conflict when the Russians are engaged in subversion and covert proxy warfare."
- "More potential adversaries are acquiring advanced air defenses, so clandestine air infiltration may be a lot harder in the future. When I grew up as a young pup in the Special Forces, there was 50/50 chance that Air Force special operators could insert us into Eastern Europe...down the road, SOF will need very low observable aircraft, or it won’t be able to accomplish some important missions that we need them to conduct."
- "For some of the demanding SOF missions, you need to develop not only new technologies, but also the tactics, techniques and procedures and area knowledge you’ll need to be effective. With prolonged, intensive deployment cycles, we really haven’t had the time we need to do this. Most of what we’ve developed since 9-11 has been for the current wars."
Looking to spend billions more on its top modernization programs, the Army is changing things up by spending those dollars in places that might come as a bit of a surprise.