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Special Operations Forces: The New Face of the US Military

When

Thursday, October 24, 2013 6:30PM - 7:30PM

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Event Details

The nature of warfare is changing. Over the past decade we have seen a dramatic increase in the use of Special Operations Forces (SOF) not just in short targeted missions, but in long-term missions meant to train and build local security forces around the world. These forces are highly skilled small teams that are more cost-effective, are able to keep a lower profile and can be deployed more strategically than traditional forces. The importance of military Special Operations was highlighted in President Obama’s 2008 campaign when he promised to increase funding and further build these forces. This promise has largely been kept. According to Politifact via the Pentagon, from fiscal year 2009 to fiscal year 2012 the SOF personnel increased from 55,890 to 63,779 and the SOF budget increased from $8.9 billion to $10.5 billion over the same period. Drawing on her experience on multiple tours in Afghanistan, RAND senior international policy analyst, Linda Robinson will share her experiences on the ground with America’s ‘new’ military; a small group of strategically thinking forces who rely more on persuasion, bonding and negotiation instead of firepower to gain local trust and ensure the population’s security.

SPEAKER:

Linda Robinson
Senior International Policy Analyst, Rand Corporation

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Recorded Thursday, October 24, 2013

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